Marcus Buckingham quotes:

  • Emphasize your strengths on your resume, in your cover letters and in your interviews. It may sound obvious, but you'd be surprised how many people simply list everything they've ever done. Convey your passion and link your strengths to measurable results. Employers and interviewers love concrete data.

  • It's a special person - and personality - who can lead a start-up to soaring success and sustain that success for the long term. Apple co-founder Steve Jobs and Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg are star examples.

  • CEOs hate variance. It's the enemy. Variance in customer service is bad. Variance in quality is bad. CEOs love processes that are standardized, routinized, predictable. Stamping out variance makes a complex job a bit less complex.

  • Born of the impossibly varied options we have to amuse ourselves, cutting-edge companies are finding innovative ways to tailor our entertainment choices to who we are, relieving us of the burden of finding the diamond in the rough of 500 TV channels or thousands of movies and music albums released every year.

  • Innovation and best practices can be sown throughout an organization - but only when they fall on fertile ground.

  • Gen Y is really quite distinct from Gen X; it's really self-involved and very narcissistic - their cameras are filled with pictures of themselves; Facebook, it's about me. It's a generation that's been pampered by their parents and their schools, given prizes for just taking part.

  • The true genius of a great manager is his or her ability to individualize. A great manager is one who understands how to trip each person's trigger.

  • Your strongest life is built through a continuous practice of designing moment by moment.

  • I think a good business book has one coherent idea that is richly played out.

  • Life's tricky for women because they have to make more choices than men. And yes, choice is good, but boy, you better be an expert choice-maker.

  • A note of caution: We can never achieve goals that envy sets for us. Looking at your friends and wishing you had what they had is a waste of precious energy. Because we are all unique, what makes another happy may do the opposite for you. That's why advice is nice but often disappointing when heeded.

  • Focusing on strengths is the surest way to greater job satisfaction, team performance and organizational excellence.

  • Always work hard. Intensity clarifies. It creates not only momentum, but also the pressure you need to feel either friction, or fulfillment.

  • Women have lives that become increasingly empty. They're doing more and feeling less.

  • We dream of having a clean house - but who dreams of actually doing the cleaning? We don't have to dream about doing the work, because doing the work is always within our grasp; the dream, in this sense, is to attain the goal without the work.

  • You will excel only by maximizing your strengths, never by fixing your weaknesses.

  • Great managers know they don't have 10 salespeople working for them. They know they have 10 individuals working for them . A great manager is brilliant at spotting the unique differences that separate each person and then capitalizing on them.

  • In a war, no matter the outcome of a certain skirmish or battle, the winner is the party whose attitudes, behaviors and preoccupations come to dominate the postwar landscape. By this measure, the outcome of the gender wars, if wars they were, is clear: women won.

  • People buy pads all the time, because they want to write stuff down. We're never going to get away from paper, ever. People like writing; that's why more people are writing more real thank-you notes now - not just to stand out, but because there's something about pen to paper, about holding something cool in your hands.

  • Strengths are not activities you're good at, they're activities that strengthen you. A strength is an activity that before you're doing it you look forward to doing it; while you're doing it, time goes by quickly and you can concentrate; after you've done it, it seems to fulfill a need of yours.

  • The corporate world is appallingly bad at capitalizing on the strengths of its people.

  • Every company wants to know how to find and keep highly talented women in the workplace.

  • Leaders are fascinated by future. You are a leader if and only if, you are restless for change, impatient for progress and deeply dissatisfied with status quo. Because in your head, you can see a better future. The friction between 'what is' and 'what could be' burns you, stirs you up, propels you. This is leadership.

  • Though women begin their lives more fulfilled than men, as they age, they gradually become less happy. Men, in contrast, get happier as they get older.

  • My career expertise is as a psychometrician - somebody who builds tests to measure personality. Companies would employ me to build interviews to measure the talents of people before they were hired.

  • Passion isn't something that lives way up in the sky, in abstract dreams and hopes. It lives at ground level, in the specific details of what you're actually doing every day.

  • Most of my work has been in corporations, studying how you build an organization that helps people to identify and work to their strengths.

  • You can find energizing moments in each aspect of your life, but to do so you must learn how to catch them, hold on to them, to feel the pull of their weight and allow yourself to follow where they lead.

  • You grow most in your areas of greatest strength. You will improve the most, be the most creative, be the most inquisitive, and bounce back the fastest in those areas where you have already shown some natural advantage over everyone else your strengths. This doesn't mean you should ignore your weaknesses. It just means you'll grow most where you're already strong.

