September 05th, 2016
Clifton StrengthsFinder® THEMES
People exceptionally talented in the Achiever theme work hard and possess a great deal of stamina. They take immense satisfaction in being busy and productive.
People exceptionally talented in the Activator theme can make things happen by turning thoughts into action. They are often impatient.
People exceptionally talented in the Adaptability theme prefer to go with the flow. They tend to be “now” people who take things as they come and discover the future one day at a time.
People exceptionally talented in the Analytical theme search for reasons and causes. They have the ability to think about all the factors that might affect a situation.
People exceptionally talented in the Arranger theme can organize, but they also have a flexibility that complements this ability. They like to determine how all of the pieces and resources can be arranged for maximum productivity.
People exceptionally talented in the Belief theme have certain core values that are unchanging. Out of these values emerges a defined purpose for their lives.
People exceptionally talented in the Command theme have presence. They can take control of a situation and make decisions.
People exceptionally talented in the Communication theme generally find it easy to put their thoughts into words. They are good conversationalists and presenters.
People exceptionally talented in the Competition theme measure their progress against the performance of others. They strive to win first place and revel in contests.
People exceptionally talented in the Connectedness theme have faith in the links among all things. They believe there are few coincidences and that almost every event has meaning.
People exceptionally talented in the Consistency theme are keenly aware of the need to treat people the same. They try to treat everyone with equality by setting up clear rules and adhering to them.
People exceptionally talented in the Context theme enjoy thinking about the past. They understand the present by researching its history.
People exceptionally talented in the Deliberative theme are best described by the serious care they take in making decisions or choices. They anticipate obstacles.
People exceptionally talented in the Developer theme recognize and cultivate the potential in others. They spot the signs of each small improvement and derive satisfaction from evidence of progress.
People exceptionally talented in the Discipline theme enjoy routine and structure. Their world is best described by the order they create.
People exceptionally talented in the Empathy theme can sense other people’s feelings by imagining themselves in others’ lives or situations.
People exceptionally talented in the Focus theme can take a direction, follow through, and make the corrections necessary to stay on track. They prioritize, then act.
People exceptionally talented in the Futuristic theme are inspired by the future and what could be. They energize others with their visions of the future.
People exceptionally talented in the Harmony theme look for consensus. They don’t enjoy conflict; rather, they seek areas of agreement.
People exceptionally talented in the Ideation theme are fascinated by ideas. They are able to find connections between seemingly disparate phenomena.
People exceptionally talented in the Includer theme accept others. They show awareness of those who feel left out and make an effort to include them.
People exceptionally talented in the Individualization theme are intrigued with the unique qualities of each person. They have a gift for figuring out how different people can work together productively.
People exceptionally talented in the Input theme have a craving to know more. Often they like to collect and archive all kinds of information.
People exceptionally talented in the Intellection theme are characterized by their intellectual activity. They are introspective and appreciate intellectual discussions.
People exceptionally talented in the Learner theme have a great desire to learn and want to continuously improve. The process of learning, rather than the outcome, excites them.
People exceptionally talented in the Maximizer theme focus on strengths as a way to stimulate personal and group excellence. They seek to transform something strong into something superb.
People exceptionally talented in the Positivity theme have contagious enthusiasm. They are upbeat and can get others excited about what they are going to do.
People exceptionally talented in the Relator theme enjoy close relationships with others. They find deep satisfaction in working hard with friends to achieve a goal.
People exceptionally talented in the Responsibility theme take psychological ownership of what they say they will do. They are committed to stable values such as honesty and loyalty.
People exceptionally talented in the Restorative theme are adept at dealing with problems. They are good at figuring out what is wrong and resolving it.
People exceptionally talented in the Self-Assurance theme feel confident in their ability to manage their own lives. They possess an inner compass that gives them confidence that their decisions are right.
People exceptionally talented in the Significance theme want to be very important in others’ eyes. They are independent and want to be recognized.
