Thursday, October 05, 2006

Session Two - Marcus Buckingham

First off, this session started off with a tribute to England (since Buckingham is a Brit)...anyway, there was a great medley of Beatles songs, horses, knights, and one of the emcees dressed as a palace guard (you really MUST come to Catalyst for all of this to make any sense!) Anyway, I wasn't particularly excited about this session, as I've heard Buckingham several times in the last few years. And while he was saying a lot of the same things (focus on your strengths), there were two things that stood out.
  1. He is a man on a mission -- Buckingham got a little personal and talked about how he's been talking about this idea of focusing on strengths for several years, and yet his studies show that most manager still think that you get farthest by focusing on weaknesses. So, he said he was dedicating his life to this message. When I've seen Buckingham in the past, it's been statistical...this time it was passionate. (Interesting note: he worked with the NOOMA people to create some videos, expressing some of his key insights...check it out here.)
  2. Great quote: "If you study "bad" and invert it, you don't get "good," you get "not bad."
This session was the topic of conversation at dinner. I think the bi challenge for young leaders is that if it's true that most organization focus on weaknesses, then we need to go out of our way to discover and cultivate our strengths.

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