  • There has to be a way to redirect employee's driving ambition and to channel it more productively. There is. Create heroes in every role. Make every role, performed at excellence, a respected profession.

  • The best way to find out whether you're on the right path? Stop looking at the path.

  • Google and Facebook, each in their own way, have revolutionized the delivery of advertising based on search and social networking, creating a sort of anti-Spam: targeted, relevant ads that a consumer might actually welcome rather than spurn.

  • As with all catalysts, the manager's function is to speed up the reaction between two substances, thus creating the desired end product. Specifically, the manager creates performance in each employee by speeding up the reaction between the employee's talent and the company's goals, and between the employee's talent and the customer's needs.

  • The secret to living a strong life is right in front of you, calling to you every day. It can be found in your emotional reaction to specific moments in your life.

  • Companies don't have one culture. They have as many as they have supervisors or managers. You want to build a strong culture? Hold every manager accountable for the culture that he or she builds.

  • To get the best coaching outcomes, always have your 1-on-1's on your employee's turf not yours. In your office the truth hides.

  • American culture is CEO obsessed. We celebrate the hard-charging heroes and mythologize the iconoclastic visionaries. Those people are important.

  • Many of us feel stress and get overwhelmed not because we're taking on too much, but because we're taking on too little of what really strengthens us.

  • You won't find a CEO who doesn't talk about a 'powerful culture' as a source of competitive advantage. At the same time, you'd be hard-pressed to find a CEO who has much of a clue about the strength of that culture.

  • We need to say goodbye to the traditional methodologies of corporate universities.

  • Americans just love convening. They are a convention-happy country and they love to get together to talk.

  • "Freedom, individualism, authenticity and being yourself so long as you don't hurt another's physical person or property: Sustained success comes only when you take what's unique about you and figure out how to make it useful!"

  • A strength is what you do that makes you feel strengthened.

  • All the great organizations have great managers at all levels who recognize where their culture is getting stronger and where it is getting weaker. There are always reasons why.

  • Authenticity is your most precious commodity as a leader.

  • CEOs the world over are fond of pointing to their workforce and saying "Our people are our greatest asset." And yet today, only two out of ten people think their assets are being well used at work.

  • Clarity is the answer to anxiety. Effective leaders are clear.

  • Clarity is the preoccupation of the effective leader. If you do nothing else as a leader, be clear.

  • Convey your passion and link your strengths to measurable results. Employers and interviewers love concrete data.

  • Define excellence vividly, quantitatively. Paint a picture for your most talented employees of what excellence looks like. Keep everyone pushing and pushing toward the right-hand edge of the bell curve.

  • Discover what you don't like doing and stop doing it.

  • Don't waste time trying to put in what was left out. Try to draw out what was left in.

  • Every time you make a rule you take away a choice, and choice, with all of its illuminating repercussions, is the fuel for learning.

  • Everyone can probably do at least one thing better than ten thousand other people.

  • Forcing your employees to follow required steps only prevents customer dissatisfaction. If your goal is truly to satisfy, to create advocates, then the step-by-step approach alone cannot get you there. Instead, you must select employees who have the talent to listen and to teach, and then you must focus them toward simple emotional outcomes like partnership and advice....Identify a person's strenths. Define outcomes that play to those strengths. Find a way to count, rate or rank those outcomes. And then let the person run.

  • Getting after this terrible, avoidable waste of human potentiality is what gets me out of bed every morning.

  • Great leaders rally people to a better future.

  • I do still get extremely nervous before speeches. My biggest fear is that I'll be standing there in front of hundreds of people and be incapable of talking. I'm afraid that I'll make a complete fool of myself and be unable to go on.

  • I need to reach out to people who work for small to mid-sized companies, and help them identify and apply their strengths at work.

  • If the manager really is the problem, try to get reassigned elsewhere in the organization or start looking for one in which you can play to your strengths.

  • If we have to know without a doubt that the choices we are making are the perfect ones, we risk never making any choices at all.

  • If you want execution, hail only success. If you want creativity, hail risk, and remain neutral about success.

  • If you want to be clear, act.

  • In most cases, no matter what it is, if you measure it and reward it, people will try to excel at it

  • In the minds of great managers, consistent poor performance is not primarily a matter of weakness, stupidity, disobedience, or disrespect. It is a matter of miscasting.

  • It remains true that great managers recognize individualities and focus on developing strengths rather than weaknesses. Great leaders, in sharp contrast, recognize what is (or could be) shared in common - a vision, a dream, a mission, whatever - and inspire others to join them in the given enterprise.

  • It's odd that I'm a big name in America and not known in Britain.

