Penn State

Andrew J. Mowen - associate professor of recreation, park and tourism management, Penn State University Park

Book Title: Now, Discover Your Strengths

Author: Marcus Buckingham & Donald Clifton

Book Description:

Each of us has been blessed with God-given talents and strengths. However, these assets can go unrecognized or, even worse; be diminished due to an obsession with shoring up personal weaknesses. In their book, Now, Discover Your Strengths, authors Markus Buckingham and Donald Clifton use empirical and qualitative data to: a.) illustrate a number of individual strengths (or enduring talents) and b.) suggest ways to put our combination of strengths to work.

This book was a welcome read for me during my early years on the tenure-track because it supported the viewpoint that it is extremely difficult to excel in all things and all situations. As such, spending an inordinate amount of time addressing our weaknesses is folly. Instead, our strengths are what make us attractive to employers, friends, and society and we should place ourselves in situations and settings that maximize our strengths.

The tools provided in this book inspired me to understand and emphasize those work responsibilities that played to my own set of core strengths. In this way, Now, Discover Your Strengths is an informative read for those students who are struggling with career choices that suit not only their passions, but their inherent talents. Too often we make life choices based upon the preferences of others or the priorities set forth in popular media/society. However, this book illustrates that successful life paths are enhanced when there is a fundamental understanding of our talents and when this understanding is translated into career choices.


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