Book Review Friday: The Truth About You by Marcus Buckingham

A few weeks ago, we had Marcus Buckingham in to speak at our All Employee Meeting. He did a fantastic job. Because we are committed to building a strengths-based organization, we also gave a copy of his new book, The Truth About You, to each of our employees. I only wish someone had given me this message 30 years ago.
the truth about you book cover by marcus buckingham

Note: If you are a blogger and want a copy of this book to review, please request a copy on our Thomas Nelson Book Review Blogger site. All you have to do is agree to read the book, write a 200-word review, and then post it online. Frankly, We don’t care if your review is positive, negative, or somewhere in between, so long as you write and post your review. This offer is limited to the first 100 bloggers who respond.

The Truth About You is a simple but amazing book. Well, it’s not exactly a book—it’s an experience. The package contains a DVD with a 24-minute film, an enhanced CD-ROM, an interactive book, and a ReMemo Pad.The product is designed to help you differentiate between the kinds of activities that make you feel strong and energize you and the kinds of activities that make you feel weak and deplete you.

Marcus has a simple premise: your time and energy is better spent expressing your strengths than fixing your weaknesses. Why? Because no matter how hard you try—and he provides the evidence to prove it—you will only be able to marginally improve your weaknesses. You will barely move the needle. You are working against the way you are designed.

On the other hand, if you focus on your strengths, you can make huge strides and see significant improvement. Why? Because you are cooperating with the way you were designed and building upon your God-given gifts. This sounds simple in theory, right? The trouble comes in trying to identify our strengths.

This is where the ReMemo Pad comes in. Marcus has you spend a week, writing down the specific activities that you love—the ones that you anticipate, where time seems to fly, and leave you feeling strong at the end. He also has you write down the specific activities that you loathe—the ones you dread, where times seems to crawl, and leave you feeling weak at the end.

All in all, it is a hugely helpful exercise. In fact, knowing your strengths is probably the single most competitive advantage you could have. No one can be better at being you than you.

By the way, we have posted a video overview of the book on YouTube.

Question: What makes you feel strong? What would be possible if you could focus, say, 60–70% of your time on your strengths?
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  • http://www.colleencoble.com/ Colleen Coble

    OH OH! This is the book my team has been raving about then! They all mentioned to me how it really showed them the importance of playing to your strengths. I've got to read it!

  • http://www.colleencoble.com/ Colleen Coble

    OH OH! This is the book my team has been raving about then! They all mentioned to me how it really showed them the importance of playing to your strengths. I’ve got to read it!

  • http://www.colleencoble.com Colleen Coble

    OH OH! This is the book my team has been raving about then! They all mentioned to me how it really showed them the importance of playing to your strengths. I’ve got to read it!

  • http://www.rachelhauck.com/ Rachel Hauck

    Wow, what a great question.

    I really feel the most energized after being at the feet of Jesus. A two hour worship/prayer set makes me feel like, "Look out world, I'm in love with the King."

    I feel energized writing. Which is do like 80% of my time.

    BUT, it's not always easy and I have to plow through the hard and difficult days to reach the energized, soaring days. ;)

    I feel blessed that God has given me His purpose. So many people don't know God's purpose for them.

    I'd love to read this book to glean his principles.

    Rachel

  • http://www.rachelhauck.com/ Rachel Hauck

    Wow, what a great question.

    I really feel the most energized after being at the feet of Jesus. A two hour worship/prayer set makes me feel like, “Look out world, I’m in love with the King.”

    I feel energized writing. Which is do like 80% of my time.

    BUT, it’s not always easy and I have to plow through the hard and difficult days to reach the energized, soaring days. ;)

    I feel blessed that God has given me His purpose. So many people don’t know God’s purpose for them.

    I’d love to read this book to glean his principles.

    Rachel

  • http://www.rachelhauck.com Rachel Hauck

    Wow, what a great question.

    I really feel the most energized after being at the feet of Jesus. A two hour worship/prayer set makes me feel like, “Look out world, I’m in love with the King.”

    I feel energized writing. Which is do like 80% of my time.

