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Talents in Marriage - Competing vs Completing

A topic we cover with many of our clients is the dynamic of colliding talents. Some talents can naturally go against the grain of how certain other talents function, often resulting in conflict. So how can we move talents that collide to complement one another?

This month I am celebrating my 40th anniversary with Karey. For over 25 years we worked on our marriage and parenting, seeking the counsel of experienced voices, going to conferences, adding communication skills, and getting professional guidance on occasion. Through our challenges and rough patches, I can honestly say we had a very good marriage for those silver years. But over the past decade adding the knowledge of our CliftonStrengths talents and CoreClarity to our perspectives and language has taken very good to even greater. 

The secret? In our early years of marriage, we were told that we could choose to compete with one another or complete one another. We have opted for the latter, and the insights of our...

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Globetrotting with Gallup - What are the Top 5 Talents of Countries Around the World?

I’m often asked how the Top 5 talents show up in other countries. Are there patterns we see based on different cultures? In 2018 Gallup released the Top 5 CliftonStrengths for 32 countries. The Top 5 for the United States:

  1. Achiever - Face it, we love our lists!
  2. Responsibility - We don't like to let other people down.
  3. Learner - That push from our parents to get an education still drives us.
  4. Relator - We like our relationships deep and our inner circle tight.
  5. Strategic - At least we think we know where we want to go.

What about our neighbors to the north and south? Achievers are still #1 in Canada, which looks much like the US except Relator and Responsibility changed places at 2nd and 4th. Mexico starts to mix things up with Learner coming in at #1 and Analytical replacing Strategic at #5. That trend continues in other countries south of our border, so if you want to pursue a profession in teaching it may interest you to know Learner shows up as the top talent in...

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What's on your Not-to-Do List? A Metaphor & Exercise

How can you tell when you’re not working out of your strengths? What’s the difference between working out of a strength and working out of a weakness?

When you take the CliftonStrengths assessment its algorithm ranks all 34 talents in the order they come naturally for you. Your higher ranked talents have the greatest NATURAL capacity to be most productive and energizing. But how might those talents in the teens, twenties, and thirties show up? While everyone is different in how their talents may cluster in groupings of effectiveness and efficiency, a helpful metaphor to understand your "tiers of talents" is using your cell phone in the car.

Operating in your Top 5 talents may be compared to using the Bluetooth feature to talk on the phone in your car while you are in cruise control. You almost don't have to think about those talents; they automatically engage like tapping the receive button for an incoming call while driving down the interstate. Little to no distraction...

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The Guru - Different Shades of Green

guru reflect Feb 25, 2022

At first I thought the printer was broken. Two of the participants for my first in-house CoreClarity workshop showed nothing but green talents in their top five. But when I checked their CoreDrill charts I realized the printer was fine and I was about to get an education in brain power by processing Brad and Jason through their CoreClarity profiles!  

We call those with a sea of green talents Gurus, and they can be a combination of unique flavors of “smart” depending on how they have added skills, knowledge and experience to their Reflectors. Whether insightful, introspective, studious, intelligent, deeply read, deep thinking, profoundly creative, or able to “think” around corners they all can display different shades of green brilliance. 

A Guru has a brilliant mind and is naturally intellectual and/or introspective. Jason and Brad were both great thinkers but in very different ways. Ask them what they think, and they will pause...

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Dynamic Diagonal Duos - Thought Rockets & Super Drivers

Catty-corner is an expression meaning “diagonally opposite.” It has nothing to do with cats but actually came from an English misspelling of the French word quatre (“four”) prefixed to “corner.” And it is exactly what I think of when it comes to Bob and Brenda and their CoreClarity CoreDrills. They were both bi-quads (all their Top 5 talents fell into two quadrants) but the inversion of each other.  Brenda’s talents were all in the Connect and Energize quadrants while Bob’s were in the Reflect and Mobilize. These catty-corner profiles create two unique CoreDrills that show up less than 2% of the time but bring an indelible dynamic to a team.

They both worked in the same company and left a similar wake with co-workers. Yet their approach to people and problems could not be more different. Bob was a Thought Rocket and as such was very vested and productive especially when using his Reflect talents. He could shift into a motivational...

