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Winners And Woosers

kryptonite woo Mar 10, 2021

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...

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Enviable Energizers

discipline focus kryptonite Feb 11, 2021

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...

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The Gift of Gab

communication kryptonite Dec 28, 2020

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...

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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...

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Time Travelers

“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...

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Natural Diversity

With all the attention on social reform over the past 4 months, it seems fitting to draw attention to two Connect talents that naturally look to involve people and see them for their uniqueness: Includer and Individualization.

The Includer hates to leave anyone out. An inclusive reflex pulls outsiders in and errs on the side of acceptance. Because they can see the value and worth of others they tend to reach out to a diverse group of people, ideas, and perspectives. “The more the merrier” is a theme they live by. When we learned our middle son, CT had Includer it explained so much of the uniqueness he brought to our family as our kids were growing up.

CT had the best birthday parties. His Includer wanted everyone to share in his special day. He invited all his classmates, the football team, the baseball team, the hockey team. (He didn’t even play hockey.) The result was a huge mob of pre-teen kids having the time of their lives at a tsunami-sized pool party or...

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The Unbelievable Power of Belief

belief kryptonite Aug 28, 2020

If seeing is believing for some, believing is seeing for those that have the Belief talent. Their choices are made through the lenses of what really matters to them. If you have this talent in your Top 5 there is probably a bedrock grounding in your life that guides and directs you in your decisions, focus and direction to live life on task. You have core values that you will stand by and often speak up for. This grounding shapes how you do life and often, who you do it with.  

People often make the mistake of associating Belief with faith. Though Don Clifton said that Belief is a talent that can have a “spiritual” component to it, that does not relegate it to a faith or religious system. Faith involves a hope, trust, or loyalty to a person, deity, or transcendent truth. Belief is an intrinsic drive or motivation that comes from values or pre-determined purposes. It can often look like a code of conduct or philosophy for life. How you live out that code towards...

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Are You Frozen or Fried? 2 Steps to Rehab Your Talents

In 8th grade, I had a fall over a hurdle that resulted in a compound fracture to my right arm. With a full cast that started below my knuckles and extended over the elbow and bicep, I was sentenced to 12 weeks of no use of my dominant hand and arm. Two things happened over the course of the next three months: First, I got creative and a little more proficient doing things with my left hand and other body parts like learning how to write (legibly!) with my left arm, albeit at a much slower rate. Second, I bought fully into a marketing campaign that milk builds strong bones and began to drink it at every meal.  

Three months later when my arm came out of the final cast, it was withered and puny compared to my left arm. Writing and many simple tasks were immediately regained by my freed right hand but it took some deliberate therapy to rebuild the strength and mass in my right arm so I could extend it out straight, lift heavier objects, and throw a baseball. I had...

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The Art of Start - How the Activator Talent Affects Your Other 4

Ah… the excitement and hope starting off a new year. Something about the freshness, newness, the clean slate, the opportunity to do something different. All these feelings are common motivators that people with the Activator talent feel every time they start something new. The anticipation of launching, exploring, innovating something unique and useful thrusts these people into action.

Activators may have a short attention span for long meetings. When they get the feel and flavor of a direction or goal they want to spin talk into action and ideas into intentionality. No failure to launch here. They will innovate, initiate, and ignite the next big thing that resonates with them with fearless enthusiasm.

Though great out of the blocks, some activators are known to have an aversion to finishing all the things they start. Once things get routine or mundane they are off to start something new and more engaging. They can overwhelm Achiever and Responsibility with their plethora of...

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A Deeper Look: Achiever & Command

achiever command kryptonite Feb 28, 2019

This month, we will look at two talents that are on polar opposite ends of the talent tier in terms of their frequency found in people’s top 5. At number one in our database is from the Energize quadrant: Achiever showing up in the top 5 a whopping 34% or just over 1/3 of the time. On the other side, we see Command from the Mobilize quadrant, coming in at just over 4% of the time. That is only one out of 25 people. Both have a great push toward productivity with some Kryptonite complications. Not surprisingly, I have both of these in my top 5.

Those of us with the Command talent have no problem stepping into a situation and giving direction & order to confusion & chaos. That presence and clarity can be inspiring and motivating when it is on point. There are other times that it can leave a wake of intimidation or just be emotionally overwhelming. Unfortunately, not many people with Command have understood this talent as a gift that needs to be developed. It can come...

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