Work Your Strengths: A Scientific Process to Identify Your Skills and Match Them to the Best Career for YouHardback
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- Publisher: Amacom
- Format: Hardback | 256 pages
- Dimensions: 155mm x 231mm x 25mm | 567g
- Publication date: 2 June 2010
- Publication City/Country: New York
- ISBN 10: 0814414079
- ISBN 13: 9780814414071
- Illustrations note: Illustrations, port.
- Sales rank: 588,533
Ever feel like you're in the wrong job, maybe even the wrong career? You may be right. But before you make another move, consider this: your brain is hardwired with a unique combination of 12 different Executive Skills -the cognitive strengths that determine how well you will perform in a particular role. Your strongest and weakest Executive Skills can make the difference between big-time career success and years of disappointment and failure. "Work Your Strengths" helps you avoid 'trial-and-error' career moves by matching your strengths to the jobs that call on those skills specifically. Based on the authors' two-year study of more than 2000 top-performers at hundreds of organizations of all types, from Fortune 500 companies to nonprofits, the book reveals which strengths correlate with success in different jobs. Take a one-time, free online profile to determine your unique strengths and weaknesses and then use that information to identify your ideal career path. Not ready for a move yet? "Work Your Strengths" can also make a world of difference in the job you're in now. It can help you not only focus on the projects best suited for you but also recognize skills in others and assign tasks accordingly. So whether you're planning a jump to the career of your dreams or just wondering how to make your current job easier and more rewarding, "Work Your Strengths" gives you the science and the system to find your success.
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Chuck Martin is the Chairman and CEO of NFI Research, a top management research firm, and a highly soughtafter speaker. Richard Guare is a neuropsychologist and the Director of the Center for Learning and Attention Disorders. Peg Dawson is a psychologist at the Center for Learning and Attention Disorders. Together they are the authors of Smarts (9780814414071).
Back cover copy
Do you panic when your car won't start or blurt out the first thing that pops in your mind? Can you keep track of your possessions and remember your appointments? How good are you at coming up with long-term plans and then actually sticking to them? The answers are determined by your Executive Skills, a set of cognitive functions hard-wired in the adult brain that define who you are and how you operate. Figure out the strengths and weaknesses of your own skill set and you can figure out exactly what job you'll excel at. That's the promise of "Work Your Strengths," the most on-target, research-based career advice you'll ever find. Written by an award-winning author, together with experts in the field of neuroscience and psychology, "Work Your Strengths" draws on the latest discoveries about the brain and the authors' original data to help you accurately assess your Executive Skills, pinpoint your ideal job--and avoid potential trouble. You'll learn about working memory, emotional control, sustained attention, organizational skills, goal-directed persistence, flexibility, stress tolerance, and more--skills that can make or break your chances of success. Take a free online test to gauge your own skill set, then match your profile against the Executive Skills exhibited by more than two thousand high achievers in a multitude of industries and positions. Packed with the authors' eye-opening findings, this unique book gives you a wholly new, scientifically sound way to play to your strengths--and locate the job that best fits your own strongest set of Executive Skills.
No more haphazard job switching, hazy career path, or worse, landing a really great job that you're really bad at! Now there's a sure-fire, scientific way to pinpoint the best job for you--and those you should definitely avoid. "Work Your Strengths" taps into the powerful new concept of Executive Skills, which you can use to predict and maximize career success. With "Work Your Strengths," the ground-breaking neuroscience behind the Executive Skills model has finally been brought into the career realm. Executive Skills aren't simply your IQ or temperament or even education and training. Instead, they're a combination of brain functions that begin at birth and become hardwired in adulthood. Take the authors' free online test to discover your innate strengths and weaknesses in areas such as working memory, emotional control, sustained attention, organizational skills, goal-directed persistence, flexibility, stress tolerance, and more. By matching your own profile against the Executive Skills of high achievers in a multitude of professions and industries, you'll understand exactly which ones are crucial in which positions--and which weaknesses could spell serious trouble in specific jobs, departments, and industries. The authors dig deeper than the vague "good with numbers" or "likes working with people" assessments. And the focus is far more practical than career books that ask you to explore your inner desires. Instead, "Work Your Strengths" draws on original research with more than two thousand people at hundreds of organizations of all types, from Fortune 500s to nonprofits, and at all levels, from CEOs to frontline employees. This is solid, real-life data that you can use to match how your brain is wired with the wiring of people already successful in specific jobs. And the book makes its message plain, with an easy-to-read style devoid of scientific jargon and an abundance of examples of everyday behaviors that indicate high or low skills in each of the twelve areas. Whether you are seeking a new and better job for yourself, or a manager struggling to match the right employees with the right jobs, "Work Your Strengths" brings you a completely new, science-based way to build a highly successful career. Chuck Martin is the Chairman and CEO of NFI Research, a top management research firm, and a highly sought-after speaker. Richard Guare, Ph.D., is a neuropsychologist and the director of the Center for Learning and Attention Disorders. Peg Dawson, Ed.D., is a psychologist at the Center for Learning and Attention Disorders. Together, they are the authors of "Smarts: Are We Hardwired for Success?"
