Category Archives: Marcus Buckingham et al

Talent by Marcus B et al


Talent is any recurring pattern of thought, feeling, or behaviour that can be productively applied.

David Boies is a dyslexic. He was US govt. lawyer in the antitrust suit against Microsoft. He was the one who wore down Bill Gates with his persistently polite questioning during the pretrial deposition and won over the judge with his clear exposition of the govt.’s case. His dyslexia causes him to shy away from long, complicated words. He knows what these words mean but does not use them in his arguments because of the fear of mispronunciation. Happily this need to rely on simple words  makes his arguments very easy to follow. He comes across as a commonsensical man of the people.

For David, dyslexia is a talent because he has figured out a way to apply this recurring pattern productively and by combining it with knowledge and skills, to turn it into a strength.

Other talents can be








From- Now, discover your strengths



Activator by Marcus B. et al


When can we start? This is a recurring question in your life. You are impatient for action. Once a decision is made you cannot not act. Others may worry that there are still some things we don’t know, but this does not seem to slow you. Guided by your activator theme, you believe that action is the best device for learning. You make a decision, you take action, you look at the result, and you learn. How can you grow if you have nothing to react to? You know you will be judged not by what you say, not by what you think, but by what you get done. This does not frighten you. It pleases you.

How to manage an activator

-Ask this person what new goals and improvements should be achieved by your division. Select an area that fits and give her the responsibility for initiating and organizing the project.

-Let her know that you know she is a person who can make things happen and that you will be asking her for help at key times. Your expectations will energize her.

-Assign her to a team that is bogged down and talks more than it performs. She will stir them into action.

-When this person complains, listen carefully-you may learn something. But then get her on your side by talking about new initiatives that she can lead etc. DO this quickly because unchecked she can quickly stir up negativity when she gets offtrack.

-To prevent her from running into too many obstacles, partner her with people strong in strategic or analytical talent. They can help her look around the corner. However you may have to intercede for her in these partnerships so that her instinct to act is not stymied by their desire to project and analyze.

From Book- Now, discover your strengths

Intellection by Marcus B. et al


Okay guys, here’s the 3rd strength possible in Marcus B. series

If you have this strength, you like to think. You like mental activity. You like exercising the muscles of your brain, stretching them in multiple directions. This need for mental activity, may be focussed, e.g., you may be trying to solve a problem or develop an idea or understand another person’s feelings. The exact focus will depend on your other strengths. On the other hand, this mental activity may very well lack focus.  The theme of intellection does not dictate what you are thinking about, it simply describes that you like to think. You are the kind of person who enjoys your time alone because it is your time for musing and reflection. You are introspective. In a sense you are your own best companion, as you pose yourself questions and try out answers on yourself to see how they sound. This introspection may lead you to a slight sense of discontent as you compare what you are actually doing with all the thoughts and ideas that your mind conceives. Or this introspection may tend toward more pragmatic matters such as the events of the day or a conversation that you plan to have later. Wherever it leads you, this mental hum is one of the constants of your life.

From- Now, discover your strengths Book.


Relator by Marcus B. et al


Another of the strengths one individual can have.


Relator decribes your attitude toward your relationships. In simple terms, the relator theme pulls you toward people you already know. You do not necessarily shy away from meeting new people-in fact, you may have other themes that cause you to enjoy the thrill of turning strangers into friends- but you do derive a great deal of pleasure and strength from being around your close friends. You are comfortable with intimacy. Once the initial connection has been made, you deliberately encourage a deepening of the relationship. You want to understand their feelings, their goals, their fears, and their dreams, and you want them to understand yours. You know that this kind of closeness implies a certain amount of risk-you might be taken advantage of- but you are willing to accept that risk. For you a relationship has value only if it is genuine. And the only way to know that is to entrust yourself to the other person. The more you share with each other, the more you risk together. The more you risk together, the more each of you proves your caring is genuine. These are your steps toward real relationship, and you take them willingly.

Standout behaviour by Marcus Buckingham


A few years ago, while conducting a study of top-performing managers for the electronics retailer Best Buy, I interviewed Ralph. He was a star, having transformed one of Best Buy’s lowest-performing stores into a repeat award winner. On virtually every metric, from revenues to profitability to employee engagement, he had taken his team from the bottom 10% to the leading 10%. What had he done, I asked, to effect such dramatic change?

Ralph said that he had played on his likeness to the young Fidel Castro. He had called his store “La Revolución,” posted a “Declaración de Revolución” in the break room, and made supervisors wear army fatigues. As I was scribbling all this down, he told me about the whistle.

