4/5 stars. Nonfiction, Personality Traits, Workplace.
Stop wasting time “fixing” your so-called weaknesses. And start leveraging the powerful ways you’re already innately great!
Bill Munn says the key to maximizing performance is already planted within us – and within everyone around us – in the inherent strengths we often ignore while we focus on overcoming so-called weaknesses. This bias toward improving on negatives gets in the way of our ability to fully excel in our work life and at home. We devalue our innate strengths in part because we take our gifts for granted, and in part because we’ve been conditioned to focus on getting good at the things we struggle with, at the expense of excelling in the ways we’re intrinsically great. An eagle doesn’t need to put energy toward improving his swimming skills because he is a natural master of soaring. Munn explains, with heart and authority, how we can live like the eagle, finding true success as we focus on our gifts – and help those we manage do the same.
Munn provides a selection of specific traits (Creator, Decisive, Developer, among others) and tools to help readers identify unique strengths in themselves and others. He follows with techniques that help us nurture our strongest gifts – our power-alley attributes – and better grow and manage teams according to the group’s overall attribute profile. With his advice, we kick unproductive habits to the curb and experience the power of our personal best. Munn presents tactics for recognizing and appreciating power-alley traits in others as well as insights into the power and pitfalls of each attribute, the best and worst attribute pairings, which attributes fit with specific job functions, and more.
Munn’s book speaks to those seeking to improve their teams and their leadership skills, as well as to any person who wants to leverage his or her own natural gifts while better understanding, engaging, and nurturing others.
I got this book for free through a Goodreads giveaway. This, in no way, affects my review of the book.
Why Make Eagles Swim was an interesting read for me. I love taking personality and career aptitude tests and this was a full book about those things, but with ones that I hadn’t heard of before!
This book is aimed at managers and other people who oversee individuals. It shows traits and what other traits they might be compatible with and who they might struggle with, and also applies this to different jobs in a workplace, like human relations. It also talks about those workplace reviews and presents an alternative to the “this is where you need to do better” presentation. Bill Munn, the guy behind this system, instead believes that you and your workplace should use the strengths you already have to the advantage of the workplace and thus focus on what you can do well.
Because why make an eagle, one of the strongest fliers, swim?
An eagle should focus on flying because that is what they are good at, rather than focus on places where they don’t have the ability to do something else. An eagle does not have the tools to become a good swimmer.
One thing that kind of annoyed me about this book was that I could tell it was dripping for people to go to his website and purchase the aptitude test. They probably wouldn’t have written the book otherwise, or given out hundreds of copies on Goodreads (I saw that book come up time and time again in new giveaways). I don’t blame them for writing the book for this purpose, it is certainly a good marketing ploy, but I was surprised they were using Goodreads when the price for a full attribute profile was $149 and Goodreads probably isn’t going to have a lot of managers or others who would use this book/the purchasable version of this questionnaire. With the book, you have access to a shorter version of the attribute questionnaire for free that focused on only the 15 or so attributes presented in the book, rather than the full list of attributes. So I took my little free version, but I wondered why they didn’t have a cheaper version because if it was up to maybe $30, I probably would have purchased it, but most individuals likely wont at $149.
Here is the profile I got back:
The book expands on the strengths and weaknesses of each of these attributes, what jobs they might be good at, and how you can try to determine what you and others you know are by listening to what is important to you and how you complain about others.
Let me give an example of this complaining part.
So yesterday I was at lunch and there were these two ladies sitting next to me. One was complaining the entire time to the other about a co-worker who wasn’t professional, and who would come into the individuals’s cubical to talk. The individual kept saying, “She knows I don’t like her, why does she feel the need to come into my cubical and talk to me? I don’t care about anything she has to say.”
This signaled to me that this individual who was complaining was a low relational trait. A relational is, simply put, a people person. We can’t necessarily know that the person being complained about is a relational because we don’t know why she is talking in this person’s cubical – maybe she is a commander and is trying to win over this individual or something along those lines. But we know the individual is a low relational because of the way they had a such strong dislike for this other woman when the woman would come speak to the individual.
Overall, I thought the book was incredibly fun, although it was an informational book, so it wasn’t quite as fun as a really good novel. It made me want to go out and listen to people to figure out what their traits were. Also, I plan on using these to create character profiles for things I write!
If you are into creating characters or learning about your personality, this is a fun book to try out.
Purchase this book from Amazon here.
Also, I think this book is still holding Goodreads giveaways, so make sure to check that out as well!