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Achiever: Learning to Love All 34 Talent Themes

Achiever: Learning to Love All 34 Talent Themes

Webcast Details

  • Gallup Theme Thursday Webcast Series
  • Season 1, Achiever
  • Learn how themes form the core of CliftonStrengths and how to understand and appreciate your own -- and others' -- strengths, as we focus on Achiever.
  • Interested in learning more on this topic? Read more about the CliftonStrengths All 34 Report.

On a recent Theme Thursday Season 1 live webcast, we discussed the Achiever theme with Scot Caldwell, a Gallup Learning Design Consultant.

People with Achiever get things done. Of all 34 talent themes, Achiever shows up in 35% of the population that has taken the CliftonStrengths assessment. People who possess Achiever are notable for their hard work, stamina and energy. It is a Theme of intense "doing."

Scot's personal brand at Gallup is defined by his Achiever theme. He is known for being a dedicated, hard worker, and he is proud of that reputation. He often works nights and weekends to accomplish his work. Scot has an intense internal drive to take on a lot of projects and get them done -- and done well.

Scot has Maximizer as his No. 1 theme and Achiever as his second theme. As a result, there can sometimes be tension between them. Scot says, "Achiever wants to get things done, and Maximizer wants to get things done right." Despite this, he is grateful for the tension these two themes create. Maximizer forces him to say "no" to projects he would otherwise have no time to complete with the quality they require.

Because of his Achiever, Scot has high expectations of himself and others. He sometimes pushes his team members outside of their comfort zones, but he has to keep in mind that not everyone works during the weekends. He manages his expectations of his team members by relying on his Individualization theme. He customizes his expectations so they meet each team members' strengths and capacity for new projects. Scot's Achiever also helps him celebrate his team's accomplishments. He loves to put "recognition for others" on his to-do list because checking it off satisfies the Achiever in him and it provides recognition for his team.

To learn more about Achiever and how Scot uses it in his everyday life, watch the full video or listen to the audio above.

Below is a full transcript of the conversation, including time stamps. Full audio and video are posted above.

What should I look for in a job/career?

Jim Collison 0:00

I am Jim Collison, and live from the Gallup campus here in Omaha, Nebraska, this is Gallup's Theme Thursday, recorded on September 10, 2015.

Jim Collison 0:20

Theme Thursday is a Gallup webcast series that dives deep into the Clifton StrengthsFinder themes, one theme at a time. And today's theme is -- theme is Achiever, right? We're on Achiever today? That's right, right, good. If you have questions, comments or contributions during the webcast, we do have a live chat room that's available for you right below the main video window. So if you're watching the video, just look down; there's a chat window there. You can create an account just a guest account. You don't have to give us anything -- although Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, any of those will work as well. Get logged in; that's the best way to get your questions in. And we do take questions during the program. We'd love to have you log in and join us as well. If you're listening to the recorded version, or if you need custom strengths coaching solutions for small, medium or large organizations, you can contact us. Just send us an email: And of course, don't forget to visit the Gallup Strengths Center; that's just -- all one word -- for your coaching resources and training needs. You can also catch the video in both streaming and downloadable audio for offline listening to past shows, all at our Coaches Blog. This is really the one place to start: Don't forget, too, if you had, if you didn't know, you can now log into the Gallup Strengths Center and get a free e-book that's available for you, so we've made StrengthsFinder 2.0 available for -- as a free download for an e-book, e-pub or mobi versions are both available for you out there. Don't do it right now. But after we're done here, go to the Gallup Strengths Center and log, log in and get that free e-book that's available for you. Rod Karr is our host today. Rod works as a Learning and Development Consultant right here on the Riverfront with us. Rod, welcome back! This is not your first Theme Thursday. It is your second, but welcome back and thanks for hosting today.

Rod Karr 1:54

Thank you. Great to be with you.

Jim Collison 1:56

Rod, why don't we take a second. I know we're ready for you to, as we talk about this theme today, you've got an overture prepared for us. Let's dig in.

Rod Karr 2:05

Thank you very much, Jim. And good afternoon, everyone. Yes, today we're going to spend some time looking at Achiever. As most of you know very well, this is an Executing talent. People who have this talent theme are people who get things done. And an interesting discovery for us, in a recent study we did, was that of all 34 of the talent themes, Achiever is -- shows up in Top 5 for 35% of the population that has taken the assessment. So, so we see this frequently, and, and as coaches, it's one that we're going to have to deal with and handle frequently. People who possess Achiever are noteworthy for their energy, their stamina and their hard work. I would characterize, in general terms, this theme as a theme of intense doing. So, so with that background, we want to, we want to turn our conversation to our guest. And our guest today is Scot Caldwell. Scot Caldwell is a Course Designer here at The Gallup Organization. And Scot possesses, among his Top 5 themes, this theme of Achiever. Scot, good mor -- good afternoon, and great to have you with us.

