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Arranger: Learning to Love All 34 Talent Themes

Arranger: Learning to Love All 34 Talent Themes

Webcast Details

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

On a recent episode of Theme Thursday Season 1, we discussed the Arranger theme with Gallup Learning and Development Consultant Mara Hoogerhuis.

Arrangers are conductors. When faced with a complex situation involving many factors, people with strong Arranger talents enjoy managing all of the variables, aligning and realigning them until they are sure they have arranged them in the most productive configuration possible.

The Arranger theme is in the Executing Domain, meaning that those who have high Arranger talents work tirelessly to implement a solution. They get things done by orchestrating, organizing, and facilitating the work of others. Arrangers are people of multiplicity, thriving on bringing together people, processes, and products to build productivity.

Curt Liesveld, Gallup Senior Learning and Development Consultant, compared Arranger to a similar theme, Achiever. He says that while Achievers are excellent at personal production, Arrangers get things done with and through other people. Curt then pointed out the contrasts between Arranger and Discipline. He noted that those with Arranger practice fluid, real-time planning, while those with Discipline are fixed, pre-planners.

When Mara facilitates strengths learning and development discussions, she asks participants to reach out to see if their strengths were apparent when they were young. Mara tried this herself, and found out that she was an Arranger as a child. She can remember articulately planning her birthday parties as a young girl, carefully preparing the party to make sure her guests had a great time together.

To learn more about the Arranger theme and how people like Mara use it in their everyday lives, watch the full video 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 0:12

I am Jim Collison, and live from the Gallup campus here in Omaha, Nebraska, this is Gallup's Theme Thursday, recorded on August 14, 2014.

Jim Collison 0:20

Theme Thursday is a Gallup webcast series that dives deep into the Clifton StrengthsFinder themes, one at a time. Today's theme is Arranger. If you have questions, comments or contributions during the webcast, we do have a live chat room. It's available right below the main video window, and it's the best way to get information or questions into it as well as network with other people that are interested in strengths. Right below the main video window there, here at If you're interested in the recorded version, or if you need custom strengths coaching solutions for small, medium or large organizations, you can contact us. The best way to do that is to send us an email: And don't forget to visit the Gallup Strengths Center, super easy to remember: just for all your coaching resources and training needs. You can also catch the video and both streaming and downloadable audio for offline listening to past shows. Again, all those links, most important site that you'll need to know: If you'd like to live tweet during the event, I'll be monitoring that as well. Or if you want to start a strengths discussion on Twitter, we are at -- we do have a new hashtag for that: #CSFchat. Again, that's just #CSFchat. And I will be following that. Make sure, when you're out on Twitter you follow @strengthsfinder. Curt Liesveld is our host today. Curt works as an advanced learning development consultant here at Gallup on the Riverfront with me. Curt, it's always great to spend Thursdays with you, and welcome to the program.

Curt Liesveld 1:38

Thank you, Jim. It's great to be back. Today we're going to be thinking about Arranger and for our kind of theme today we have Marga -- Mara Hoogerhuis. She's from our Chicago office. She's a Learning and Development Consultant, one of my favorite people to work with. And I asked her to be on the show because I've seen her Arranger in action as we have cofacilitated programs. So she's back in her home state of Oregon on vacation, but she's taking time to be with us today. So Mara, it's great to have you on the program.

Mara Hoogerhuis 2:11

Thanks. I'm excited to be on this side of the camera. I guess, usually I'm used to being on the -- behind the scenes arranging.

Curt Liesveld 2:17

Oh, that's right. You're usually kind of responding to questions. So, so it's good to have you here. I want to just talk a little bit about Arranger and just reminding people who might be on the program for the first time, we're really trying to kind of bring clarity around each one of these 34 themes and making sure that the language that we call "common" is really common. Arranger is -- obviously, it's an Executing theme. It's about -- I think one of the words that I think describes Arranger is "productivity." It's about getting something done. And so in that way, it's, it's kind of like Achiever. But it's different in that it's not just about getting things done by individual effort; it's getting things done by orchestrating and coordinating and facilitating, to some degree, the work of others. I think it's a collaborative kind of productivity that, that Arranger often kind of executes.

Curt Liesveld 3:14

Some other words that I think are kind of critical -- besides productivity, another word that I think really fits the Arranger theme is "multiplicity." It's really about people who, in a sense, like the variables, all of the different pieces and parts and, and, and the pieces of the productivity puzzle for an Arranger can certainly be people. It can be kind of process, different kinds of ways of doing things. It can be different kinds of products. It's, it's all of the different pieces. And so it's really trying to put that puzzle together to kind of really build, build productivity. And it's, it's really, so it's, it's productivity, it's multiplicity. I think it's also flexibility. That's another word that I think -- it's this ability to kind of flex. It's not fixed; it's more fluid in nature. It's not settled; it's always willing and able to change and to adjust and to arrange and rearrange and to think and rethink. The, the "re" word seems to be something that's certainly a part of it.

