Join getAbstract to access the summary!


Join getAbstract to access the summary!


Find Your Edge. Win at Work.

Thomas Nelson,

15 min read
10 take-aways
Text available

What's inside?

Identify your strengths, and learn to use them to be exceptional in business and in life.

Editorial Rating



  • Innovative


The good news is that management consultant Marcus Buckingham, a perennial best-selling author, offers a very useful pep talk about putting your best foot forward. He urges readers to identify and maximize their strengths to move ahead in their careers. His profiles of various roles exemplifying personal strength provide great information that you can use to make a more meaningful impact at work and to live more fully. Alas, the bad news – or at least the commercial news – is that the author says you need help identifying your strengths, and for that, you need to buy the book to get the one-time code for taking a “strengths profiles” quiz on his website. Once you learn your category with this assessment, you can use more of the book’s information. Welcome to the innovative world of interactive media. Of course, you can try to figure out your strong points yourself, but Buckingham cautions, “It is hard to see your own uniqueness. Your strengths are a part of you whether you’re conscious of them or not. And because they’re so woven into the fabric of who you are, they can actually be quite difficult to pinpoint.” With or without the code, getAbstract believes you’ll find real value in this common sense text if you accept that the strengths you think you have may not match those the author would cite.


“How to Accelerate Innovation”

Early X-ray machines were hard to use because patients didn’t stand still long enough for doctors to take quality pictures. The Mayo Clinic’s Dr. Henry Plummer solved the problem by asking his patients to hold their breath. This directive, which any medical staffer can issue, immediately makes patients freeze in place. This innovative request made X-rays a valuable diagnostic tool.

Ralph Gonzales’s whistle transformed his low-ranking Best Buy store into a top location. He had employees blow whistles when they spotted a co-worker doing something correctly. Soon, to the customers’ delight, whistle sounds were everywhere. Unlike Dr. Plummer’s simple directive, “Please hold your breath,” the whistle idea didn’t work in other Best Buys. Less-innovative managers added cumbersome rules and regulations mandating when to whistle, when not to whistle, and so on. One person’s innovative idea may not work for someone else. Picture how presidential George W. Bush looked as he stepped onto the aircraft carrier wearing a flight suit. Contrast that with Michael Dukakis [former Massachusetts governor and the 1988 Democratic candidate for president] riding...

About the Author

Marcus Buckingham developed the unique strengths approach. He followed his initial bestseller, First, Break All the Rules, with several other best-selling books. He consults for international companies.

Comment on this summary

  • Avatar
  • Avatar
    H. S. 1 decade ago
    Another book from the author that is too general just as an astrologer will write a weekly horoscope! Skip the book, summary is more than enough.