Scot Caldwell 3:33

Good afternoon. It's good to be here.

Rod Karr 3:34

I hope you're eager and ready to talk about this theme. I know Scot well, and he kind of carries this theme around as his brand. So let's, let's talk a little bit about Achiever, Scot, and how it shows up in you.

Scot Caldwell 3:54

OK, well, first of all, I can't wait for this to be done so I could cross this off my list! I do think a lot of what you said is how it shows up for me. I think that there is inside me an inner, an inner drive to get things done. I, I always want to be doing something. I tend to take on a lot. It is absolutely not uncommon for me to work long nights over the weekend. You'd mentioned stamina. I think that it's I could go, and have gone, several weeks without, you know, taking a break from work. It's one of those things where I -- it just, it pushes me to get, to get a lot of stuff done.

Scot Caldwell 4:55

And you mentioned brand -- I -- that's pretty -- that's important to me too. I think that I I want to be seen as somebody that gets stuff done. So it's a -- I value it; I value, I value being able to see accomplishments and getting, getting things done. I do you think how it shows up for me is oftentimes, Achiever is No. 2 on my, in my Top 5. Maximizer's No. 1. And I see Achiever and Maximizer intention a lot inside of me, you know, the -- and it's a, it's an internal thing. I think that being able to work a little bit with Achiever and Maximizer over time, I think that now they're in a position where they kind of help self-regulate each other. But I think that the, the tension for Maximizer is to make -- to get things done right; that Achiever wants to get things done. And so sometimes those things are in competition, competition with each other.

Scot Caldwell 6:10

So yeah, I mean, I think having those as two of my dominant talents, it makes me -- I think I have high expectations for myself. And I think I also have high expectations for the people I work with.

Rod Karr 6:23

Great, Scot. I think it's really helpful to hear you talk about the, the dynamics, the interaction between both Maximizer and Achiever in you. Scot, when you think about this Achiever talent, what are 3 or 4 words that you, you would use to describe it in you?

Scot Caldwell 6:48

Productive, a hard worker, momentum, I think is a, is a word that I would say. And I -- stamina.

Rod Karr 7:01

Say more about that "momentum." That's an interesting choice of words.

Scot Caldwell 7:05

Yeah, I think, I think for me, it's -- oftentimes, you know, the things that I'm working on don't have -- aren't short-term projects; they tend to be long-term things. So it might be I'm, I start a, I start a project, and it might take, you know, 5 to, 5 to 6 months for it to cross the finish, the finish line. So if you just looked at that, if you just put that project on your checklist, right, it would, it would be a long time before I could cross it, I could cross it off my list!

Scot Caldwell 7:50

But I do think that -- so one of the things that I strategically do about, about that is, I like to track progress -- almost kind of like, you know, you're in your project management kind of software-type thing. I'm like, OK, I've reached the 5% accomp -- the 5% mark. I've reached the 10% mark; I've reached the 15. And so when I reach those individual milestones that might be a part of a greater project, I look immediately look forward to OK, I can't wait until I'm 50% done, or that I'm in a place where I think I'm 50% done. So on those long-term projects, I think that it gives me, it gives me momentum, to think about getting the next piece of that project done. Does that make sense?

Rod Karr 8:42

Absolutely, it does, and I think it, I think it enriches the understanding for all of us about this theme, that use of that word "momentum" and the way you've described it here. Because I think Achiever can be, can have a tendency to be in the moment, getting things done and checked off the list. And yet life is filled with a lot of those extended-timeline kind of projects. And I think you've described that very well.

Scot Caldwell 9:09

Oh, and trust me, I've got my checklist for the day. I have that.

Rod Karr 9:14

It's ready to go.

Scot Caldwell 9:16


Rod Karr 9:17

Scot, I want you to think about something for me. When, when this Achiever theme is working well for you, what feelings do you experience?

Scot Caldwell 9:30

Well, immediately is accomplishment. There is, there is kind of like this energy bump that happens when, OK, I've got it, I've got it done. And so, you know, I stand up, take a walk around the office and come back down and ready for the next one. But there is that sense of accomplishment, there is the sense of satisfaction. It, it also is, particularly when you're dealing with stuff that has a very tangible outcome, it's good to even like, I get a sense of euphoria just looking at the finished, the finished product and, and thinking back about, you know, all the things that, that were accomplished in it. I think that having Achiever also gives me a chance to pause and recognize the people that I work with to celebrate those kinds of things when it comes to, when it comes to an end. And I think that that all comes from that sense of accomplishment, that sense of completion. So there's a deep satisfaction that happens when you, when you can cross something off the list -- particularly something that's been on the list for a long time.