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Illuminarios- Lighting Up the World Year Round

I had arranged our department in the conference room to assemble notebooks for an upcoming conference. Using my Strategic, I set up a simple assembly line that would cut the large tedious job into an efficient one-hour chore. Things started off well and after a few adjustments the room was soon buzzing with productive chatter. However, there was soon a bottleneck in the process and like any good project leader I was trying to figure out the why. Quick analysis and my CoreClarity training led me not to the why but the who. I had made the miscalculation of putting Leslie, our Illuminario, in the middle of the assembly line.

Illuminarios are natural people persons who also have an interpersonal relationship push of persuasion and motivation. They thrive on the opportunities that interaction with others bring and can turn the most mundane project into an engaging social event. We call them Illuminarios because when they are at their best they love to shine a light on others. And if they...

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The Pace Setter CoreDrill - Don't Waste the Pace

My whole life I’ve always felt like an anomaly. I can’t wait to hear why!” Adam was an administrator for an organization that had brought me in to go through the team’s talents with CoreClarity. Word had gotten around that Adam’s CoreDrill only showed up in one in two hundred people. No one, including Adam, was surprised. All 5 of his top talents landed up in the motivational quadrants of Mobilize and Energize, making him a Pace Setter. 

Pace Setters have a constant drive towards outputs and accomplishments, whether they are intrinsically motivating themselves towards results or giving push and lift to others. They are natural catalysts for action and achievement and may generate a rhythm and pace that soon laps others. The lack of Reflect talents is made up for by being a hands-on learner that is helping, facilitating, or teaching others. The only meeting they may enjoy is the one they are in front of and leading.

Most have a strong work...

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The Trail Blazer CoreDrill: Forging new Paths

Jeannie was a new intern and the youngest member of the operations team. So everyone assumed she was shy or a bit timid to speak out until she had learned the ropes of her new job. When I looked at her talents I encouraged her team leader to intentionally ask Jeannie for her thoughts or perspectives during their staff meetings. Every time he did this she would pause briefly and then respond with some excellent insights or clarifying questions that greatly contributed to the team’s project. “She brings more to the table than what we expected from an intern. How did you know she wanted to be asked questions?” 

I didn’t know Jeannie, but I knew that she was a Trail Blazer and just because they aren’t talking doesn’t mean they aren’t processing the discussion at a deep level. Asking her to contribute was a great way to onramp her internal talents. Sometimes they may have to be invited into the discussion if it’s something they...

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The Bridgineer CoreDrill: A Bridge Worth Crossing

bridgineer coredrill Sep 08, 2021

The forty people I stood in front of were all unemployed professionals helping each other find work in a cooperative job seekers network. I was asked to speak about how to use your strengths in your job search. When I offered to do a free one-hour coaching session at the end of my presentation, six people signed up. When I processed their talents through our CoreClarity process I was surprised to see all six of them had the same CoreDrill. All their talents were on the interactive side of the key in the Connect and Reflect quadrants. This is when I learned how to coach Bridgineers.

Bridgineers show up about 8% of the time in our CoreClarity database. Their talents are all on the interactive side of the CoreClarity key and have a drive for depth - whether it is deeper relationship with those they know or deeper understanding within their mental world. They naturally build bridges between knowledge, solutions or plans to the people who need it or will implement it. 

Their...

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The Force of Nature CoreDrill: When the Force is With You

Another iPhone Alert? I ignored my phone since it was 5:05 and I was making the commute by foot from the home office to the living room TV. The evening news was interrupted with a tornado warning in my county. I looked out the kitchen window and was staring at a funnel spout running from the clouds to the east horizon just beyond my neighborhood.

Fortunately, the spout worked its way north and made for a great neighborhood cell phone video block party. Though it was awesome to see a force of nature in action, its strength and power also demanded respect if not fear.

So it can be when your CoreDrill has talents in the Reflect, Energize, and Mobilize quadrants. You are what we call a Force of Nature. Overcomers, persuaders, natural leaders, mountain movers, intense or driven you make it happen. When I learned this was my CoreDrill the world made a lot more sense. My talent combination can inspire when it is on and disrupt when it is off.  

Since Forces of Nature are...

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