Clifton StrengthsFinder Theme Descriptions
People exceptionally talented in the Achiever theme work hard and possess a great deal of stamina. They take immense satisfaction in being busy and productive.
People exceptionally talented in the Activator theme can make things happen by turning thoughts into action. They want to do things now, rather than simply talk about them.
People exceptionally talented in the Adaptability theme prefer to go with the flow. They tend to be “now” people who take things as they come and discover the future one day at a time.
People exceptionally talented in the Analytical theme search for reasons and causes. They have the ability to think about all of the factors that might affect a situation.
People exceptionally talented in the Arranger theme can organize, but they also have a flexibility that complements this ability. They like to determine how all of the pieces and resources can be arranged for maximum productivity.
People exceptionally talented in the Belief theme have certain core values that are unchanging. Out of these values emerges a defined purpose for their lives.
People exceptionally talented in the Command theme have presence. They can take control of a situation and make decisions.
People exceptionally talented in the Communication theme generally find it easy to put their thoughts into words. They are good conversationalists and presenters.
People exceptionally talented in the Competition theme measure their progress against the performance of others. They strive to win first place and revel in contests.
People exceptionally talented in the Connectedness theme have faith in the links among all things. They believe there are few coincidences and that almost every event has meaning.
People exceptionally talented in the Consistency theme are keenly aware of the need to treat people the same. They try to treat everyone with equality by setting up clear rules and adhering to them.
People exceptionally talented in the Context theme enjoy thinking about the past. They understand the present by researching its history.
People exceptionally talented in the Deliberative theme are best described by the serious care they take in making decisions or choices. They anticipate obstacles.
People exceptionally talented in the Developer theme recognize and cultivate the potential in others. They spot the signs of each small improvement and derive satisfaction from evidence of progress.
People exceptionally talented in the Discipline theme enjoy routine and structure. Their world is best described by the order they create.
People exceptionally talented in the Empathy theme can sense other people’s feelings by imagining themselves in others’ lives or situations.
People exceptionally talented in the Focus theme can take a direction, follow through and make the corrections necessary to stay on track. They prioritize, then act.
People exceptionally talented in the Futuristic theme are inspired by the future and what could be. They energize others with their visions of the future.
People exceptionally talented in the Harmony theme look for consensus. They don’t enjoy conflict; rather, they seek areas of agreement.
People exceptionally talented in the Ideation theme are fascinated by ideas. They are able to find connections between seemingly disparate phenomena.
People exceptionally talented in the Includer theme accept others. They show awareness of those who feel left out and make an effort to include them.
People exceptionally talented in the Individualization theme are intrigued with the unique qualities of each person. They have a gift for figuring out how different people can work together productively.
People exceptionally talented in the Input theme have a craving to know more. Often they like to collect and archive all kinds of information.
People exceptionally talented in the Intellection theme are characterized by their intellectual activity. They are introspective and appreciate intellectual discussions.
People exceptionally talented in the Learner theme have a great desire to learn and want to continuously improve. The process of learning, rather than the outcome, excites them.
People exceptionally talented in the Maximizer theme focus on strengths as a way to stimulate personal and group excellence. They seek to transform something strong into something superb.
People exceptionally talented in the Positivity theme have contagious enthusiasm. They are upbeat and can get others excited about what they are going to do.
People exceptionally talented in the Relator theme enjoy close relationships with others. They find deep satisfaction in working hard with friends to achieve a goal.
People exceptionally talented in the Responsibility theme take psychological ownership of what they say they will do. They are committed to stable values such as honesty and loyalty.
People exceptionally talented in the Restorative theme are adept at dealing with problems. They are good at figuring out what is wrong and resolving it.
People exceptionally talented in the Self-Assurance theme feel confident in their ability to manage their own lives. They possess an inner compass that gives them confidence that their decisions are right.
People exceptionally talented in the Significance theme want to be very important in others’ eyes. They are independent and want to be recognized.
People exceptionally talented in the Strategic theme create alternative ways to proceed. Faced with any given scenario, they can quickly spot the relevant patterns and issues.