Rod Karr 10:49

Yeah. So, so Scot, you, you've got a lot of energy that comes from this Achiever theme; a lot of stamina. You work hard. Do you think it's difficult for others to keep up with you?

Scot Caldwell 11:05

Yeah, well, I guess maybe, probably. I do think that I have -- I think I mentioned this before -- I do think I have high expectations. I have a lot for getting things done, keeping things moving. And I think sometimes I can maybe be, you know, pushing somebody to -- I, I could have a tendency of pushing somebody outside of their comfort zone, in terms of their pace or, or cadence. I think that, you know, one of the things about, about my Achiever, I think, is that I do, I do get agitated when there is an apparent lack of diligence or a lack of follow-through or lack of completion. So when that happens, I think it's pretty visible for the people that I, that I work with.

Scot Caldwell 12:06

I do think that because I, I often work weekends, I often work past, you know, your standard business hours, that sometimes I might think that somebody can accomplish, you know, just as much working in a tighter timeframe. So I think that that can be, that can be, that can be difficult. I also think that because I have Achiever and if it's -- if I don't stop, and -- I hate to use the word "regulate" it a little bit, but if I don't hit Pause, I think there's a tendency for -- and let me back up also -- that the pairing of Achiever and Maximizer I feel when I get something when I do get something done, I'm usually pretty satisfied with the, with the output or the outcome. Because of that, I can maybe skip steps that, that other people might like to, might like to see. So those review steps, those consolidation steps, that seems to me like, you know, why wait a week for feedback when I know there's not going to be any? So I think that there, I think that there is a feeling of when somebody else is, is, is not following through, that's when I get agitated a lot. And I think that I can -- if I'm not thinking carefully, I could think my pace should be other people's pace, and that's not realistic.

Rod Karr 13:45

Yeah. Scot, has this theme ever gotten in your way?

Scot Caldwell 13:52

Ever gotten in my way? I guess you know, I don't know if gotten in -- I would say -- I'm gonna say, "No," because ultimately I wouldn't have achieved then. But I do think that there are things that you have to, that you have to be cognizant, that I have to be cognizant of. I think I tend to take things, I tend to take more things on. I tend to not stop when I, when I, when I should. That I probably take on more things than, than other people would. Sometimes that can be, that can be bad. Sometimes -- just for your, you know, your social wellbeing and, and so forth, you have to like, No, I'm gonna, I'm not gonna do that, that particular project. But that's hard for me to say no to things, or to take things on. So I don't know if it gets in the way of -- it doesn't get in the way of achieving, but it might get in the way of other, other things like, you know, the balance and that kind of thing.

Rod Karr 15:11

Yeah, I, yeah, and I, you know, I couldn't help but think, as you were talking there, that might there be others that are -- that get jealous? You keep achieving. You know, you're the Energizer Bunny. You keep going. And maybe they can't go as long, or they feel they've got family commitments and things of that nature. And you just work on through and plow through to completion and you get something done that maybe they can't. And, yeah, and I think it's healthy to think about all of those ways that it might get in your way. No, it never, it never gets your way of getting things done. But does that fact itself challenge us -- socially, politically --

Scot Caldwell 15:58


Rod Karr 15:58

Yeah. terms of relationships. Absolutely. And, and I think the follow-up question to that, then, Scot, is, if any of that happens, how do you manage that?

Scot Caldwell 16:12

Well, I mentioned a little bit about my Maximizer. I do think that it -- if, if I want to do things right, and I want things to be very done professionally, that automatically kind of helps me regulate that, that tendency to take on more things. Can I do this and do it right? Ask, asking that additional question helps me sometimes say, "No." I think that when I've got a lot on my plate, I think my Strategic helps me sort through how to get things done and weave in that kind of thing. I also, Rod, I do have a bit of Individualization that's, that's, that's dominant. And that lets, that kind of helps me think through how to deal with those kind of relational things that could happen with, you know, expectations for one person might be different for another. And I can kind of help -- my Individualization helps me set that a little bit, the more I get to know somebody. Does that help?

Rod Karr 17:26
Yeah, absolutely. And, and it leads me directly to another, another question. Do you stop and celebrate successes?

Scot Caldwell 17:40

Yeah, yes, probably -- now, here's where I stop to celebrate successes. I, I, I start, I stop to celebrate successes with my, with my partners. So when things get done that was a team effort, I think I'm really good at stopping and saying, "Thank you" and celebrating a team, a team success. I'm not so good at stopping and doing the individual success. That's just not, just not in my nature. But if it's a team project, if there's a lot of people in involved, I do -- I think I do celebrate that stuff. But I'll tell you what, personally -- and it's more of that stopping to celebrate is thanking and recognizing the accomplishments of others, because they just achieved. Whether or not they've got high Achiever or not, I see the achievement that they've done, and it helps me, and I want to celebrate that, right. But for me, personally, the best recognition for me is, give me the next big thing, the most, the next-most-important thing that we're working on, give me that next project. Let me get going on that. That's more -- I don't know -- if I'm talking about just my Achiever, that's that's probably the, the celebration that I like, that I like the most. I don't like to, I don't like to be in front of a crowd and all that -- all that hoopla. I'm more of -- the best recognition for me is give me the next-most-important assignment that we've got going and let me take it to the finish line.