People exceptionally talented in the Strategic theme create alternative ways to proceed. Faced with any given scenario, they can quickly spot the relevant patterns and issues.
People exceptionally talented in the Woo theme love the challenge of meeting new people and winning them over. They derive satisfaction from breaking the ice and making a connection with someone.
Copyright © 2000, 2012 Gallup, Inc. All rights reserved. Gallup®, StrengthsFinder®, Clifton StrengthsFinder®, and each of the 34 Clifton StrengthsFinder theme names are trademarks of Gallup, Inc.
To get a copy of the Strengths Finder Themes, use the following link:
Clifton Strengths Finder Themes
Talents are naturally recurring patterns of thought, feeling, or behavior that can be productively applied. These talents exist naturally within you as predispositions and are not acquired.
A Strength is the ability to consistently provide a near-perfect performance in a specific activity. Strengths are the result of a combination of talent, knowledge, and skill working together in tandem to produce repeated excellence in a given task.
Strength Themes are the combination of similar talents clustered together. The Gallup organization has created the Clifton Strength Finder Assessment tool which identifies 34 clusters of talent that form signature themes in individuals. Each person has his/her own unique strength themes.
Knowledge is learning about our Talents, Strengths, and Strength Themes. We gain this knowledge through three elements which form the foundation upon which we build our skills necessary to master our strength themes. These elements are understanding, awareness, and appreciation.
by George Willock
What Nonprofits Need to Know about Managing Millennials to Drive Performance and Achieve Their Organizational Missions
Thursday, July 14, 2016 By Paul Walters and Casandra Fritzsche
For many years, nonprofit teams have been a force for good in this world; addressing issues of poverty, poor health, economic development, education and much more. With an influx of millennials into the nonprofit sector, managers need to strategically change their approach in leading and managing this group to drive performance and achieve the mission of their organizations. Gallup recommends that organizations change their culture from the old will to the new will, based on Gallup’s research of millennials.
Common assumption: All of our employees know, value and are driven by the purpose of our work; it’s why they jumped into the nonprofit sector to begin with.
Response: For every meal served to someone living on the street, for every animal saved or child vaccinated, there are stacks of paperwork, budgets to balance and meetings to attend. While the heart of the nonprofit mission falls on the front-line staff, the engine of the operation rests on your fundraisers, administrators, managers and directors.
Solution: Retaining top talent means continually connecting organizational purpose to staffing at every layer. More than any other generation, millennials need to see and connect their work to the purpose of the organization. Each employee, from the frontline staff to the cleaning crew to the managers to the IT team, need to know and feel how his or her role ties into the greater purpose of the organization.
Common assumption: Our organization does not have the financial resources to invest in developing my team.
Response: The majority of millennials (59%) report that opportunities to learn and grow are extremely important to them in a job. Contrast this with Gen Xers (44%) and baby boomers (41%), and it’s clear that nonprofit organizations and managers need a strategic shift in making development a priority.
Solution: The good news is nonprofit managers can still develop their team with limited resources:
It’s also important to continue to communicate and demonstrate these development opportunities to millennials, so they know when the next one is coming to keep them engaged. If the above is not motivation enough to invest in development, Gallup’s research estimates that the lack of millennial engagement at work leading to turnover (driven, to some extent, by insufficient development opportunities), costs the U.S. economy $30.5 billion annually. Considering the limited resources most nonprofits work with, they can no longer afford to ignore the need to provide development opportunities for their millennial staff members.
Common assumption: With limited resources and human capital, I do not have the time to coach my team members.
Response: According to Gallup’s research, 58% of millennial job seekers say the ”quality of manager” (or having a great boss) is considered extremely important. Simply put, millennials seek managers who can support, position, empower and engage them, and who care about them as employees and people. They aren’t looking to be managed but instead want to be coached. Managers who are good coaches understand the fundamental factors that motivate each worker’s performance and enable him or her to optimize that performance.