Curt Liesveld 4:27

And then I think that -- the other thing that I think, kind of makes Arranger what it is, is it's "interactive." And I think that's where that collaborativeness comes from. It's kind of involving and interacting with other people to get things done. I have really liked to clarify things. And if you've ever been in any of the programs that I've taught and followed me and some of the writing I do, I'm always trying to kind of compare and contrast themes to kind of build character. And I think this is a kind of a fun one to do, just to get clearer about Arranger is by kind of comparing and contrasting it to other themes.

Curt Liesveld 4:51

And so we've already started this, comparing and contrasting Arranger to Achiever. Arranger is really about collaborative productivity, whereas Achiever is more about personal productivity. It's, it's, it's more about the diligence of the individual, whereas people with Arrangers get stuff done with and through other people. There's a real collaborative part to that productivity.

Curt Liesveld 5:34

I think you can also compare and contrast Arranger and Strategic and Mara, I know that you've got both of those two themes, and so you might be able, to be able to talk about this a bit more later. I think Arrangers are often people who kind of juggle multiple realities. Jim, Jim Collison also has Arranger as one of his Top 5. And I was talking to him this morning, and I -- he's a guy that often has multiple irons in the fire. He's juggling flaming balls -- I guess that might be what you could say. But, but so it's really, Arrangers juggle multiple realities, and people with Strategic really sort through multiple possibilities; these are imaginary things. Arrangers are dealing with reality. It's what's going on in in the moment. And it's, it's, it's kind of real-time juggling, as opposed to imaginary.

Curt Liesveld 6:28

You could also compare and contrast Arranger with Adaptability because I think they have some things in common. I think both Arranger and Adaptability are themes that are comfortable with change. The difference is that people with Arranger are a bit more about, to some degree, creating change; being kind of the, the, the source of change in a team or an organization, whereas people with Adaptability are more likely to react and respond and to some degree, to go along with change. It really -- I think people with Arranger have a bit more control over change or influence over change.

Curt Liesveld 7:10

You can also kind of compare and contrast Arranger with Discipline. I think Arranger, because we often use the word "organized"; I think it's even in our definition about Arranger -- there's something about "organized." But I think it's a different kind of organization. I think the, the person with Arranger has a, has more fluid real-time planning is how I describe it. It's kind of, to some degree, planning and organizing on the fly, in the moment a bit. Whereas people with Discipline are more what I would call "fixed preplanning." It's they plan it, and then they do it, whereas people with Arranger are kind of doing those two things kind of simultaneously. They're kind of kind of almost like spontaneous and more real-time.

Curt Liesveld 8:03

Maybe that's enough kind of comparisons and contrasts here. I also want to talk a little bit how, you know, Arranger can be affected by the other themes that are related to it. There are some themes that moderate Arranger -- kind of, to some degree, complement it. There are other themes that might actually intensify it and kind of take it to a higher level. I think a theme that might -- that actually could moderate Arranger would be Harmony. I think Arranger -- I think Harmony might, to some degree, stabilize, help in the stabilizing of emotions that could, could, could be affected by changing -- by changes. People with Arranger often change things. And there are often emotional implications to change. And a person with Harmony, that Harmony could some degree help stabilize the kind of fluctuating emotions that come with change that they bring.

Curt Liesveld 8:59

I think another theme that could moderate Arranger could be Focus. There might be some people that have high Focus and high Arranger, or they have Arranger and they have a partnership with someone that has high Focus. I think, to some degree, Focus could bring a more singular direction to this kind of flexible and changeable approach. So Arranger might look a lot different if you had Focus in your Top 5.

Curt Liesveld 9:26

Themes that actually might intensify Arranger would be a theme like Individualization. So people with Arranger are interested in the right fit for the role. I want to get the work done. So I want to get the right people in the right role to get the job done. People with Individualization want to get the right, the person and the right fit for the person. So it's about fit. Both of these themes, I think, are about fit. Arrangers are interested in finding fit because it's going to maximize productivity; people with Individualization want to kind of find the right fit because it's going to maximize to some degree the engagement of the person.

Curt Liesveld 10:05

And then finally, maybe another theme that might intensify Arranger could be Includer. I think Arrangers by nature involve people. It's about -- it's interactive, and it gets people involved. And I think if you add Includer to that, it adds, it makes it even broader involvement. Making sure everybody's involved in this process, or in this project or in this team. So, so those would be some examples.

Curt Liesveld 10:33

In terms of the frequency of themes, of this particular theme, 14% of our database have Arranger in their Top 5, so it's, it's not the most frequent; it's not the least frequent. It's kind of in the middle. But basically, you know, 1 out of -- or 15 out of every 100 people have Arranger in their Top 5. Also, I think it's kind of interesting to think about what theme kind of is most likely paired with Arranger, and it's Responsibility. If people have Arranger, they are often going to have Responsibility. And Mara, I think you're that's why we had you on the show. People have that as well.

