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Talent Combinations: When 1 + 1 = 3

It’s not new math, it’s Talent Combinations. This is when two talents working together in an individual can look like a third talent. Like red and blue combining to make purple or hydrogen and oxygen uniting to form water, two talents working well together can simulate another. For instance, the vision of the forward-thinking Futuristic talent combined with the get-it-done Achiever talent in someone’s Top 5 can impersonate the effect of the start-with-the-end-in-mind Strategic talent. Sometimes we are sure we see a talent in someone’s Top 5 but in reality it can be two talents posing as a third.  

Lisa has spent a career developing her Communication talent in directing and developing leadership. When this combines with her Strategic talent she not only mitigates the Kryptonite of Strategic but can also proactively and intentionally communicate plans and solve people problems. Having the end picture in mind and using relevant verbiage that provides...

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Avoiding the “OI” Zone

As more of the world goes back to the workplace there are huge challenges as work communities are reforming from virtual platforms. As one colleague of mine said “It’s like in two years people have forgotten how to act like people.” At Inpowering People we are seeing our work help people reconnect in healthy and effective ways. A secret to our success? Helping individuals see others as people instead of from a perspective influenced by our talent Kryptonite that can lead us to view others as objects in the “OI” zone:

Obstacles  We see others as something to overcome: a problem to solve, a nuisance to avoid, a barrier to a goal. When I am zeroed in on the finish line with my Achiever talent, a phone call or co-worker suddenly becomes a barrier to my momentum of accomplishment or a drain on my timeline towards a deadline.

Interruptions – Those with Focus, Discipline, and Consistency can shut out...

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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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Talents in Turbulent Times


Early last fall, we experienced a major change in our work with one of our suppliers that disrupted our productivity and deliverables for many of our clients. I actually went through the steps of grieving related to the Kübler-Ross change curve (see graph below).

There was the initial shock. How could this be happening? What were these people thinking or NOT thinking? I soon went to denial, calling customer service to get answers and register complaints. I probably entered the depression phase about the time I started calling other colleagues to commiserate and find out what if anything they were doing to return things back to the way they used to be. 

After binge watching a season of Suits and Googling to see if there were any free and easy legal actions I could take, I finally began to experiment with real alternatives and adjustments I would need to function in the new reality foisted upon us. By...

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A-MAZE-ing Problem Solvers

“It ain’t easy being green!” This quote from Kermit the frog also resonates with many people who have talents in the Reflect or Green quadrant in the CoreClarity key. Over one third of the 34 talents reside here -- talents that do so much intellectual pondering, processing, and problem solving. 

Three Reflect talents frequently tapped for problem solving are Strategic, Arranger, and Analytical. In order to better understand the dynamics and the differences between these three talents, imagine all three trying to solve a challenging maze. 

Strategics start with the end in mind and then work their way back to find the best path for success. They would want to get 1000 feet above the maze so they could see where the exit is located. They would then find the shortest route from there all the way back to the start. Any routes that were longer or led to dead ends would be dismissed as they have identified an express lane to success. 

The Arranger wants to...

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