My first experience with Marcus Buckingham's work ('Now Discover Your Strengths' and 'First Break All the Rules') came as I was an employee with Best Buy. I had the unique opportunity to hear him present, work with a strengths coach, and develop an deeper understanding of my strengths as an individual. Most people don't get an opportunity through their organizations to really enable that self-discovery so I could make more of an impact for my team and organization, however it didn't provide for me insights as to how those strengths looked to those who I collaborated with on a day-to-day basis my personal, professional and volunteer life. Nor did it give my managers the information necessary on how to best utilize my strengths.
While having worked with Strengths for over 10 years now, StandOut is the first assessment which truly enables communication between manager and employee, within teams, within my volunteer organizations and also shows up in my interactions with family and friends. This assessment and book enables me not only to learn more about my strengths, but how those strengths look to other people. If I truly want to make an impact on those around me it is important I know how my strengths look to those around me. This information gives me a foundation to build on my communications with the people I work with as to why some activities truly energize me. It gives me, personally, the groundwork to understand how others communicate and approach work differently than myself and to recognize the strengths they bring to the table quicker.
For example, I am currently leveraging this assessment with a client whom I am the project / change management lead on. The project focus is on implementing a financial planning and reporting technology and as you implement technology, jobs change and time free's up. Through this implementation, we have discovered how to leverage various employee's strengths in the research, selection, development, and training of this financial planning technology. We have managers and CFO's engaging in different conversations with direct reports, so as time free's up due to less time forecasting and reporting, they are delegating project work to individuals in a different way. As the CFO I am working with and coaching on StandOut said to me recently 'I don't want to move people just to move them, I want to ensure they will be engaged and that we give them the right work'.
The StandOut assessment has provided them quick insights that are relevant, timely and tangible. It has opened doors for better communications and collaboration, and is assisting to lay the foundation for a new culture in this finance department. While the book focuses on providing a deeper dive into all of the 9 roles, this has given me personally, as well as the management team the insights as a to better understand and engage the individuals on the team.
If you haven't purchased StandOut yet, or taken this assessment, you should. Better yet, give it to a spouse, a friend, a mentor, a colleague, your networking group and go out for a fun dinner at your favorite restaurant and see where the conversation guides you. You just might be surprised!