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Work Your Strengths

Book Description

Ever feel like you’re in the wrong job, maybe even the wrong career? You may be right. But before you make another move, consider this: Your brain is hardwired with a unique combination of 12 different Executive Skills—the cognitive strengths that determine how well you will perform in a particular role. Your strongest and weakest Executive Skills can make the difference between big-time career success and years of disappointment and failure. Work Your Strengths helps you avoid “trial-and-error” career moves by matching your strengths to the jobs that call on those skills specifically. Based on the authors’ two-year study of more than 2000 top-performers at hundreds of organizations of all types, from Fortune 500 companies to nonprofits, the book reveals which strengths correlate with success in different jobs. Take a one-time, free online profile to determine your unique strengths and weaknesses and then use that information to identify your ideal career path. Not ready for a move yet? Work Your Strengths can also make a world of difference in the job you’re in now. It can help you not only focus on the projects best suited for you but also recognize skills in others and assign tasks accordingly. So whether you’re planning a jump to the career of your dreams or just wondering how to make your current job easier and more rewarding, Work Your Strengths gives you the science and the system to find your success.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover Page
  2. Title Page
  3. Copyright Page
  4. Dedication
  5. Contents
  6. Acknowledgments
  7. Introduction
    1. Finding the Right Job
    2. Playing to Strengths Leads to Goodness of Fit
    3. Matching Strengths of High-Performing Individuals
    4. The Executive Skills
    5. Frontal Lobes and Executive Skills
    6. The Spread Between Strengths and Weaknesses: The Differentiator
  8. Chapter 1: Determining Your Own Strengths and Weaknesses ... and Finding the Strengths and Weaknesses of Others
    1. Skill 1: Response Inhibition
    2. Skill 2: Working Memory
    3. Skill 3: Emotional Control
    4. Skill 4: Sustained Attention
    5. Skill 5: Task Initiation
    6. Skill 6: Planning/Prioritization
    7. Skill 7: Organization
    8. Skill 8: Time Management
    9. Skill 9: Goal-Directed Persistence
    10. Skill 10: Flexibility
    11. Skill 11: Metacognition
    12. Skill 12: Stress Tolerance
    13. Finding Your Own Strengths and Weaknesses
    14. Workload and Executive Skills
    15. Voices from the Front Lines: Workload
    16. Exceeding Your Cognitive Bandwidth
    17. Knowing in Advance
  9. Chapter 2: Finding Success and Avoiding Failure: Why Your Strengths and Weaknesses Are the Way They Are: The Science Behind Executive Skills
    1. Executive Skills in Psychology
    2. Executive Skills and the Brain
    3. Executive Skills and Brain Development
  10. Chapter 3: What Is a High Performer and How Do You Become One? Selecting the Right Path to Increase the Chance of Success
    1. Performance-Based: Consistency Is Key
    2. Quantitative: Expectations and Results
    3. Qualitative: Some Subjectivity
    4. Position in the Organization
    5. Company First
    6. Multidimensional
    7. How Many Are High Performers?
    8. Voices from the Front Lines: Number of High Performers
    9. What Sets High Performers Apart
    10. Voices from the Front Lines: What Sets Them Apart
  11. Chapter 4: Navigating Your Road to High Performance: Finding Your Skills Combination to Determine What Industry You Should Be In
