Strengths Movement in Schools

jmfweb3-copy.jpgGreetings! I have received many responses and inquiries about the Strengths Movement in Schools since the airing of the Today Show in April, 2007 and Marcus Buckingham’s national book tour. I have also received many questions regarding the Affinities Program. The Program will be available to the public in January of 2008. In the meantime, it is being piloted in 2007-2008 by an independent school and a public school district. If you are interested in learning more about the program, or receiving a free DVD which further highlights the program and its implementation at Purnell School, please email me at

The Strengths Movement in Schools is undergoing strategic planning that will extend into August, 2007. The first step in this process is to organize a national advisory board to guide the work of the Movement inaffcover.jpg Schools. The Movement in Schools will emerge in the fall as a not for profit consortium of like-minded educators, parents, health providers, career counselors, and social service agencies–all people who work with child development. Several people have inquired about the relationship between me and Marcus Buckingham. The Affinities Program was developed prior to my relationship with Marcus Buckingham. Throughout December and into March, Marcus and I teamed up to spread the message about strengths. This teaming up was a serendipitous meeting of like-minded professionals who became friends over a cause that we have both committed our life’s work to in separate arenas. Now that the tour has concluded, the relationship continues as I further recommend his books and products to anyone seeking practical tools for adults to use in developing their strengths. Marcus will be serving on the Strengths in Schools Advisory Board and is an enthusiastic supporter of the publication of the Affinities Program. To everyone who has expressed interest in the Strengths Movement in Schools, I will get back to you in August with a new website that will have many resources for you to use. In the meantime, please feel free to email me with questions or comments regarding this movement in our nation’s schools. I respond to all inquiries and I am happy to mail you the free DVD and some literature.

  1. David Zinger Reply

    I am just so pleased to see you take such “strong” action for strengths in the school. This is the place to start.

    It is like taking the band vignettes from Marcus Buckingham’s Trombone Player Wanted videos, we only see them in the background and never really hear them, and giving these young people full voice. The strength-based music of our youth will be heard!
    Well done.
    David Zinger

  2. Dan Gilliland Reply

    I went to Markus Live in San Diego & caught fire ever since. I am using the advice from Markus & you not only figuratively but literally as well. I started strength training and got back into competing in Powerlifting. I used the philosophy of the Strengths Movement in my training. I took it to the Nth degree and found that it works real well.

    I accepted what sport I am naturally great in, which is Powerlifting. Broke the sport into a subsection movement of Powerlifting called the Deadlift. I saw that my growth in the Deadlift far out weighed the growth in the other 2 lifts, the Squat & the Benchpress.

    On 5/5/2007 I tied the state record for my age and weight group with a Deadlift of 485.1 lbs while weighing 158 and being 41. I peaked 8 days too early for the competition.

    Literally using the philosophy of the Strengths Movement did flush out a negative. I ended up over-training and causing some overuse injuries. I was focusing too much on my strengths and not compensating for my weaknesses.

    I still firmly believe in the foundation of the Strengths Movement but they need some tweaking and not to be taken dogmaticly.

    I’ve been reading sports studies done by the Russians translated in Yessis Review of Soviet Sport. The eastern block perfected a philosophy called Periodization. Periodization allows the body to grow in waves starting from generalized activities to peaking through specialized activities with a short rest period and then running the cycle again.

    I am in the process of designing a Periodization method for myself to stop the over-training.

    Keep up the great work!!!! You are a Godsend.

    Dan Gilliland

  3. Madeleine Flanagan Reply

    Dear Jenifer,

    I have just been deeply immerged in Marcus Buckingham books this all week. I always believed in the importance of customizing my teaching toward each student/adult, what ever the age I have been teaching/coaching. My main interest was always to first strengthen his/her strengths and then support the weaknesses enough to make he/she not sink from that, but succeed, shine and attain his/her goal.

    I believe I have found the practical tools I was looking for to strengthen, develop and extent my teaching/coaching business toward the best interest of my clients. My intention is then to spread out the Strengths Movement message as an enthusiastic supporter/actor as well as Marcus Buckingham books and products.

    Yes, I am very interested in learning more about the program and receiving the DVD which highlights the program. I want to know more about the implementation at Purnell School.

    Thanks very much for your deep involment.
    Warm regards.

    Madeleine Flanagan PhD
    SmartCaravan Pte Ltd
    (+66) (0)89692762
    (+65) 98 31 51 56

  4. Doug Nelson Reply

    I was engaged in a discussion with a collegue recently who referenced your work. We had been looking at the “drop-out – drop- back in” phenomena and we were looking at the reasons. Sometimes the young person seems to only find out what they are good at only after they are removed from what they’d need to be even better at if they’d stayed. [One of those "Catch 22" things we all hate.]
    As I have been reading the material on the website I find myself drawn toward the philosophy and vision of the “Strengths Movement”.
    I, like my collegue, will now be referencing your work.
    Please add me to your mail list.
    Dr. D. Nelson, Manager of Apprenticeship Initatives
    Advanced Education and Technology
    Government of Alberta, Canada

  5. iris kelly Candea Reply

    Hi folks,
    I am interested in discovering your book. I look forward to using the questions with my ninth grade son.
    I have a program for teens and their families that I also look forward to using some of the work in. thank you. I am interested in hearing from teachers that may have utilzed any part of the work. thank you, Iris Kelly Candea

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