Rod Karr 19:27

Well, you you used, I think, a really important word there, around this Achiever theme, and I'd like you to talk a little bit more about that. You used the word "next" a couple of times. And I think it's true for most people with Achiever, that it's almost as though what's next is always on their mind. What's -- I'm getting this done; what's next?

Scot Caldwell 19:55

Well, it certainly is that for me, I think. When I look at my, you know, the common, the common thing that everybody talks about Achiever is, Do you make lists? Do you have a to-do list? And I certainly have that. But my to-do list is -- there's short-term, there's midrange, there's long-term type things. And there's always, I'm always thinking about the what's -- the what's next. So, I mean, I think that there is a degree of that. I don't know if it's everybody's that way that has Achiever, but it's certainly that way for me is I like to know that there is a, that there's a path for more stuff to do. I get a little, I get, I have angst when I finish something and I don't know what to do next. If I don't have the, if I don't have a, an outline of where the next project, I get a little -- that agitates me. I always want to have, here's, here's what -- here's my next goal, right? Here's the next project I'm working on.

Rod Karr 21:11

You know, I think it's interesting, Scot, that, that when we talk about Achiever, and as you've talked about Achiever, it's a lot about getting things done. Do you think that, that the, the distinction gets smudged between getting things done and getting people done for you?

Scot Caldwell 21:40

That -- that's a good question. I don't think so if it's on my list!

Rod Karr 21:46

So all we have to do is put their name on the list, and you'll attend to it.

Scot Caldwell 21:52

I mean, no, because I think that there are times like, you know, on my, on my to-do list is team meeting, recognition, you know, I put on my list I need to write a, I need to give this person accolades for something. Or I need to, to congratulate them. So I think that, to me, it's, it's about the person, it's also about the thing of crossing it off. But it is something to do. And it is, and it's something to celebrate. I think that, I think people that have a lot more -- I don't have a lot of Relational themes, I guess, I think I, you know, I've got Individualization. And I try to use some of my other themes to do, to be relationship things.

Scot Caldwell 22:47

I think that if I was -- now when I was a manager, it was all about the people thing. So all of my orientation or almost all of my orientation around Achiever was about that role of developing other people and make -- and whether it is giving them more skills, making sure that their needs are met, making sure that I'm developing them, making sure that, that they have their tangible and emotional workplace needs are met.

Scot Caldwell 23:18

So I think that I, it, that distinction doesn't blur for me. I think that what it is about is that my role is a lot different. I'm not a people developer; I'm not a people manager, right now. I am a Curriculum Designer, and oftentimes that Curriculum Designer is about getting things done. Now, I have partners, and I certainly try to recognize them and motivate them and everything. But most of the stuff on my list --it's tough right now. That -- does that make sense?

Rod Karr 23:52

Yeah, absolutely. And I think you've given all of us a great piece of insight, whether we're coaching individuals with Achiever or whether we're just thinking about this theme of Achiever. But can we help people think about -- are you tending to getting people on that list? Getting those relational kinds of things done, as well as all those things done? So I think you've, you've given us some great insight there. Scot, early on, you mentioned that you have Maximizer No. 1, and that there's this tension between Achiever and Maximizer. Achiever wants to get it done; Maximizer wants to get it done at a very high level. I want you to think about other dominant themes of yours. And do you have any dominant themes that are a perfect match for your Achiever?

Scot Caldwell 24:46

Yeah, so a couple -- one is Focus. Focus really helps me take the clutter out of things and really helps me get focused on individual components, and I can dive deep into the, it helps me get things done. It just really helps me get things done. I think I -- the -- my Strategic thing helps me sort through some of those conflicts that I've got, like with Maximizer and Achiever. How can I make sure that I'm doing things right, that I'm getting through the -- and, and making progress? So I think that that helps. I also have Arranger. Arranger, I think, really pairs very, very well with my -- with my Achiever, because it helps me, even if I'm working on a lot of different projects, it lets, it helps me prioritize. It helps me delegate. It helps me kind of sort through what's the best avenue to get things done. And so I think that I think -- I'm talking all over the place, but I think that the two themes that really pair really, really well, at least for me, with Achiever, is my Focus and my Arranger. And I think that my Strategic kind of helps me get through some of those, some of those barriers or some of those tension elements that populate it.

