Author | Freelance Writer | Entrepreneur | Speaker and Workshop Leader

Does Buckingham’s StandOut Stand Out?

StandOut: The Groundbreaking New Strengths Assessment is the latest in a series of Strength Assessments with a focus is on finding your edge at work. At the heart of the book is the assessment test itself which will let the reader know which of nine Strength Roles the reader is strongest at, with a particular emphasis on the top two Strengths Roles. In fact, most of the book is taken up with chapters devoted to describing in detail each of the nine Strength Roles in terms of the following categories:

You, at Your Most Powerful
How to Describe Yourself
How to Make an Immediate Impact
How to Take Your Performance to the Next Level
What to Watch Out For
How to Win as a Leader/ Manager/ in Sales/ in Client Service

The book is based on extensive research, statistical testing, and analysis of the world’s top performers. It also includes a unique access key to the the brand new “StandOut Strengths Assessment,” an online test that you can take in 20–25 minutes.

Your top two roles are where you will make your greatest contribution. In other words, where you have a natural advantage over everyone else, and where you can exert the most productive leverage. I particularly liked the way Buckingham develops a cross-pollination of types from the main nine profiles. For instance, I came out as a Creator and Influencer, the two of which profiled me more specifically as a Producer. I kind of like the sound of that, and hadn’t realized that being a producer has been something I’ve been involved in for a long time.

But StandOut has its limitations. Unlike earlier Gallup poll Strength Finder studies, or other broad application strength-based tests, this one applies specifically to work, and only to certain kinds of work, especially business. There is value in Standout for many readers in business fields. But even Markus Buckingham’s other Strengths works such as Now, Discover Your Strengths and Go Put Your Strengths to Work: 6 Powerful Steps to Achieve Outstanding Performance are more valuable holistically and I recommend them first.

A beginning clip on the concept behind strengths assessments:

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