Strengths In Action: #1 Maximizer
I’m kicking off a 10-month blog series on my Gallup CliftonStrengths Top 10 results. I plan to take you through my Top 10 strengths so you can see how I think about each strength and how I proactively leverage the strengths in my life. I want to take strengths from an academic exercise or one time “oh that was kind of fun”, to here’s how my life is better because of strengths and how I use each one.
My first strength, and one of my favorites, is Maximizer. Here is the Gallup definition of Maximizer:
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.
I get particular enjoyment out of knowing that Dr. Don Clifton, the father of the Strengths movement, was also a Maximizer. Those of you who’ve taken the Strengths assessment know that you get personalized results, in addition to the core definitions, which are influenced by how you answered all of the questions so that you get a unique snapshot into your motivating factors. Here are a few lines from my personalized report that I find helpful in understanding my Maximizer:
Because of your strengths, you frequently notice what makes each person unique or special. Armed with these insights, you probably inspire many individuals to move into action. You realize life is more fulfilling for people who choose tasks and are given assignments that closely match their talents. You often notice the different moods, need for information, or preferred forms of recognition for the people in your life.
Chances are good that you reject using a one-size-fits-all approach when attempting to influence people to take action. Instead, you discover each person’s special talents, skills, knowledge, mission, likes, and dislikes. This information helps you personalize your words and deeds.
You focus on quality, and you prefer working with and for the best. By seeing what each person naturally does best and empowering them to do it, you make individuals, teams and groups better.
What I particularly like are the quality elements, the quick sorting features, and the focus and emphasis on taking things from good to excellent, rather than spending time on poor ROI items. If something is a low return item with poor ROI, then a ton of effort isn’t going to get a good result, so this is a candidate to be stopped or outsourced.
Maximizer in my life means that I look at my upcoming week and think about what I need and ask what do I have on my calendar that is going to feed those needs. If I don’t have something coming up in the week then I will specifically plan something that feeds the Maximizer. For me that looks like a work task where I am making a presentation better, evaluating existing processes for clients and coming up with a more elegant and simple solution (how can we make things more elegant by removing complexity is a favorite), or sharing the strengths message through coaching or workshop delivery. I love looking at my coaching clients that I’ll be working with that week and thinking “how can I use my Maximizer to really pour into that person and help them have a better experience, and help make their life better”. Because my Maximizer has a focus on helping others uncover their strengths, it is important to me that I be with people during the week. Calls are fine but I prefer in person, and I tend to get a little crispy if I have a week of just sitting in my office. I need to be out in the world!
I encourage you, as we go through this series, to take a look at your Top 10 strengths. If you only have your Top 5, that’s a great place to start. If you’d like your complete results then Gallup has the ability to “unlock” your Full 34 results without retaking the assessment, so that you can see all 10 dominant themes, the supporting themes and then the lesser themes toward the bottom. If you need any help with that process, please reach out and I’ll help you.
In summary, I want you to think:
1. What is a dominant strength for me?
2. What is coming up this week that will feed that strength?
3. How I am using that strength to make life better for me and other people? Remember – a strength is a gift you have to share with the world, and others have strengths they would like to share with you.
Let me know if Maximizer is one of your Top 10 strengths, and how it shows up in your life. Coming up next month is Significance, one of the most misunderstood strengths. Until then, use your strengths every day to have a strong life. 😊