  • Managers are, and should be, totally responsible for recognizing individual strengths (both natural talents and skills), getting those strengths in proper alignment (i.e. in the right "seats"), and then leveraging them.

  • Most of the time, our limitations are self-imposed.

  • My point is, people really don't change very much.

  • No idea will work if people don't trust your intentions toward them.

  • Obviously, you have to know what you need now and what you will soon need, then hire or promote from within to meet those needs.

  • People leave managers, not companies

  • People quit managers, not jobs.

  • People should be hired "as is" and their managers then help them to develop their individual strengths while completing tasks for which they have the greatest aptitude and in which they have the greatest interest.

  • Remember the Golden Rule? "Treat people as you would like to be treated." The best managers break the Golden Rule every day. They would say don't treat people as you would like to be treated. This presupposes that everyone breathes the same psychological oxygen as you. For example, if you are competitive, everyone must be similarly competitive. If you like to be praised in public, everyone else must, too. Everyone must share your hatred of micromanagement.

  • Remember, what you focus on expands; results follow focus.

  • Spend the most time with your best people. ... Talent is the multiplier. THe more energy and attention you invest in it, the greater the yield. The time you spend with your best is, quite simply, your most productive time. ... Persistence directed primarily toward your non-talents is self-destructive. ... You will reprimand yourself, berate yourself, and put yourself through all manner of contortions in an attempt to achieve the impossible.

  • Sustained success means making the greatest possible impact over the longest period of time

  • Talent is the multiplier. The more energy and attention you invest in it, the greater the yield. The time you spend with your best is, quite simply, your most productive time.

  • The best strategy for building a competitive organization is to help individuals become more of who they are.

  • The difference between a pebble and a mountain lies in whom you ask to move it.

  • The fact remains that we have an obligation to discover what we really, really, really want to do (which is probably what we do best) and then do it even better... much better.

  • The first step is to recognize what you need to know and why you need to know it.

  • The Four Keys of Great Managers: When selecting someone, they select for talent ... not simply experience, intelligence or determination. When setting expectations, they define the right outcomes ... not the right steps. When motivating someone, they focus on strengths ... not on weaknesses. and When developing someone, they help him find the right fit ... not simply the next rung on the ladder.

  • The opposite of a leader isn't a follower. The opposite of a leader is a pessimist.

  • The talented employee may join a company because of its charismatic leaders, its generous benefits, and its world-class training programs, but how long that employee stays and how productive he is while he is there is determined by his relationship with his immediate supervisor.

  • The time you spend with your best (employees) is, quite simply, your most productive time.

  • There are "four keys" to becoming an excellent manager: finding the right fit for employees, focusing on strengths of employees, defining the right results, and hiring for talent - not just knowledge and skills.

  • There is no shortage of mechanisms by which to measure almost anything.

  • There's something unique and different that makes a leader, and it's not about creativity or courage or integrity.... A leader's job is to rally people toward a better future.

  • Too many companies waste time trying to eliminate their employees' weaknesses when, in fact, they should concentrate on developing their strengths.

  • Too many of the organizations I have observed resemble a farm in Kansas. They have lots of fences and silos as well as a storm cellar.

  • True individuality can be lonely.

  • We all want the chance to express the very best of ourselves and to be challenged to keep reaching for more. Our time at work affords us this chance - not the only chance, to be sure, but, given that we're there forty or fifty hours a week, it's one of the best.

  • We live with them every day, and they come so easily to us that they cease to be precious.

  • We're all filled with naturally recurring patterns that make us unique - they're called talents. And our charge is to bloody well use them.

  • What do we know to be important but are unable to measure?

  • When it comes to exploring your creative side, it's very easy to think of all the reasons you can't do it-you don't have the time, you don't have the money, etc.-but if you are truly passionate about expressing yourself, you can find a way. When you feel as though you can't do something, the simple antidote is action: Begin doing it. Start the process, even if it's just a simple step, and don't stop at the beginning. Take the next step and the next until what you've dreamed about begins to become reality.

  • When you feel as though you can't do something, the simple antidote is action: Begin doing it. Start the process, even if it's just a simple step, and don't stop at the beginning.

  • You cannot learn very much about excellence from studying failure.

  • You should know that what wakes me up at night, what gets me running fast in the morning, and, frankly, what prompts me to lose any semblance of my habitual reserve is the conviction that work doesn't have to be this grim. We can do better.

  • You shouldn't take pride in your natural talents any more than you should take pride in your sex, your race or color of your hair

  • You will learn and grow the least in your areas of weakness.

  • As a general rule, people tend to do best what they enjoy doing most.

  • Teach your children how to identify their own strengths and challenge them to contribute these strengths to others.