    BUT, it’s not always easy and I have to plow through the hard and difficult days to reach the energized, soaring days. ;)

    I feel blessed that God has given me His purpose. So many people don’t know God’s purpose for them.

    I’d love to read this book to glean his principles.

    Rachel

  • http://www.colleencoble.com/ Colleen Coble

    I got so excited I forgot to answer the question. LOL I'm energized by my work. I'm right in my sweet spot which is a wonderful place to be. Doing what I believe I was created to do, in the best publishing house out there with the best possible team.

    I love the writing process. I'm MOST energized by the editing process once I get Ami's comments back. Love, love it! The really great thing about being a writer is that when I need to be around people (I'm a people person), there's the promotion aspect of my career which I love.

    It makes me sad when I hear people say they hate their job. I think work was created to be a blessing when we find that place where we best utilize our gifts. It's worth looking for that sweet spot. I hope this book helps many people find their dream job!

  • http://www.colleencoble.com Colleen Coble

    I got so excited I forgot to answer the question. LOL I’m energized by my work. I’m right in my sweet spot which is a wonderful place to be. Doing what I believe I was created to do, in the best publishing house out there with the best possible team.

    I love the writing process. I’m MOST energized by the editing process once I get Ami’s comments back. Love, love it! The really great thing about being a writer is that when I need to be around people (I’m a people person), there’s the promotion aspect of my career which I love.

    It makes me sad when I hear people say they hate their job. I think work was created to be a blessing when we find that place where we best utilize our gifts. It’s worth looking for that sweet spot. I hope this book helps many people find their dream job!

  • Wanda Brewer

    I am anxious to read as I went through a life changing experience because I finally faced my weaknesses. My strengths gave me the energy to keep pressing down what I tried to walk away from but only for a period of time. As soon as I let my guard down, those weaknesses made themselves very visible again. What I believed to be my weaknesses really were thoughts I inherited and not my own perception of my truth.

  • Wanda Brewer

    I am anxious to read as I went through a life changing experience because I finally faced my weaknesses. My strengths gave me the energy to keep pressing down what I tried to walk away from but only for a period of time. As soon as I let my guard down, those weaknesses made themselves very visible again. What I believed to be my weaknesses really were thoughts I inherited and not my own perception of my truth.

  • Clay

    Looks like a great book. When I saw the title, though, I first thought it was an update of the 1977 Revell book by the same name (The Truth About You). Even the basic concept is similar–tracing patterns in your life to identify your God-designed motivations. I'm just curious if there is any connection between the books, or if it is just the recycling of a great title with new content? The first one steered me through some of my middle years; sounds like this one could help me in my latter years…and help me help my kids as they leave the nest.

  • Clay

    Looks like a great book. When I saw the title, though, I first thought it was an update of the 1977 Revell book by the same name (The Truth About You). Even the basic concept is similar–tracing patterns in your life to identify your God-designed motivations. I’m just curious if there is any connection between the books, or if it is just the recycling of a great title with new content? The first one steered me through some of my middle years; sounds like this one could help me in my latter years…and help me help my kids as they leave the nest.

  • Jenifer Olson

    I am so impressed that Thomas Nelson is committed to building a strengths-based organization. Anyone who is fortunate enough to hear Marcus Buckingham's compelling message about the benefits of focusing on peoples' strengths comes away with an entirely new perspective on just what is meant by "human resources." I had the opportunity to attend one of his seminars in Orlando, Florida, a couple of years ago. For the first time ever, I felt I had been given permission to appreciate and grow my God-given talents, instead of trying to figure out, as Kermit the Frog says, "why I was born green." Marcus Buckingham rocked my world. I'm a better person and a better manager because of him – and that's the truth!

  • Jenifer Olson

    I am so impressed that Thomas Nelson is committed to building a strengths-based organization. Anyone who is fortunate enough to hear Marcus Buckingham’s compelling message about the benefits of focusing on peoples’ strengths comes away with an entirely new perspective on just what is meant by “human resources.” I had the opportunity to attend one of his seminars in Orlando, Florida, a couple of years ago. For the first time ever, I felt I had been given permission to appreciate and grow my God-given talents, instead of trying to figure out, as Kermit the Frog says, “why I was born green.” Marcus Buckingham rocked my world. I’m a better person and a better manager because of him – and that’s the truth!