Table of contents
CONTENTS ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ... X I I I INTRODUCTION ... 1 Finding the Right Job ... 1 Playing to Strengths Leads to Goodness of Fit... 3 Matching Strengths of High-Performing Individuals ... 3 The Executive Skills ... 5 Frontal Lobes and Executive Skills... 7 The Spread Between Strengths andWeaknesses: The Differentiator ... 7 CHAPTER 1: DETERMINING YOUR OWN STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES ... AND FINDING THE STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES OF OTHERS ... 9 Skill 1: Response Inhibition ... 11 Skill 2:Working Memory... 12 Skill 3: Emotional Control ... 13 Skill 4: Sustained Attention ... 14 Skill 5: Task Initiation ... 14 Skill 6: Planning/Prioritization ... 15 Skill 7: Organization ... 15 Skill 8: Time Management ... 16 Skill 9: Goal-Directed Persistence ... 16 Skill 10: Flexibility ... 17 Skill 11: Metacognition... 17 Skill 12: Stress Tolerance ... 18 Finding Your Own Strengths andWeaknesses ... 18 Workload and Executive Skills ... 19 Voices from the Front Lines:Workload ... 21 Exceeding Your Cognitive Bandwidth ... 22 Knowing in Advance ... 24 CHAPTER 2: FINDING SUCCESS AND AVOIDING FAILURE: WHY YOUR STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES ARE THE WAY THEY ARE: THE SCIENCE BEHIND EXECUTIVE SKILLS ... 26 Executive Skills in Psychology ... 28 Executive Skills and the Brain ... 28 Executive Skills and Brain Development ... 30 CHAPTER 3: WHAT IS A HIGH PERFORMER AND HOW DO YOU BECOME ONE? SELECTING THE RIGHT PATH TO INCREASE THE CHANCE OF SUCCESS ... 35 Performance-Based: Consistency Is Key ... 36 Quantitative: Expectations and Results... 38 Qualitative: Some Subjectivity ... 39 Position in the Organization ... 40 Company First ... 42 Multidimensional ... 45 How Many Are High Performers? ... 47 Voices from the Front Lines: Number of High Performers ... 48 What Sets High Performers Apart ... 49 Voices from the Front Lines:What Sets Them Apart ... 50 CHAPTER 4: NAVIGATING YOUR ROAD TO HIGH PERFORMANCE: FINDING YOUR SKILLS COMBINATION TO DETERMINE WHAT INDUSTRY YOU SHOULD BE IN . . 52 Most Prevalent Executive Skills Strengths andWeaknesses ... 53 Some Skills Go Hand in Hand ... 55 Strengths vs. Commonly FoundWeaknesses ... 57 High-Performing Males vs. High-Performing Females ... 59 Executive Skills of High Performers by Age ... 61 Task Initiation: The CommonWeakness ... 61 The High-Performing Pair ... 63 Executive Skills of High Performers by Industry ... 65 Financial Services ... 67 Healthcare ... 68 Manufacturing ... 70 Technology ... 71 Education ... 72 Nonprofits ... 74 Finding the Match ... 75 CHAPTER 5: WHAT'S THE RIGHT DEPARTMENT FOR YOU? THE STRENGTHS OF HIGH PERFORMERS BY DEPARTMENT ... 77 Marketing/Advertising/Promotion: Always Getting Better ... 78 Sales: Not Falling Through the Cracks ... 80 Systems/IT: All About Road Maps ... 82 General Management: Goal-Oriented ... 83 Operations: Good on the Fly ... 84 Customer Service: Strategically Important ... 85 Administrative: Organized and Can Adapt ... 87 Finance: Modify on the Fly... 89 Accounting: Methodical Approach ... 90 Clinical: Organized and Starting Right Away... 91 Executive Skills in a Department: Clinical High Performers ... 