Rod Karr 26:17

Yeah, I think, I think the way you've described those makes great sense. And, and they, they certainly work as complementary themes to each other. So, Scot, I've, I've given you all the softball questions now. And so I'm going to turn to our audience -- I, Jim, I'm guessing we've got some people out there who have questions in the chat room. So let's, let's see if we can get some of those out, out here for Scot to answer.

Jim Collison 26:45

We do have a bunch of Achievers out there, giving me a bunch of questions. So actually, the very first one's from me, Scot and when you think about the beyond the to-do list, right, because we often -- you mentioned it -- we often equate the Achievers with the to-do list and that, that's one of those things when we're doing strengths spotting in universities and with high school students, we ask that question, "Do you create a to-do list?" But with Achievers can, when does that system break? I can't just keep adding things to the "do" list, right? We often think, just load it up and they'll get it done. For you, when does that, when does that stop working? Right? When does the to-do list stop working? And what do you have to do to keep from taking on too many tasks?

Scot Caldwell 27:27

That's a really good question. And I'm gonna be absolutely transparent that sometimes I don't notice it soon enough. I think one of the, one of the things that I'm, that I do is I, on most of my projects, since there's a lot of different components inside of it, I kind of look at all my projects as from a project management kind of standpoint. And so I'll -- I mentioned this a little bit earlier with regards to, you know, progressing on milestones. And when I do that, I kind of like think about those milestones as being either they're, I'm behind, or I'm ahead of schedule. And -- or I'm, I'm stalling. And I almost color-code my dashboard, you know, red, yellow and green. I value green, because that means it's going or it's ahead of schedule. But when I stop making progress; when I feel like I'm stopped making progress on things, I know I'm not -- and when things aren't getting crossed off the list, that's when I know that I'm, I've taken on too much.

Scot Caldwell 28:42

I think another -- so that's one of the support mechanisms I have is to make sure that I have a dashboard. And my dashboard helps me know whether or not I'm making progress or if I need, I need to stop to get things done. I think another support mechanism that, that I've got is you got to have complementary partners that are -- that can be gatekeepers. So I've got a couple of really great complementary partners that know the, the Achiever in me wants to do more, and they, they tend to be gatekeepers for me and can kind of see when there's a right time to, to give something more. But I think it's a real challenge for Achievers is that you, it's hard to say "No," because you want to say "Yes," and you want to cross things -- you want it to have that sense of accomplishment. So I mean, you do have to have some sort of support mechanism to either control it, you know, which is my gatekeeper, or to recognize for yourself when you're, when you're taking on too much and you're not making, you're not crossing things off or you're not making progress.

Jim Collison 30:00

Rod, you have Achiever in your Top 5 as well, right? How is that different for you? How do you keep from the, you know, the tyranny of the to-do list?

Rod Karr 30:11

Well, I have Self-Assurance, so I -- I'm quite confident in the decisions I make for myself. And I kind of begin with an approach that says they're the right decisions, and I've hardly ever been proven wrong!

Jim Collison 30:32

Well, there you go. That's one way of just getting past it. Well, let's talk about that Self-Assurance a little bit because Marine asked this question to Scot, but it was this Maximizer. She said she'd like to know if Scot's Maximizer plus Achiever is also fueled by his Self-Assurance in that. Let me, let me throw that to you, Rod, because you you're admitting that. So how does, how does that work? I mean, you can say that, but how does that work on the other end? When people are trying to load things on you, how does that Self-Assurance really work with them?

Rod Karr 31:08

So I'm, I think the, the critical element is confidence. When I say "Yes," I, I do it with great confidence that I'm going to be able to deliver. Now, I think what in tandem with Achiever, what it can look like, is I think there are, there are many things in life that I encounter, where I say to myself, "I think I could do that." And I choose not to. So for example, I've I've often thought, I'll bet I could build an automobile from the ground up. I have no interest in doing it. And so I haven't taken it on, but it would simply be reading technical manuals and doing it -- going through the, going through the steps. But I'm quite confident in making those decisions about things I'm not going to take on and do also.

Jim Collison 31:59

OK. And Scot, how about you? How does your Self-Assurance play into that piece of -- you mentioned the dashboard. But does that play in the same way or different?

Scot Caldwell 32:08

No, I exactly right -- it just what Rod said. I do have, I do have high Self-Assurance. So I am confident and making the, making the right decisions. I think there's something also in just in Achiever too, where you want to set your own pace. You don't want to be constrained by other, by other people. And I think there's a -- Self-Assurance is the same way. You want to, you have confidence in your own, in your own abilities and your own pace, and that you can make the, you can make the right decisions. Now, you, you pair those two together and if, if I'm not regulating it, it's exactly the, it's exactly what we had just been talking about that you do. You take on too much if, if you're not you're not being, if you're not regulating it somehow. And so I think that we -- you have to regulate it. And to Rod's, to Rod's point is, I think is right, is that I'm confident when I take something on I can do it and then have something where if I did say "Yes" and I couldn't, I've got, I got some sort of support mechanism to help me out.

