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Difference Makers

“I’ve always had this certainty of where I’m going and what I need to do next. But right now I feel like I’m in a forest without a compass. I’m not used to this internal ambiguity! “

For years Dan had been planning a major career transition that involved moving his family to another country and taking on a key leadership role that was going to be a great fit for his talents, especially his Self-Assurance. People with Self-Assurance have an internal confidence that propels them forward and guides them like the North Star. This talent can appear to have the answers to the three big existential questions of life. Who am I? Why am I here? Where am I going?

Then, in a matter of days, events took place that slammed the door on his new opportunity. For the first time he was unsure of what was next. Because of his Self-Assurance I knew he would rebound quickly once we refocused this Energize talent to new possibilities.

People with Self-Assurance are energized by this drive that they are on the right track, even in the face of risk or adversity. When they fail they will fall forward and call that a step of progress. Though it may come across as cockiness or stubbornness in its Kryptonite moments, it can produce what every parent desires for their children: belief in the best of themselves. In a few weeks Dan was on to his next venture with that same familiar poise and determination that he had always exuded.

The Self-Assurance talent can sometimes be confused with Significance. Both are Energize talents that act like intrinsic motivators and only show up about 5% of the time in people’s Top 5 in the CoreClarity database. Where Self-Assurance is a drive from an internal compass, Significance is a drive to an external legacy.

People with the Significance talent want what they do to stand out and to be, well, significant. They don’t just do a job or go through the motions, they make a difference when playing to this talent. Striving for excellence or leaving behind a reputation worth remembering in their accomplishments can make work a way of life for them. Like Self-Assurance they may have an independent spirit but it flows more from their push to be recognized for their unique contributions. The Kryptonite for Significance is if they don’t have affirmation that what they do is meaningful they can become disengaged.

Significance can shape how you employ your other talents. I was coaching Jason who had Significance, Achiever, and Activator in his top 5. When I asked him if he was more energized to start something new (Activator) or finish something on his to-do list (Achiever) he pondered for a few seconds and said, “it really depends on what will get the most recognition or make the biggest impact. So it really is Significance that is my biggest driver.”

When we look at that internal push and motivation that Significance and Self-Assurance bring they can be very dynamic when they are developed into strengths. Though they may not show up often, when they do you will notice the difference.


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