  • http://www.angelfire.com/ok2/weakandfoolish Rob Sargeant

    Great question. I often am soaring after times of prayer, and definitely after creatively expressing myself through writing, video production, and drama. I love reading, my stories to an audience of kids. In these instances, if I’m having fun, they’re usually having fun.

  • http://www.angelfire.com/ok2/weakandfoolish Rob Sargeant

    Great question. I often am soaring after times of prayer, and definitely after creatively expressing myself through writing, video production, and drama. I love reading, my stories to an audience of kids. In these instances, if I’m having fun, they’re usually having fun.

  • http://www.angelfire.com/ok2/weakandfoolish Rob Sargeant

    Great question. I often am soaring after times of prayer, and definitely after creatively expressing myself through writing, video production, and drama. I love reading, my stories to an audience of kids. In these instances, if I’m having fun, they’re usually having fun.

  • http://www.xanga.com/africanemo85 Becca

    I'd love to read it!
    He's an excellent speaker, and taught me a lot about what a strength really is– those things that energize us, not that necessarily is a gift of ours.

  • http://www.xanga.com/africanemo85 Becca

    I’d love to read it!
    He’s an excellent speaker, and taught me a lot about what a strength really is– those things that energize us, not that necessarily is a gift of ours.

  • http://true-small-caps.blogspot.com/ Derek Scottisman

    The principle applies to writing, too. It’s a whole lot easier to write in a genre that comes naturally than to try to train yourself to write in some other genre.

  • http://true-small-caps.blogspot.com/ Derek Scottisman

    The principle applies to writing, too. It's a whole lot easier to write in a genre that comes naturally than to try to train yourself to write in some other genre.

  • http://true-small-caps.blogspot.com Derek Scottisman

    The principle applies to writing, too. It’s a whole lot easier to write in a genre that comes naturally than to try to train yourself to write in some other genre.

  • http://www.michaelhyatt.com/ Michael S. Hyatt

    @Clay: No, this book has nothing to do with the one you mentioned.

  • http://www.michaelhyatt.com/ Michael S. Hyatt

    @Clay: No, this book has nothing to do with the one you mentioned.

  • http://www.michaelhyatt.com Michael S. Hyatt

    @Clay: No, this book has nothing to do with the one you mentioned.

  • Mary

    Do you mind a quick question about your offer? I’m surprised that you don’t qualify it by requiring that a blog have a certain amount of traffic?

  • Mary

    Do you mind a quick question about your offer? I’m surprised that you don’t qualify it by requiring that a blog have a certain amount of traffic?

  • Mary

    Do you mind a quick question about your offer? I'm surprised that you don't qualify it by requiring that a blog have a certain amount of traffic?

  • Hoseah

    Sounds like a great book. I will most certainly read it.
    thank you

  • Hoseah

    Sounds like a great book. I will most certainly read it.
    thank you

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  • Rob Sorbo

    This book sounds really interesting. I’ll definitely take the time to check it out. I heard a video of him speaking one time and he is absolutely brilliant.

    Michael, I’m sure you have an intentional reason for not dating your posts, but I really wish you did (or at least hearing your reason for not dating your posts so I can understand your perspective). This is obviously an older post that I stumbled upon (and I’m glad I did, since Marcus Buckingham is absolutely brilliant) but I wish I knew how old. This would be especially relevant in some of your tech reviews–it wouldn’t help me to accidentally stumble on your review of the iPhone 2, but without a date it might be hard to know which iPhone you’re talking about.

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

      Rob,

      Michael does date his blog. It is at the bottom of the post, underneath the Share and Enjoy

      • Rob Sorbo

        Ah, I see it now. Thanks for pointing that out. I have looked at these posts from top to bottom so many times looking for that…I guess I just didn’t look all the way to the bottom! Yes, I’m that guy who acts on the first half of the e-mail without reading to the end…sigh :(