93 Right-Seating People the First Time ... 96 CHAPTER 6: DO YOU HAVE WHAT IT TAKES TO BE IN THE CORNER SUITE? SKILLS BROKEN DOWN BY TITLE ... 98 ' Are You in the Right Job?... 98 The Brains in the Corner Office... 100 The Brains Down the Hall ... 102 The Self-Correcting Directors ... 104 The Managers with a Plan... 105 The Organized Employees ... 106 CHAPTER 7: HOW YOUR STRENGTHS MATCH THOSE OF OTHERS AT WORK: WAYS TO MATCH BEHAVIORS TO EXECUTIVE SKILLS IN YOUR BUSINESS ... 108 Shared Strengths in One Organization ... 111 Shared Strengths in Two Nonprofits ... 113 Mapping Characteristics to Executive Skills ... 115 Avoiding Potential Conflicts ... 117 Focus on Executive Skills Strengths ... 118 Voices from the Front Lines: Strengths andWeaknesses... 119 Healthcare: Clinical vs. Nonclinical ... 120 High Performers in Sales-Buyer Interactions ... 122 Observable Behaviors ... 123 Strong Flexibility: Typical Behaviors ... 123 Weak Flexibility: Typical Behaviors ... 124 Strong Response Inhibition: Typical Behaviors ... 126 Weak Response Inhibition: Typical Behaviors ... 127 CHAPTER 8: AVOIDING THE WRONG PROMOTION: SORTING THE STRENGTHS OF EMPLOYEES VS. MANAGERS VS. EXECUTIVES ... 129 Voices from the Front Lines: High and Low Performers ... 131 The Failed Sales Promotion ... 132 Voices from the Front Lines: Promoting Salespeople to Management... 134 Sales Employees vs. Sales Management ... 135 Working in a Comfort Zone ... 139 Voices from the Front Lines: Job Satisfaction ... 140 IT Executives Can Shield the Heat ... 141 Operations: Order and Organization ... 143 Administrative: Organization Is Key ... 145 Customer Service: Recalling Past Solutions ... 146 Can Performance Be Predicted? ... 148 CHAPTER 9: DETERMINE YOUR FIT-THE HIGH-PERFORMANCE EXECUTIVE SKILLS MAP: WHERE DO HIGH PERFORMERS WITH YOUR STRENGTHS WORK? ... 150 Response Inhibition ... 152 Working Memory ... 152 Emotional Control ... 153 Sustained Attention ... 154 Task Initiation ... 154 Planning/Prioritization ... 155 Organization ... 155 Time Management ... 156 Goal-Directed Persistence ... 157 Flexibility ... 157 Metacognition ... 158 Stress Tolerance ... 159 The High-Performance Executive Skills Map ... 160 Industries by Executive Skills Strengths ... 160 Departments by Executive Skills Strengths ... 164 Job Functions/Titles by Executive Skills Strengths ... 168 CONCLUSION ... 173 APPENDIX A: HOW THE TWO-YEAR STUDY WAS CONDUCTED: HIGH PERFORMERS AND THE EXECUTIVE SKILLS PROFILE ... 179 Determining High Performance ... 181 Using the Executive Skills Profile ... 181 Selecting Subjects ... 183 Selecting Industry Types and Departments ... 184 Job Functions and Titles ... 185 High Performers by Age and Gender ... 186 High Performers by Company Size ... 187 The Questionnaire ... 187 Organizations in the Study ... 189 The Study Continues ... 196 APPENDIX B: THE HIGH-PERFORMANCE EXECUTIVE SKILLS TABLES ... 197 Top Six Industries ... 198 Executive Skills by Department: Top 10 Departments... 200 Job Function/Title... 203 Employees vs.Managers vs. Executives ... 206 Males vs. Females ... 212 Profit vs. Nonprofit ... 212 Profit vs. Nonprofit (Excluding CEOs) ... 213 Healthcare: Clinical vs. Nonclinical ... 214 APPENDIX C: ABOUT NFI RESEARCH... 217 NOTES ... 219 INDEX ... 225