Jim Collison 33:18

OK, and Baja asks this question, and I think it's really good because we haven't talked about it from this standpoint. But he says, Scot, what's the greatest relational risks you face as a Achiever/Maximizer, since those are in there, and how do you hedge against those relational risks?

Scot Caldwell 33:33

Yeah, I think that, I think what happens, that what can happen, is just the amount -- the high expectations I can put on my, my partners. I tend to -- just thinking about how my internal partnerships work -- it's hard for me to, my Maximizer, it's hard for me to let go of, of a, of a project I'm working on because I have really strong opinions about what the final output should be. So I want, I have got really high expectations for the quality. And I've got really high expectations for the pace and the, and the cadence of how we're, of how we're working. Those two together can, can create undue, unrealistic expectations on others. And so what, what I need in order to, in order to manage that is to have a relationship where people are open and say, I just can't, I just can't do that. We need to figure -- I need 2 more days. And, and people that are open and confident enough to, to tell me that. If that doesn't happen, there's going to be, there's going to be tension there because I really -- I know I have high expectations.

Scot Caldwell 35:01

Now, the good thing about high expectations is I think most people that I -- most of the people that I work with value high expectations. So there's some benefit to, to having that. The -- you just have to have a way in which you love -- kind of give them they, give them an "out"; a reasonable "out," in terms of pace, and in terms of so that the quality is not sacrificed.

Jim Collison 35:32

Yeah, and Rod, let me throw it to you. When we think about these relational dangers, so to speak. When, and in your example, when we think of Achiever/Self-Assurance, you're going to get it done, how do you, how do you coach people through not rolling over people or rolling through them? Scot, you're kind of alluding to it. You work in a group of where the expectations are very, very clear. And maybe that's part of the key to that, but what's your advice to people from not just rolling straight through -- Hey, I'm going to get this done. Because that's what it sounds like to me. I'm gonna get this done. I could build a car. If I wanted to, I'm gonna get this done. How, what's your coaching on that?

Rod Karr 36:09

I think it gets back to something that Scot mentioned and we talked about, and that is, Do I have the right things on the list? Do I just have things? Or do I include people? Do I include relationships? Do I include those loved ones? Am I affording them the appropriate time for my doing also? And I think if we get that in balance, then, then we, we mitigate that, that tendency to roll over people or ignore people or have, have a life that is relationship-less.

Jim Collison 36:48

Yeah, yeah. No, that's good. Trisha asks this question: Scot, does the output always have to be tangible for Achievers?

Scot Caldwell 36:59

I don't -- well, no, no, I don't think so. Like I -- now it could be other themes, so Rod, you, you help straighten me out if I'm saying, I'm saying wrong, but I'm just looking at my, at my list here. And so there's, there's things on my list like I need to give feedback to somebody on something that I was reviewing. So there's, there's, there's that that -- now it's a it's a tangible activity but it's not a product.

Scot Caldwell 37:30

I have on here that I need to, we have at Gallup, we have these things called "Drops," which are little kind of almost like thank-you or recognition notes, and I've got two people on my list here that I need to that I want, I need to write a Drop to. Now, it when I, when I get that Drop done, I'm going to cross it off the list and it's a, it's a tangible thing, but it's more about thanking somebody, somebody else. And so I don't, I don't know. I mean, I guess, in my, if I were picking a task, yeah, it's probably a tangible thing, but it's not just about output. It's also, it's also about doing things that might not be about a tangible output. Rod, would you add anything to that? Or am I off there? Is that, is that other themes at work or what, what do you think?

Rod Karr 38:31

I've always thought you were "off," Scot! No -- the only, the only thing I would, I would add is I, me, when my Achiever was raw, I think it was more about tangible things. As my Achiever has matured, I think it's much more about intangible things also.

Scot Caldwell 38:58

Yeah, and you know, one other thing I would just say about a -- about Achiever, and it gets to your raw and mature thing. Rod. I think that there, at least for me, there's a tendency that I can be independent. I can work independently. That I don't, that because I want to get things across, because I want to set my own pace, those are things that can lead to independency. And I think that the more mature you are, the more aware you are about Achiever, the more that you try to build in codependency with, with others, that your, your pace isn't about -- your freedom to work at your own pace isn't at the expense of your relationships or working with others. And it can happen when you -- if you're just looking at raw Achiever -- I want to get things done. I want to work at my own pace. I don't need anybody else. That kind of thing can grow into being an independent worker instead of a code dependent team member.

Jim Collison 40:15

Scot, can convincing someone of an idea be an intangible achievement for you? Is that a -- "I need to change someone else's opinion" checkmark?

