The word optimize comes from the Latin word optimus which means “best.” Its definition is to make as perfect, effective, or functional as possible. People whose talents are in the Connect, Mobilize and Energize quadrants are called Optimizers because they want to optimize or make the most out of their life and yours.
Optimizers are natural first responders - they’re energized when there are tasks to complete, needs to meet, and people to do it with. They can read the room and flow to the need of the moment with a spirit of intentionality or even jocularity. Wasting time or burning daylight feels like a sin to many of this tribe as they want to make the most out of the time, opportunities and relationships they have before them.
They may have often been asked “What were you thinking?” in their younger years, to which the answer was often a shrug of the shoulders or a candid, “I wasn’t.” Moving from the “in the moment”...
Two things Carey loved were people and coffee. So when she decided to make a career change it was not surprising that she became a barista at a coffee shop. Very quickly her role and responsibilities began to align with her talents and she was thriving in her new career path.
The store manager initiated a competition to increase sales of packaged coffee. The first barista to sell 50 pounds would win. Carey was not very competitive but she did love people and coffee. Four hours into her shift she went to her boss and announced, “I sold 50 pounds. What should I do now?” He was astonished and conflicted. “Great job-but don’t tell anyone else. This was supposed to be a two week contest and we need everyone else to keep selling. You won, but let’s keep it our secret for another week.”
Passion, People, Purpose. Those are the 3 power P’s for the Passionato. Because we see more of the emotionally charged talents in the external Connect and...
In water sports there’s an appreciation for the wake a boat leaves behind. A rough wake is not enjoyable for most water skiers or fishermen. The churn and disruption of the water is not ideal for gliding on the surface of a lake or attracting fish to a baited hook. However, a smooth wake or ripple effect makes for better riding and fishing conditions.
Every day we leave a wake behind us. Your wake is how other people experience you. When our Top 5 talents are working well together and moving towards the flow of strength, we can leave an enjoyable wake for others to experience.
When we are not working out of our Top 5 talents, or if the Kryptonite of some of our talents is ignited, we can leave a different type of wake that has more of a churn to it, externally as well as internally. So it is critical to understand not just our individual talents but the dynamics of how they work together.
If someone’s Top 5 talents are in all four of the CoreClarity...
Living in Colorado it is not uncommon to see rock climbers scaling the face of mountain cliffs in the Rockies. What you don’t always see is the Belayer, the person who controls the rope attached to the climber, ensuring that if they slip or fall they are protected. The Belayer and the rope provide a literal lifeline to the climber should anything go awry. It is also a great visual for the first of four CoreDrills that have talents in three of the four CoreClarity categories, also known as tri-quads.
Life Lines are individuals whose Top 5 talents align in the Connect, Reflect, and Energize quadrants with no Mobilize. The highest percentage, almost 30% of the people in the CoreClarity database are Life Lines because 28 of the 34 talents are in these quadrants and many of them show up at a greater percentage than talents in the Mobilize quadrant.
When working from their Top 5 talents Life Lines show up as the reliable support system you can count on to “getter...
Sheila’s upbeat charm and zeal for people was always infectious, but this day she entered the meeting room with an extra measure of energy and excitement. “Guess what? I made a new friend today! I was doing a trial membership at a gym and met all these nice people and one of the guys is going to show me how to play racquet ball!”
Our curmudgeon of a boss snarked, “Sheila, you have made more friends this month than I have in my lifetime.” Unfazed, Sheila replied, “Oh? I can help you with that. Want to come to the gym?”
Our boss was having a WOO encounter. Back in the day, to “woo” someone was to seek or attract their support or favor. In CliftonStrengths it is used as an acrostic for the talent of winning others over. People with Woo have never met a stranger - just a potential new friend. Whether it is people in a waiting line, the server at a restaurant, or someone who mistakenly dialed their number, they can make a quick...
Two Energize talents have enough similarities to be cousins. Discipline and Focus both show up in the CoreClarity database about 7% of the time and when it comes to getting stuff done they take a more concentrated approach than other Energize talents.
People with the Focus talent see the bullseye and pursue it with bulldog tenacity, cutting out all distractions. They center in on their objective and narrow down priorities to accomplish their mission in the most direct means available. Single-minded, tunnel vision, eyes on the prize are all descriptors often used to describe those who have Focus in their Top 5. They can keep a team on track.
Focus intensifies the effects of other talents. I recently coached a team leader who made this discovery. “When my Focus combines with my Strategic I cut to the quick of a solution with much more clarity and efficiency.”
Interruptions do not play well with the Focus talent. But beware of the Orange Cone of Silence -- the Kryptonite of...
In my youth I remember once reading the side of a pack of cigarettes that contained this caution:
WARNING: The Surgeon General has determined that cigarette smoking may be hazardous to your health.
That warning has been validated significantly in my lifetime. What I find intriguing is that our culture often fixates on what not to do. We often see posts, memes, and even billboards that attempt to steer us away from harmful behaviors and habits. Avoid the negative and life will go better for you. But what if there were more signposts of the good things we could do that would lead to a positive outcome in our lives?
Well, as a Force of Nature I’m all for starting new trends so here we go:
WARNING: The 50 years of research by Clifton Strengths has determined that the application of this blog may lead to greater productivity and fulfillment in your professional and personal life.
We are offering some tried and true as well as brand new online resources to...
Back in the old days of journalism there was a reporting rule that an objective news story should be written at a 5th grade level. Anybody over the age of 10 should be able to read the newspaper and understand what’s going on in their community and world. Though modern news media has moved beyond this philosophy in the same way it has moved beyond objectivity and print on paper, it is a great backdrop for what this post's talent seeks to do when it has been developed into a strength.
Communication is a Connect talent that builds relationships through the wonder of words. They talk their way into your life or use the pen or other creative expression to engage with others. They relate ideas, events, concepts and feelings to life and help others learn using stories, examples or visual aids. When Communication has been developed into a strength it does what the community newspaper used to do - take complex information and break it down so everyone can have mutual...
“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...
“The thing we learn from history is that we don’t learn from history.” Unless you have Context in your Top 5. This Reflect talent looks at the past to determine how we got to where we are today. If you have this talent in your Top 5 you are a retrospective thinker who may call an evening watching the History Channel “date night.” But please don’t do that unless your significant other also has Context.
Context looks to the concreteness of the past to solve problems. What worked successfully in the past determines our best practices going forward. Past failures are guideposts to ensure we don’t make the same mistake twice. Context may look like a Connect talent as the more it understands others’ personal story and how they came to be, the more foundation for relationship is built. People that treated us right will be trusted, but those who failed us Context may have a hard time forgetting and/or forgiving.
The Kryptonite of Context shows...