An unwillingness to adjust management strategy from managing to coaching will risk decreased employee engagement, decreased productivity and ultimately may compromise the services provided or the contributions to the organization’s mission.
My Ongoing Conversations
Common assumption: The annual reviews I give to my team members provide them with needed feedback to improve their performance.
Response: Ongoing conversations, through the lenses of traditional management, looks more like a sanctioned disciplinary discussion, growth plan or annual review. Retaining millennials, in an often low-pay, high-turnover market, means flipping this conversation on its head.
Solution: To retain top humanitarian workforces, conversations should be: (a) regular and ongoing, and (b) have a positive approach. Think about your team. What are they doing right? How can you elevate performance from good to great by leveraging your team’s existing talents? Check in with them briefly on Skype, email, phone or text. These little considerations will pay great dividends.
Common assumption: By maintaining the strengths of my team and helping them improve upon their weaknesses, we will achieve greater performance results.
Response: Decades of Gallup research show that employees who get to use their strengths are six times more likely to be engaged in their jobs, three times more likely to report having an excellent quality of life, and have 7.8% greater productivity. While important for any generation, this insight is particularly relevant for millennials. Millennials are more likely to jump ship if the work they do is uninteresting or not in their wheelhouse of strengths. Millennials are drawn to what they do best and naturally want to leverage their strengths. Gallup has found that 70% of millennials who strongly agree that their manager focuses on their strengths are engaged, and 62% who strongly agree that their manager focuses on their strengths or positive characteristics plan to be with their current company for at least one year. Gallup research also discovered that only 28% of millennials strongly agree that their manager focuses on their strengths, leaving plenty of room for improvement. Focusing on weaknesses only serves to prevent failure; a focus on strengths ensures success.
Solution: To increase impact and drive millennial employee engagement and job satisfaction, spend time helping them understand, appreciate and lead with their strengths. Find a way to align your employees’ strengths with the purpose and mission of the organization. Gallup’s CliftonStrengths and advanced strengths courses offer a tangible approach to driving performance through strength-based management and ensuring employee engagement.
Common assumption: Our mission is so important everyone on the team wants/needs to make their life this job.
Response: First, the good news: Millennials were likely drawn to your organization (and continue to stay) because of its mission. The bad news: Millennials are not committed to your management or a lack of work-life balance. An over-reliance on the organizational mission may lead to neglecting an overworked, underpaid workforce that is all too willing to switch jobs if the opportunity arises. Only half of the millennial population strongly agrees that they’ll be staying in their jobs a year from now.
Millennials grew up watching their parents sacrifice family time to stay late at the office, work through vacations, and undertake loads of stress all for the purpose of “getting ahead” or ensuring an organization meets its mission. Millennials are not their parents.
Solution: Manage potential burnout by ensuring millennials have an adequate work-life balance. Provide flexible work schedules to accommodate personal interests and activities, and offer generous paid time off instead of large salaries. Work with human resources to encourage well-being programs in all five elements -- purpose, social, financial, physical and community. Taking the time to focus on and prioritize the lives of each team member will translate into improved business outcomes.
Jim Clifton, Gallup’s CEO, wrote: Millennials will change the world decisively more than any other generation. Armed with this information and new management strategies, nonprofits will be better positioned to leverage the power millennials offer to drive performance and achieve an organization’s mission.
Paul Walters is a Learning and Development Consultant at Gallup.
Paul's top five strengths: Strategic | Communication | Arranger | Competition | WOO
Casandra Fritzsche is a Learning and Development Consultant at Gallup.
Casandra's top five strengths: Input | Positivity | Futuristic | Strategic | Learner
June 09th, 2015
Gallup and the Clifton Foundation have announced a $30 million gift to create the first-ever "strengths institute" in a business school.
The Don Clifton Strengths Institute will be located at Clifton's alma mater, the University of Nebraska, where he spent 25 years studying, researching and teaching human development. It was there that Clifton concluded that people's weaknesses rarely develop into strengths, but that when people develop their inherent God-given strengths, they develop infinitely, leading to productive lives of high value and high well-being.