Scot Caldwell 40:28

Well, yeah, I don't know. I suppose. I -- now there is, there are things like getting feedback. There are things like I need to get sign-off. So those are those are, things that are, that are very much "milestonish." And whenever there's a milestone that I could cross off, that means something green on my dashboard. So yeah, I suppose.

Jim Collison 40:57

Rod, you, you smiled a little bit when I said that. Did you have something in mind? Is it a Self-Assurance -- ?

Rod Karr 41:02

No, I just thought it was a great example of an intangible that we might, that we might be able to check off the list.

Jim Collison 41:09

Yeah, very good. I told you guys this question was coming, but Scot about being -- when you were a child or a teen, and you think about your Achiever, how did it manifest itself in you?

Scot Caldwell 41:22

Yeah, you know, when you first asked that question, I'm like, I'm too old to remember anything when I was a kid. And I, I think I do have, I do have pretty high Competition. So sometimes it's really hard for me to separate the Achiever from Competition, so that might be something Rod you can you can speak to. But -- so one of the things, you know, I was very, I would get into things so that I could get things, so I could get things done. Some part of that is, is winning and that kind of, that kind of thing. Another thing that I think was manifested that I -- that my parents recognized early on was we had a, and it probably fit in both of that Achiever and Competition, is that they, on our weekly chore list thing that would, we'd have our weekly chores and my, my mother would have a big listing of, of all the chores for all, for each of my, for me and my sisters. And there would -- you would get a star on the on the completion, if you got it, when you got it done. And in so many stars, you got kind of you got a bump in my, my allowance thing.

Scot Caldwell 42:49

So one of the things that got me to do my chores, I think, was to get a star on the old little chart thing. I don't know if it was, if it was about, for me at the time, I, I don't know if it was Achiever or the Competition or, or both, but that that got me to things to do. I was never, I don't think I was ever late with, with papers or projects or anything like that in school. I did do an, I did take on an awful lot, I mowed an awful lot of lawns. And I had a -- I was a paperboy. And when I was delivering papers, I always had a goal of, you know, get 2, 2 new houses this month. Or my, you know, my goal would be, you know, on Day 1, when it was time to go collect, on the first day I wanted, you know, two-thirds of the, the route to be collected. Then, then, then the, then within 3 days to have them all collected. So there were things like that that, that probably were present. I don't know some of that -- is, is probably Achiever. Some of it is probably Competition, if that helps. Yeah, that's all I can remember.

Jim Collison 44:14

You know, it's interesting. You think about your paper; I did papers as a kid too. And you approached it very -- I bet -- very methodically, got through the process, worked it through. And I was all about getting around the neighborhoods so I could visit with people, right? The, for me, it was about how many people could I know, and the paper was just a way to get it done. You know, it was the means and the methods for the Woo, for me and Woo, to be able to get that done. So I saw that process the same -- this is what's interesting -- I see that same process, play out as in children in two completely different ways. So I want to ask you one more question as we kind of bring this in for a landing, and I think it's one you'll be able to answer really well as we think about the coaching aspect of what you do in this as well, is that -- What about situations where Achiever is taken negatively -- this was John's question, John Spence -- where it's taken negatively, the negative effect to it? I alluded to it a little bit earlier in getting it done. But some circumstances or have you seen that? Or have you worked through that with people, and what's your advice from that standpoint?

Scot Caldwell 45:17

Yeah, you know, when, when I was working on the Strengths Coaching courses, one of the, some of the, the collateral that we built was around, specifically around Achiever. And one of the, one of the barrier labels that that often gets associated with Achiever is that work is more important than people. And, you know, when you are a, when you're a hard worker, when -- and I talked about some of the things that how it shows up with me: I -- it's not uncommon for me to work late. It's not uncommon for me to work weekends. It's not uncommon for me to go, you know, 2 or 3 weeks without a day off. All those things come with a price. And some of that price is, is, is relationships. And there are times where I choose to be -- I choose it, it's a choice. But in the moment, it's not a choice, it just happens, where I'm at work instead of instead of taking my my dad out to dinner. Or I make the choice of staying late instead of going with friends after work for you know, Friday Afternoon Club.

Scot Caldwell 46:41

And, so there is a sacrifice that, that, that can be a it's a real thing, that, that people can view that as being you chose to do work, rather than being with -- that you chose work over me. And so one of the things that, that I know I have to, that I have to do -- and I know I haven't done it enough, by the way -- is to have people pull me away from, away from work. Otherwise, that is -- can be a very true barrier label, and can be a very true, I mean, it can -- inevitably, if you're making a choice to be at work, instead of being at somebody else, it comes at the expense of that somebody else. And that's something that is, is true in for me, and it's something that I have to be cognizant of. And oftentimes, I'm not cognizant of that choice. It just instinctively, I have to get this done. So that's where my mind is. And I don't think that other people may be viewing that as, "Oh, you chose work instead of me." That was not -- it was not a choice. I was not choosing work over you, but that's how it can, how it can be perceived.