People exceptionally talented in the Woo theme love the challenge of meeting new people and winning them over. They derive satisfaction from breaking the ice and making a connection with someone.
Now, Discover Your Strengths
StrengthsFinder (or Now, Discover Your Strengths) is a self-help book written by Marcus Buckingham and Donald O. Clifton, first published in 2001. At the heart of the book is the internet based “Clifton Strengths Finder,” an online personal assessment test that outlines the user’s strengths. The authors advocate focusing on building strengths rather than focusing on weaknesses.
The theory behind the book is that each adult individual possesses a certain number of fixed universal personal-character attributes, defined by the authors as “talent themes,” which, together, result in an individual’s tendency to develop certain skills more easily and excel in certain fields in a sustainable way while failing or not being able to sustain success or high levels of effectiveness in other fields.
The authors claim that by identifying the individual strength of the members of the organization, its members can be utilized in more suiting positions, hence developing the required skills easily, helping to reduce turnover, improve employee morale and the organization’s overall performance.
The Gallup Organization claims to have distilled the theory into practice by interviewing 1.7 million professionals from varying fields. Having quantified the different traits of the people they interviewed, they came up with 34 distinct patterns—what they call “talent themes”—that best describe the range of human uniqueness observed during their research:
・Achiever – one with a constant drive for accomplishing tasks
・Activator – one who acts to start things in motion
・Adaptability – one who is especially adept at accommodating to changes in direction/plan
・Analytical – one who requires data and/or proof to make sense of their circumstances
・Arranger – one who enjoys orchestrating many tasks and variables to a successful outcome
・Belief – one who strives to find some ultimate meaning behind everything they do
・Command – one who steps up to positions of leadership without fear of confrontation
・Communication – one who uses words to inspire action and education
・Competition – one who thrives on comparison and competition to be successful
・Connectedness – one who seeks to unite others through commonality
・Consistency – one who believes in treating everyone the same to avoid unfair advantage
・Context – one who is able to use the past to make better decisions in the present
・Deliberative – one who proceeds with caution, seeking to always have a plan and know all of the details
・Developer – one who sees the untapped potential in others
・Discipline – one who seeks to make sense of the world by imposition of order
・Empathy – one who is especially in tune with the emotions of others
・Focus – one who requires a clear sense of direction to be successful
・Futuristic – one who has a keen sense of using an eye towards the future to drive today’s success
・Harmony – one who seeks to avoid conflict and achieve success through consensus
・Ideation – one who is adept at seeing underlying concepts that unite disparate ideas
・Includer – one who instinctively works to include everyone
・Individualization – one who draws upon the uniqueness of individuals to create successful teams
・Input – one who is constantly collecting information or objects for future use
・Intellection – one who enjoys thinking and thought-provoking conversation often for its own sake, and also can data compress complex concepts into simplified models
・Learner – one who must constantly be challenged and learning new things to feel successful
・Maximizer – one who seeks to take people and projects from great to excellent
・Positivity – one who has a knack for bring the light-side to any situation
・Relator – one who is most comfortable with fewer, deeper relationships
・Responsibility – one who must follow through on commitments
・Restorative – one who thrives on solving difficult problems
・Self-Assurance – one who stays true to their beliefs, judgments and is confident of his/her ability
・Significance – one who seeks to be seen as significant by others
・Strategic – one who is able to see a clear direction through the complexity of a situation
・Woo – one who is able to easily persuade (short for “Winning Others Over”)
The Gallup group has developed an online test that they claim will reveal the test-taker’s top five themes. The “Clifton Strengths Finder” http://www.strengthsfinder.com is a web based questionnaire, which, based on the answers, claims to be able to define individual “Strengths”. A single one-time access is possible by entering an access code provided with the book.
Now, Discover Your Strengths, correlating to the “Strength Finder 1.0” Web application has been replaced by the Strengths Finder 2.0 book correlating to the “Strengths Finder 2.0” Web application.
Criticisms of the strengths-based leadership model include:
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