Strengths and Values

Reading The One Thing You Need to Know has sent me back to study anew the rest of the books in my Gallup collection, and I find I am getting immersed in them all over again.

It’s akin to taking something extremely precious to you, and wrapping it up in a gift box to leave under the Christmas tree because you want to be sure you honor it, and are not taking it for granted. When you open the box up on Christmas morning, slowly peeling back the wrapping paper in mounting anticipation, the discovery of what is inside is somehow even more spectacular and surprising — even though you had known what it was. For you see, you thought you knew everything about it, but you really didn’t. So now, when you peer into the box, it looks fresh, different, shimmering, shiny and new. It is delighting you all over again, but even more so than the first time. This time, you know what it’s truly worth to you.

I have told many people that reading First, Break All the Rules changed my management style forever: There were so many aha! moments for me within the covers of that book there was simply no going back. I was charged up, and totally convinced that as a manager — as just one, single manager — I could change what I knew of business and make my own lasting impression upon it for the benefit of all the people I managed. The suggestion of Strengths Management was naturally appealing to my very basic instincts: If you know of the StrengthsFinder, I’ll share with you that my own strengths were revealed to be Deliberative, Focus, Maximizer, Responsibility, and Achiever. Then and now, I was certain that I needed to deliberately focus on maximizing the strength of my people. It was my responsibility, and it would be my best possible achievement.

However, there was this missing piece that the Gallup series still didn’t seem to answer for me. That piece was my personal values connection; I would come to call it my search for Pono (balance and rightness). Instinctively I knew that a person’s values must be put into play in helping them create their destiny. I was certain that personal values could be the most powerful catalyst we could harness in building upon and fortifying our innate strengths. That missing piece became my own book, Managing with Aloha.

And now, reading The One Thing You Need to Know, I can feel this ground-swelling beneath my feet happening again. This latest Buckingham book hasn’t really revealed much that is new to me: its effect is more like having cold water poured on my head so that I won’t be lulled into sleep thinking I’m done. The book has reminded me of all the reasons I coach the way I do, why I love it so much, and why it is so important. It has reminded me why I named my coaching practice Say Leadership Coaching, and not Say Management Coaching. That decision is part of the SLC company story I’ll have to write up and share with all of you and with my new ‘Ohana in Business, because I now realize that it’s in my head, but it’s been missing from my SLC website, and perhaps more importantly, from Talking Story. It’s in Managing with Aloha, but probably not obvious enough for the reader who is meeting me for the first time. For now I must ask your patience, however I promise you it will be part of my visible reinvention.

In the past week, I have become a student of management versus leadership and strengths fortified by values all over again. These are subjects I will probably never tire of, and at this moment, I feel like my brain is just too small to contain what I need it to. I guess I am sharing all of this with you because I know this is another crucible of sorts for me: these feelings are familiar. I’ve had them before, and I know what they mean. Reinvention has become our theme at exactly the right time: isn’t wonderful when life turns out that way?

As much I want to share it with you, I’m resisting the urge to tell you what “the one thing you need to know” is revealed as in Marcus Buckingham’s book: I want you to read it for yourself. The book is rich with contextual explanation, and to just give you the punchline would be terribly unfair of me.

You see since I read my first Gallup book there’s been a big change: This is no longer about me and my search for Pono, it’s about yours. We’re in this together, Kākou.

The Gallup Collection that I refer to:
1992 Soar With Your Strengths, by Donald O. Clifton & Paula Nelson
1999 First, Break All the Rules, by Marcus Buckingham & Curt Coffman
2001 Now, Discover your Strengths, by Marcus Buckingham & Donald O. Clifton
2002 Follow This Path: How the World’s Greatest Organizations Drive Growth by Unleashing Human Potential, by Curt Coffman & Gabriel Gonzalez-Molina
2004 How Full is your Bucket? Positive Strategies for Work and Life, by Tom Rath & Donald O. Clifton
2005 The One Thing You Need to Know, by Marcus Buckingham

Related SLC post: Management versus Leadership

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  1. says

    More reading fodder

    There’s been a spate of book-related posting lately. I love it when that happens because I get to add more good stuff to my wishlist. First the big picture. This thread over at DavidCo runs through the pros and cons

  2. says

    I predict these things will happen in 2006 ”

    In 2005 Ho‘ohana Community member Troy Worman had collected some great keawe wood, i.e. idea kindling, for burning. He successfully transitioned the 100 Bloggers idea into a new blog, and as part of his ho‘omau, i.e. causing the good to