Because his team was at the bottom of every district performance table, he wanted to give people a way to celebrate the fact that good behaviors were actually happening in the store, and to make them aware that they were happening all the time. So he issued a whistle to all employees and told them to blow it whenever they saw someone do something good. It didn’t matter if the person they observed was their superior or worked in another department; if they saw anyone go above and beyond, they were to blow the whistle.

“Didn’t it make the store incredibly loud?” I asked.

“Sure,” he replied, with a wide Castro grin. “But it energized the place. It energized me. Heck, it even energized the customers. They loved it.”

I was so taken with this innovation that I included it in a book I was coauthoring, Now, Discover Your Strengths(Free Press, 2001). But I didn’t include what happened next.

Scale Concepts, Not Techniques

Clearly, Ralph Gonzalez is one of a kind. Not everyone leads like him, or could. However, the typical leadership development paradigm would not make that assumption. It would try to incorporate Ralph’s standout behavior into a competency model and spread it throughout the leadership ranks.

Sure enough, the whistle technique started down that path. Having been shared at a number of company gatherings, Ralph’s story began to take on a life of its own. All of a sudden it was cropping up in districts and regions around the country. “Whistles for everyone!” There was talk of a whistle hierarchy: green whistles for store managers, white ones for supervisors, regular silver ones for frontline blue-shirts. There was talk of checklists: the 12 conditions when whistles may be blown, and the 20 conditions when they must never be.

What had begun as a vibrant expression of a particular leader’s personality was fast mutating into a standard operating procedure. Fortunately, some wise Best Buy executives, realizing that the technique was almost entirely dependent on the presence of Ralph himself, killed the mutation before it could spread.



Gallup Q 12- measuring motivation


The Gallup Q12
(From the Gallup Management Journal, “Feedback for Real”
Author: John Thackray)
The Gallup Q12 is a survey designed to measure employee engagement.
The instrument was the result of hundreds of focus groups and interviews.
Researchers found that there were 12 key expectations, that when satisfied, form
the foundation of strong feelings of engagement. So far 87,000 work units and
1.5 million employees have participated in the Q12 instrument.
Comparisons of engagement scores reveal that those with high Q12 scores
exhibit lower turnover, higher sales growth, better productivity, better customer
loyalty and other manifestations of superior performance.
The Gallup organization also uses the Q12 as a semi-annual employee
engagement Index – a random sampling of employee across the country.
The engagement index slots people into one of three categories.
• Engaged employees work with passion and feel a profound connection to
their company. They drive innovation and move the organization forward.
• Not-Engaged employees are essentially “checked out.” They are
sleepwalking through their workday. They are putting in time, but not
enough energy or passion into their work.
• Actively Disengaged employees aren’t just unhappy at work; they’re
busy acting out their unhappiness. Every day, these workers undermine
what their engaged co-workers accomplish.
The results of the latest engagement index:
Engaged employees – 28 %
Not-engaged employees – 54%
Actively Disengaged – 17%
In other words, 71% of the workforce is either under performing or actively
undermining their work. 2
The Q12 Index
1) Do you know what is expected of you at work?
2) Do you have the materials and equipment to do your work
3) At work, do you have the opportunity to do what you do best
every day?
4) In the last seven days, have you received recognition or praise
for doing good work?
5) Does your supervisor, or someone at work, seem to care about
you as a person?
6) Is there someone at work who encourages your development?
7) At work, do your opinions seem to count?
8) Does the mission/purpose of your company make you feel your
job is important?
9) Are your associates (fellow employees) committed to doing
quality work?
10) Do you have a best friend at work?
11) In the last six months, has someone at work talked to you
about your progress?
12) In the last year, have you had opportunities to learn and grow?


Deliberative person by Buckingham


Marcus Buckingham et al in the book ‘Now, discover your strengths’ list and explain 34 different strengths that are possible.

While reading, one strength I found I seem to have is DELIBERATIVE. The book describes person with this strength as

You are careful. You are vigilant. You are a private person. You know that the world is an unpredictable place. Everything may seem in order, but beneath the surface you sense the many risks. Rather than denying these risks, you draw each one out into the open. Then each risk can be identified, assessed, and ultimately reduced. Thus you are fairly serious person who approaches life with a certain reserve. E.g. you like to plan ahead so as to anticipate what might be wrong. You select your friends cautiously and keep your own counsel when the conversation turns to personal matters. You are careful not to give too much praise and recognition, let it be misconstrued. If some people don’t like you because you are not as effusive as others, then so be it. For you, life is not a popularity contest. Life is something of a minefield. Others can run through it recklessly if they so choose, but you take a different approach. You identify the dangers, weigh their relative impact, and then place your feet deliberately. You walk with care.