“You will excel only by maximizing your strengths, never by fixing your weaknesses.” — Marcus Buckingham
This is a list of my favorite and noteworthy books on strengths and finding your strengths from a personal development and leadership perspective.
Your personal strengths are your natural patterns for thinking, feeling, and doing. These are the activities you can do all day long.
You get energy from doing these activities rather than get drained. Things that drain you are your personal weaknesses.
According to Dr. Martin Seligman, there are 24 signature strengths. Marcus Buckingham and Donald Clifton defined 34 signature themes of strengths.
Your job is to identify your personal strengths, create a language to better understand your strengths, and hone your strengths your applied use.
The books below help you discover and build your strengths to achieve new levels of personal mastery. I test many of the books below in real-world scenarios.
I put the bulk of the list in categories so you can explore relevant books and you can easily compare against your existing leadership books library.
10 Best Books on Strengths
- 30 Days of Character Strengths: A Guided Practice to Ignite Your Best, by Jane Anderson
- Character Strengths and Virtues: A Handbook and Classification, by Christopher Peterson and Martin Seligman
- Character Strengths Interventions, by Ryan Niemiec
- Character Strengths Matter: How to Live a Full Life, by Shannon Polly and Kathryn Britton
- Go Put Your Strengths to Work: 6 Powerful Steps to Achieve Outstanding Performance, by Marcus Buckingham
- Now, Discover Your Strengths, by Gallup
- So Good They Can’t Ignore You: Why Skills Trump Passion in the Quest for Work You Love, by Cal Newport
- Strengths Based Leadership: Great Leaders, Teams, and Why People Follow, by Tom Rath
- StrengthsFinder 2.0, by Tom Rath
- The Power of Character Strengths: Appreciate and Ignite Your Positive Personality, by Ryan Niemiec and Robert McGrath
One-Sentence Summaries of the Best Books on Strengths
- Go Put Your Strengths to Work: 6 Powerful Steps to Achieve Outstanding Performance – how to identify your strengths, how to design your week for strengths, how to talk to your boss about focusing on strengths.
- Now, Discover Your Strengths – how to find your innate strengths, how to focus on your strengths instead of weaknesses.
- StrengthsFinder 2.0 – how to uncover your strengths, how to apply your strengths, how to build on top of each of your Top 5 strength themes.