Book Review: Find Your Strongest Life by Marcus Buckingham

Marcus Buckingham I’ll admit it. I’ve totally drunk the kool-aid when it comes to the Strengths-based Leadership movement. I’ve bought Now, Discover Your Strengths, GO Put Your Strengths to Work, StrengthsFinder 2.0 and Strengths-Based Leadership. As a self-described Assessment Junkie, I love the instant gratification of taking the online assessments with each book and not only do I scratch my head at how accurate they can be, I’ve found new and helpful ways to apply the information from each book and assessment to my work and personal life. So it was a given that I’d be interested in checking out the latest book from Marcus Buckingham – Find Your Strongest Life: What the Happiest and Most Successful Women Do Differently. Another assessment? Count me in. A book directly to a woman-only audience? Call me dubious…

Before starting the book, I wondered why it would be directed only at women. Can’t we all benefit from finding our Strongest Life? Using his background as a Researcher, Buckingham uses data to quickly bring into focus why primarily women can benefit from the principals discussed within.

“All told, more than 1.3 million men and women have been surveyed over the last thirty years, both here in the U.S. and in developed countries around the world. Wherever researchers have been able to collect reliable data on happiness, the finding is always the same: greater educational, political, and employment opportunities have corresponded to decreases in life happiness for women, as compared to men.”

Wow. Bummer. Thankfully, the book does a nice job of providing some guidance and a framework for women to beat the odds and ensure that the work-life choices they’re presented with and the success achieved (or lack thereof) won’t send them down a negative trend line. Some key takeaways for me included the discussion around the 4 Emotions of a Strong Life, as well as identifying and saying “Yes” to “strong-moments” in your life versus thinking we need to say “No” more often. Buckingham encourages striving for imbalance in your life (focusing more on areas where you’re at your best) versus seeking balance – everything at a standstill – which is impractical.

Of course, I love the Strong Life Test for Women that’s explained further in the book (embedded below for you to take – and it won’t kick you out if you’re a Dude). The Strong Life Test is described as different from the previous Strengths Finder Tests – revealing your Lead Role (and Supporting Role) – which is your “soul’s code” versus pulling out your top talents or strengths. I found the information shared pertaining to my personal Lead Role (Influencer) helpful and I’ll be seeking out more of the types of opportunities outlined in the book where I can make the most of my role in the future.

I also plan to follow the instructions to capture some of my Strong Moments over the next couple of weeks and will see where that takes me. I really enjoyed the book and think the examples shared, as well as the tools presented will be helpful to me as I continue to pursue living my Strongest Life.

My Recommendation: Read it!

Disclosure: I recently signed up to become a Thomas Nelson Book Review Blogger – in part because I admire and learn from Thomas Nelson’s CEO Michael Hyatt and also because I want to re-develop a habit of reading good books. So periodically, you’ll find a book review here at Cincy Recruiter’s World and I’ll add this Disclosure to each book reviewed as a part of that program. It’s important to note that while I’m provided books through the program at no cost, they’ll be books that I’ve chosen to receive based upon my interests and although the program has guidelines as far as posting dates and format, I’m not required to write a positive review – only to share my objective opinions.

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Jennifer McClure is a Keynote Speaker, Talent Strategies Expert and Executive Coach who works with clients and companies in the areas of leadership development, communication and talent strategy. Jennifer McClure offers keynotes, workshops and training that inspire and empower business leaders to be more effective in their careers and as leaders of their organization’s most valuable resource – people.

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3 thoughts on “Book Review: Find Your Strongest Life by Marcus Buckingham

  1. I am also an assessment junkie – I was a creator and equalizer. Creator is spot on! Interesting there there is a negative correlation between “success” and women. Maybe there is a glass ceiling because women don’t want the consequences come with that level of success. I sure don’t.

  2. @Bonita – Having known you personally for some time now, I can definitely see you in the roles of Creator & Equalizer. That’s what’s so cool about these types of Assessment tests. Each one adds a little bit more understanding about who we are and I think the book does a nice job of outlining some ways we can focus in those areas. As for the women being less satisfied than men, it’s really not so much about success (or lack thereof), but more about the roles that women are expected to play and the pressures that all of the choices surrounding those additional roles create if not managed well. There’s definitely hope for us! We just need to focus more on spending time in areas where we’re at our best – and not in areas where we aren’t or that bring us down.

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