    1. Most Prevalent Executive Skills Strengths and Weaknesses
    2. Some Skills Go Hand in Hand
    3. Strengths vs. Commonly Found Weaknesses
    4. High-Performing Males vs. High-Performing Females
    5. Executive Skills of High Performers by Age
    6. Task Initiation: The Common Weakness
    7. The High-Performing Pair
    8. Executive Skills of High Performers by Industry
    9. Financial Services
    10. Healthcare
    11. Manufacturing
    12. Technology
    13. Education
    14. Nonprofits
    15. Finding the Match
  12. Chapter 5: What’S the Right Department for You? The Strengths of High Performers by Department
    1. Marketing/Advertising/Promotion: Always Getting Better
    2. Sales: Not Falling Through the Cracks
    3. Systems/IT: All About Road Maps
    4. General Management: Goal-Oriented
    5. Operations: Good on the Fly
    6. Customer Service: Strategically Important
    7. Administrative: Organized and Can Adapt
    8. Finance: Modify on the Fly
    9. Accounting: Methodical Approach
    10. Clinical: Organized and Starting Right Away
    11. Executive Skills in a Department: Clinical High Performers
    12. Right-Seating People the First Time
  13. Chapter 6: Do You Have What It Takes to Be in the Corner Suite? Skills Broken Down by Title
    1. Are You in the Right Job?
    2. The Brains in the Corner Office
    3. The Brains Down the Hall
    4. The Self-Correcting Directors
    5. The Managers with a Plan
    6. The Organized Employees
  14. Chapter 7: How Your Strengths Match Those Of Others at Work: Ways to Match Behaviors to Executive Skills in Your Business
    1. Shared Strengths in One Organization
    2. Shared Strengths in Two Nonprofits
    3. Mapping Characteristics to Executive Skills
    4. Avoiding Potential Conflicts
    5. Focus on Executive Skills Strengths
    6. Voices from the Front Lines: Strengths and Weaknesses
    7. Healthcare: Clinical vs. Nonclinical
    8. High Performers in Sales-Buyer Interactions
    9. Observable Behaviors
    10. Strong Flexibility: Typical Behaviors
    11. Weak Flexibility: Typical Behaviors
    12. Strong Response Inhibition: Typical Behaviors
    13. Weak Response Inhibition: Typical Behaviors
  15. Chapter 8: Avoiding the Wrong Promotion: Sorting the Strengths Of Employees Vs. Managers Vs. Executives
    1. Voices from the Front Lines: High and Low Performers
    2. The Failed Sales Promotion
    3. Voices from the Front Lines: Promoting Salespeople to Management
    4. Sales Employees vs. Sales Management
    5. Working in a Comfort Zone
    6. Voices from the Front Lines: Job Satisfaction
    7. IT Executives Can Shield the Heat
    8. Operations: Order and Organization
    9. Administrative: Organization Is Key
    10. Customer Service: Recalling Past Solutions
    11. Can Performance Be Predicted?
  16. Chapter 9: Determine Your Fit—the High-Performance Executive Skills Map: Where Do High Performers With Your Strengths Work?
    1. Response Inhibition
    2. Working Memory
    3. Emotional Control
    4. Sustained Attention
    5. Task Initiation
    6. Planning/Prioritization
    7. Organization
    8. Time Management
    9. Goal-Directed Persistence
    10. Flexibility
    11. Metacognition
    12. Stress Tolerance
    13. The High-Performance Executive Skills Map
    14. Industries by Executive Skills Strengths
    15. Departments by Executive Skills Strengths
    16. Job Functions/Titles by Executive Skills Strengths
  17. Conclusion
  18. Appendix A: How the Two-Year Study Was Conducted: High Performers and the Executive Skills Profile
    1. Determining High Performance
    2. Using the Executive Skills Profile
    3. Selecting Subjects
    4. Selecting Industry Types and Departments
    5. Job Functions and Titles
    6. High Performers by Age and Gender
    7. High Performers by Company Size
    8. The Questionnaire
    9. Organizations in the Study
    10. The Study Continues
  19. Appendix B: The High-Performance Executive Skills Tables
    1. Top Six Industries
    2. Executive Skills by Department: Top 10 Departments
    3. Job Function/Title
    4. Employees vs Managers vs. Executives
    5. Males vs. Females
    6. Profit vs. Nonprofit
    7. Profit vs. Nonprofit (Excluding CEOs)
    8. Healthcare: Clinical vs. Nonclinical
  20. Appendix C: About NFI Research
  21. Notes
  22. Index