Strengths, Project, Principles

Combinations and my project

Last week a comment by Jason Alba on my post "Combining, I love it" triggered this new post. Recently I've been reading two books at the same time - and that's part 1 of the combination bit of the title. One book I've finished now, the other I'm still 'working' on.

In April Kent Blumberg wrote a review on Go put your strengths to work by Marcus Buckingham. I'd read two other publications by the Gallup Organisation already ("First, break all the rules" and "Now, discover your strengths" - the last one resulted in starting the Stop/Start blog) and since I recently released myself of my very strict new business book diet I'd ordered this book (and two others) beginning this month. And I'm glad I did. And I'm glad I'd ordered that combination of books (although, the third is still in its wrapping).
The other book had been recommended by Jason: "Brag! The Art of Tooting your own Horn without Blowing it" by Peggy Klaus (and I'm still 'working' on that one, using the JibberJobber career tool to 'assist' me with it).

And to be honest, what's the chance of finding these two books together? One is about your strengths - talents, the activities - as employee - you love doing and you are good at; the other is about personal branding.

The one enhances the other, the other gives more and better meaning to the one - that's my opinion anyway after reading them both at the same time. In his review on the book Kent suggest 4 steps you can take to test the power of a strengths-based mindset for your life, I want to add another in-between step to his list: when you reach the week 2 assignment, start reading the Brag! book. (I did, by 'accident')

In order to 'properly' brag - read Peggy's book, it is filled with why, how and when tips - you need to know your strengths, so you can effectively brag about those activities you want to do more of, not?
And vice-versa: in order to 'put your strengths to work for you' - read Marcus' book, it's a 6 week plan to find, clarify and confirm those 'gut' activities playing to your strengths - you need to know how to 'toot your own horn without blowing it' in order to convince not only your team-workers and manager but also yourself which activities/tasks/jobs you really should be spending most of your time on.

Ultimately it also brings me back (again) to my first and most important foundation block of any business: "Good to Great" by Jim Collins and Co, specially the Hedge-hog concept: keep doing what you do best.
Because if you don't know as company what your strengths are (hedge-hog concept), and if you don't know how to play to those strengths constantly how on earth can you make clear (brag!) to your customers/clients/patrons/buyers what makes it worth buying from you, staying with you, even tooting your horn as ambassadors?

Bragging (branding) about yourself, your personal strengths or about your company, your company's strengths starts with finding, discovering these strengths - talents, putting them to work in everything you do and making sure those strengths are what is best known about you.

What has all this got to do with the project I landed at the end of last week? Everything ;-)
Read more about that in my next post (otherwise this combination post is turning in a whole rambling epistle)


Kent Blumberg

Oh great, another good book to buy and read! Really nice job on this post - it leaves me hungry for Klaus' book. Well done.

JibberJobber Guy

I agree, this is an excellent post, I'm going to look into those other book recommendations!

Jason Alba
:: self-serve career management ::

Karin H.

Hi Kent

:-) Think we should somehow try to organise an International library so we lend out books to each other ;-)

When you read Peggy's, make sure your JibberJobber career tool set is on your pc screen - makes life so much easier.

Karin H.

Karin H.

Hi Jason

Thanks for recommending the Peggy Klaus book to me! You triggered the chance combination-find really.

Karin H

Dan Schawbel

These are good points. Personal Branding is all about discovering who you are, what your good at and strategizing on how to communicate that message to your audience effectively.

Steve Roesler


You stuck to your KISS principle quite well here...those two books are, indeed, closely related and offer a simple 1,2, combination to get people focused.

Thanks for going off the book diet!

Karin H.

Hi Dan

Glad you agree this time ;-) And thanks for coming back to this blog to see what I'd made of the further review of the Brag! book - it is personal branding made practical.

Hi Steve

Don't tell my partner you're glad I left my diet, he still thinks I know enough already ;-)
Thanks for your kind words, love reading, combining and writing about it in my 'simple' double Dutch English style

Karin H.

Stuart Baker

Karin, you are going to add to my stack of reading.

Much wisdom in this post. "Good to Great" was a hallmark book for me, too. Such a down-home, humble book.

Here is another one that was a gift through a workshop I was just at: "Speaking of Success". It is a series of interviews with dynamic coaches, leaders and "experts", published by Insight Publishing in the US. Three men are featured on the cover, including Stephen Covey of "The 7 Habits..." fame. The guy in the middle is Jay Wallus, who was 5 feet in front of me speaking at this very small workshop I was at. He is a complete gas, off the charts with enthusiasm and humor. Big rule breaker. He kept repeating, "Who's making these rules, anyway?"

I have not read the whole thing, but I have found some real good wisdom so far.


Stuart Baker

Karin H.

Hi Stuart

And you are adding to my book list! Thanks for the tip and I agree with Jay Wallus: if the 'rule' hinders your (our your business) development, break it and make your own (decent) rules.

Take care

Karin H.

Jay Wallus publicity person emailed me and said that there was a post out there - thanks for the kind words and the mention of Speaking of Success. I hope you're out there breaking rules and always remember..the less you conform - the more money you'll make!Remember for $6.00 a cup! I love it... Best wishes..

- Jay Wallus

Karin H.

Hi Jay

I'll pass on the compliments to Stuart for you. I'm sure he's breaking rules, because he's a wise and clever guy.

Karin H.

Stuart Baker

To Jay through Karin,

Nice to see you, Jay.

I keep spreading around "Who's making these rules, anyway?"

Recently I was at two great weeks of powerful programs under Harvard Law School. I repeated "Who's making these rules, anyway?" to a very nice lawyer from California. That question became his mantra, and I think, one of his personal peaks for the workshops.

Thank you, my friend.

And thanks, Karin.

Stuart Baker

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