Dad's life's work culminated in what is now a world-famous invention called the Clifton StrengthsFinder, which has helped more than 10 million people worldwide learn and develop their strengths. The assessment has been used by most Fortune 1000 companies, plus famous NGOs such as the World Bank and United Nations, as well as many federal government agencies and departments, including the military. His invention has changed how leaders are developed -- and it has now changed the world.
When Dad returned from World War II -- after flying B-24s as a navigator and bombardier, for which he received a Distinguished Flying Cross for his heroism in one battle among his 25 successful bombing sorties -- he felt that he had seen enough of war and wanted to spend the rest of his life doing something good for humankind.
This led to an intense interest in studying human development. When Don went to the library, he was struck that literally all of the books on psychology were about what is wrong with people -- he couldn't find a single book on what might be right with an individual. That insight drove him to pioneer the development of what is now known as "strengths science." Just before his death in 2003, he was honored by the American Psychological Association with a Presidential Commendation as the Father of Strengths-Based Psychology.
The Don Clifton Strengths Institute has a very specific purpose: To establish a department where students from all colleges within the University of Nebraska system can come and learn strengths-based sciences as part of their own leadership development. Students will be offered courses in which they can earn a minor in this science, as well as a certificate of completion.
The second purpose of the Don Clifton Strengths Institute is to create for unusually gifted business builders what The Juilliard School is for gifted musicians and performers. The institute will find and develop entrepreneurs, startup types, rainmakers and extraordinarily talented salespeople and leaders -- people who have a natural gift to create economic energy where none existed before.
Gallup and the Clifton Foundation are establishing the Don Clifton Strengths Institute so that the whole world can learn from it, duplicate it and add to it -- and help quickly produce what America and the world needs most: new business startups, entrepreneurs and big-time leaders who can build booming businesses. Outstanding Nebraska high school students will be specially selected and offered a range of scholarships as "Clifton Builders." They'll also be offered unique curriculum on entrepreneurship, deep customer science, strengths-based leadership and other special business skills.
But the most important mission of this new institute is to lead America in fixing our three biggest problems:
May 05th, 2015
Where to Focus
With a new year the traditional questions, good intentions, and admonitions for New Year's resolutions are pervasive. We are encouraged, challenged, and scolded into making resolutions for this new year. Is this Good? or Bad? For now, I'm going to ignore the good or bad questions instead moving to what should be our focus this new year.
Most people will focus on fixing what they perceive is "wrong" with them and fix that. Some will focus on opportunities and goals. Some will focus on getting those things done in the new year they weren't able to accomplish in the previous year. I am going to focus on strengths and weaknesses for this blog.
In my coaching and consulting with others most people gravitate toward fixing or working on their weaknesses. They focus on the weaknesses believing their strengths will continue to be strengths. Strengths are muscles of our lives. If we don't use them they will atrophy and it will take a concentrated effort to regain their use. Additionally, when we focus on weaknesses we walk a path which generally takes us away from doing what we are both good at and from doing what we really like. Focusing on our weaknesses is like trying to teach a pig how to sing - it wastes our time and annoys the pig.
I believe that if we focus on our strengths we will achieve excellence in our lives, enjoy what we are doing, and be happier in our lives. I believe we need to:
Focus on our strengths and manage our weaknesses
What are strengths?
A strength is the mastery created when one’s most powerful talents are refined with practice and combined with acquired relevant skills and knowledge
Educational psychologist, Donald O. Clifton first designed the interviews that
subsequently became the basis for the Clifton Strengths Finder, he began by asking, “What would happen if we studied what is right with people?”
What emerged is the philosophy of using talents as the basis for consistent achievement of excellence (strength). Specifically, the strengths philosophy is the assertion that individuals are able to gain far more when they expend effort to build on their greatest talents than when they spend a comparable amount of effort to remediate their weaknesses (Clifton & Harter, 2003).
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