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Marcus Buckingham author “Now discover your strengths” came to town this week.. and it was great to hear from the source. If you are a regular reader you will know that we use strengths tool at RedBalloon.

Here is some of what I got from the session:

“All cultures are local – no matter how large or small the organisation in how many locations, this is because culture is a result of individual management styles.”

“People quit bosses.”

“Being a manager is all these things (in no particular order): wisdom, vision, honesty, challenging, caring, trusting, creative, a barometer, motivating, encouraging, determined, inspirational, loyal, belief, values-driven, proud, accountable, reliable, ROI focussed, experienced, enthusiastic, and truthful. So it is pretty hard to be a perfect manager – yet there are great managers who are only some of these things… and people resign their bosses.” It is nearly impossible to be all things all the time. There is one question above all else that drives engagement and culture.

“At work do you have the opportunity to do what you do best every day?”
Then the next most important questions are:
“Do I know what is expected of me at work?”
“Do the people at work have shared values?”

So what percentage of the day do you spend using your strengths (doing what you are good at)?

Hence rather than “People are our greatest asset”… “Our people’s strengths are our greatest asset.” After all, people can be actively disengaged with their organisation which means they are deliberately working against what their colleagues achieve.

Here’s the kick, apparently only 8% of Australians spend the majority (75%) of the day playing to their strengths. No wonder we are the second least engaged workforce on the planet (after the French).

At the end of the event, I called on my strengths, woo, input, positivity, connection and self-assurance to meet Marcus. I introduced him to our recent appointment Employee Experience Manager. I understand he will be back in Australia, and given that ’employees are the new customers’ it is well worth seeing him in person.

Reader Interactions


  1. Well put… Although not effected (well i do?t think so) I am watching an internal situation unfold in front of me where a manager has been appointed out of the ranks 6mths ago and out of our small division of 6, two are leaving due the this persons new†authorit?. Big big pity as talent in my industry is scarce and these two are good. The result is the newly appointed manager has be demoted and theres plenty embarrassed people. Notable comment made -†Our peopl?s strengths are our greatest asset?

    Nice article. Cheers

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