Posted on Feb 9, 2019

StandOut Summary

PDF, Chapters & Review of Marcus Buckingham’s Book

StandOut: The Groundbreaking New Strengths Assessment from the Leader of the Strengths Revolution

Author: Marcus Buckingham

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The New StandOut Strengths Assessment

This assessment measures you across 9 archetypal Strengths Roles, and determines your top two.  These are the roles which reflect your natural strengths, and if pursued, will give you a natural advantage in your career.

Each Role contains the following advice:

  • Phrases to describe your edge
  • How to make an immediate impact
  • How to take your performance to the next level
  • What to watch out for

The book also contains more specific advice based on your combination of top two roles:

  • Which careers fit your strengths combination
  • How you can win as a leader
  • How you can win as a manager
  • How you can win in sales
  • How you can win in client service

The 9 StandOut Strengths Roles are:

  1. Advisor
    You are a practical, concrete thinkier who is at your most powerful when reacting to and solving other people’s problems
  2. Connector
    You are a catalyst. Your power lies in your craving to bring two people or ideas together to make something bigger and better than it is now.
  3. Creator
    You make sense of the world–pulling it apart, seeing a better configuration, and creating it.
  4. Equalizer
    You are a levelheaded person whose power comes from keeping the world in balance, ethically and practically.
  5. Influencer
    You engage people directly and persuade them to act.  Your power is your persuasion.
  6. Pioneer
    You see the world as a friendly place where around every corner good things will happen.  Your power comes from your optimism in the face of uncertainty.
  7. Provider
    You sense other people’s feelings, and you feel compelled to recognize those feelings, give them a voice, and act on them.
  8. Stimulator
    You are the host of other people’s emotions.  You feel responsible for them, for turning them around, for elevating them.
  9. Teacher
    You are thrilled by the potential you see in each person.  Your power comes from learning how to unleash it.


The way the strengths assessment works is that you are presented with a slightly stressful stimulation and a set of choices.  You then have 45 seconds to make your choice.  The time limit helps ensure that your answers reflect your instincts, and the choices are filled with trigger words that appeal to specific strengths roles.  The result is complete strengths profile that doesn’t depend on self-assessment, and isn’t vulnerable to being gamed.

For me at least, the results were not what I predicted, yet in retrospect, they seemed obvious–a great sign of useful new insight.

The Three Strengths Principles

  1. Your genius is precise.
    The abilities you have within your natural area of strength do not translate to other areas; you have to stay focused.  Example: Michael Jordan’s foray into baseball.  Example: Malcolm Gladwell is a great essayist, but all his books are simply a collection of essay-length pieces.
  2. You can’t respect what you don’t remember
    It’s easy to forget your strengths.  That’s why StandOut focuses on just two strengths per person.  Remember your two strengths, and figure out how to channel them.  Every day.
  3. You must reach beyond your roles
    The most successful people stretch beyond their comfort zone, but do so within their strengths zone.  Marcus offers a number of exercises to help hone this practice.

Love It/Loathe It
Draw a line down a sheet of paper and label one side “Loved It” and the other “Loathed It.”  Carry that paper around for a week and write down all the activities that fell into those categories.

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