Jim Collison 47:57

Yeah, Rod, in a second. I'm gonna ask you to put a bow on this. But let me say, for the both of you, as we, as we did this. As we were getting prepared -- I've done a lot of these and I've given a lot of microphones and a lot, a lot of consulting to people who are going to be on the show. But with both of you, there was no doubt we were just going to get this done, right? It was like, here's microphones, let's get them plugged in. I mean it was it -- working with you guys, as far as getting to this process done, you know, a lot of times in the, as we get ready for this, there's maybe some doubt and like, Oh, I don't know you know, and you guys were just spot-on as we got things ready. Delivered equipment. You got 'em plug it in. We got it done. So let me say, Scot, thanks for me. I'll just say thanks for, for jumping in here. Some great insight on this. And, Rod give us a few words here at the very end as we kind of wrap Achiever. How would you, how would you wrap it?

Rod Karr 48:43

Yeah, thank you, Jim. Look, Scot's, Scot's final comment there makes me think about something that's an ever-present challenge and issue for people who have Achiever. People with this Achiever theme typically hear a whisper of discontent about something to be done -- something else to be accomplished. And the challenge is always: Is it the right thing. And I think that's true for Achievers. And it's something that they live with constantly in their, in their life that is filled with achievements.

Jim Collison 49:23

No, it's very good, great way to wrap it up. And as we kind of bring Theme Thursday to a close overall, I think we have 7 of these left. We'll be working on these through the end of December. Rod, thanks for filling in for Curt on this.

Rod Karr 49:34

Thank you.

Jim Collison 49:34

It's great to have you on here. Scot, again, thanks for coming in and doing this. You guys, your Top 5 are very similar through this. We'll include those in the show notes if folks want to go and take a look here, but Benjamin made that choice to bring you in, and Rod, great to spend some time with you.

Scot Caldwell 49:50

Thank you very much, Jim.

Jim Collison 49:51

You bet. remind everyone to take full advantage of all the resources we have available at the Gallup Strengths Center. That's just You can send us your questions or comments, and if you'd like to be a guest blogger, we are interviewing those as well. And you can send us an email:; put "Guest blogger" in the subject line, and if you're interested in writing. I was trying to convince Rod to write a blog post for us earlier today. So Rod, if you have some time on the airplane, just sketch one out for us. We'll put that in there. You can also catch the recorded -- Scot, you could do that too if you want. That'd be maybe -- have you, have you ever written a blog post for us yet, Scot?

Scot Caldwell 50:23

Just when we were getting, when we were just getting started, I wrote two or three.

Jim Collison 50:28

Yeah, no good. Maybe we should get we get another -- get an updated one from you.

Scot Caldwell 50:32

Be another thing to put on my list!

Jim Collison 50:34

Well, I shouldn't put too many things on your list. Your partners -- I'm trying to be good to your partners there and get in that team picture. And I could get voted out of the team picture if I give you more things to do, so. If you want to do that, email, email us: You can also catch the recorded audio and video of this program, as well as all the past ones, including all the links to our Facebook and YouTube page, our iTunes and RSS feeds -- they're all out there at the Coaches Blog. Just put in And we are doing global meetups around the world now; we have some 30 meetups out on our meetup tab. So again, go up to the Coaches Blog, look for the meetup tab, and see if there's one in a city near you. If there isn't, let me know:, and I will help you get one started in the city. Not hard to do. It's just a matter of getting people together, talking about StrengthsFinder. We want to remind you that we have StrengthsFinder apps available for you, both Android and iOS, just go out to either one of the stores and search "StrengthsFinder." The companion guide for this program is available at -- it's actually in the show notes right above you, if you're watching on the live page, there's a link. And if you didn't download it, you still can download it. You can listen to this again, go through it, fill in that information. Actually, Scot and his team were a big help. Angela was involved. I know Angela is listening. So I'll give her a shout-out as well. Angela was very, very helpful in, in getting those started. I think, Scot, I first pitched these, this idea to you and said, Hey, we'd love to have some companion guides. So thank you for all that you do around our learning with that as well. Those are available out there; many of you been asking me, When are the rest going to become available? We will do them through the last 7 of these, and then we'll make them all available here towards the end. So watch for those as well. If you found this helpful, please share it. We want to thank everyone for, for watching or listening today. We look forward to the next Theme Thursday. And with that, we'll say, Goodbye, everybody.

Scot Caldwell's Top 5 CliftonStrengths are Maximizer, Achiever, Strategic, Self-Assurance and Focus.

Learn more about using CliftonStrengths to help yourself and others succeed:

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