Curt Liesveld 11:12

The theme that is least likely, and again, sometimes this is not quite as helpful, but Arranger and Command seem to be a bit more diametrically opposed. I think in some ways -- they both have a controlling element to them. But I think, to some degree, the control of Command is probably a little more intense and a bit more independent than, I think, Arranger so that might make some sense. So that's a -- as much as I can say in about 10 minutes here about Arranger. And now let's, let's talk to somebody who, who really has something. Let me just first say that, Mara, thanks for being on the show here. And when you think about Arranger, what is the thing that kind of -- and it maybe wasn't even anything I said -- what's the one thing that kind of stands out for you when you think about Arranger?

Mara Hoogerhuis 12:07

I think it's the, I think it's the juggling. I think it's having a lot of things up in the air at once. Not necessarily prioritizing them and completing one thing at a time, but just keeping your finger on a lot of different burning balls of fire, I think is what you said. Right? I just -- having a lot going on. I'm good when I have a lot going on.

Curt Liesveld 12:31

Now, I always like to talk to people who have a theme and try to getting them to think about -- and maybe you're pretty good at this, because I know you've got a pretty good memory -- what this might have looked like when you were, when you first became aware that you liked a lot of things going on.

Mara Hoogerhuis 12:48

Well, you know, I've had my, I've known my Top 5 for over 10 years. And so Arranger is my No. 5. I've known about it. I've always known -- people have often said to me, "I don't know how you keep it all straight. You know, how do you, how do you keep it all in your head?" But I think I started really seeing it when I was a manager at a -- I was a manager, started being a manager when I was 22 at a bank branch. And I think that's when I first started to see it because I was responsible for 10+ people, the operational integrity of the branch, the safety of people, the customers who were coming in, the sales components. So there was a lot going on. And, and in my role, I had the highest level of authority for approving transactions in a bank. And so when a teller would have to have a high level of authority to approve it, they would call customer service. So I remember I would always sit down to do something at my desk and someone would say, "Customer service," and you'd run over and help them and go back to what you were doing. And then someone else would say, "Customer service." And it was this constant kind of "popcorn effect." So you never could sit down and focus on one thing, but I was able to get a lot done by quickly switching gears and just keeping a lot of things, a lot of things up in the air.

Curt Liesveld 14:07

Yeah, that's, that's a great, great illustration of all of the, the variables, the different pieces that may -- it's, it's the people you managed, it's your customers that you managed. It's, you know, play -- wearing a lot of different hats, to some degree is what it's about.

Mara Hoogerhuis 14:23

And coming into an environment that had already existed; all the people were there before I joined, and starting to test out new ways of doing things. And, and OK, not everybody had the same role, but not everybody has to do the same thing all the time. Would it work better if you did this? You did that? So you mentioned that "right fit" component. I think that was really important to me was if this person is better at this role, then how do we get them to do more of it? Because it is about the ends, not just means.

Curt Liesveld 14:55

Yeah, it is about the productivity. It's about getting the job done faster, about getting the job done better and kind of always looking for a slightly better configuration of the way things, things work. Is there like a proudest moment you have as an Arranger? Is -- can you think of a specific time or place where you see Arranger was, was really the kind of the critical ingredient of your success?

Mara Hoogerhuis 15:23

I mean, I think it's most, most recently with doing -- with leading a lot of these new courses where there's a lot of materials. I mean, like I said, I've always known, I mean, I've known for the last 10 years, that I had Arranger and seen it myself. But I don't know that I've appreciated the value that it brings to people until I started coming into these environments where there were a lot of moving parts. And someone like you, Curt who, who helped kind of call it out for me like, OK, no, this -- what you're doing is different than what I would do. So, you know, being able to be behind the scenes and help make sure that our programs go smoothly, and kind of being able to think on my feet and modify, both when someone else is leading and when I'm leading. I start to really see, see how that helps create a really seamless experience for our participants.

Curt Liesveld 16:15

Boy, that is really true. And I have been the, the benefactor, or the recipient of that, and I appreciate that. But yeah, I mean, it's, it's, it's really with some important pieces of the experience. There's, there certainly is the people; there's the curriculum; there's, there's little pieces of things that have to happen that I've seen you manage and lead and really kind of contribute to a valuable outcome. So that's, that's, that's really true.

Mara Hoogerhuis 16:43

I think that -- well, I was just gonna say, the chair-shifting is probably a good example of something really small that I just geek out about. And so, at the end of every course, we switched desks for people --

Curt Liesveld 16:56

At the end of every day -- end of every day --

Mara Hoogerhuis 16:57

Every day, you're right, every day we switch it, and I really like, I like the physical moving of it, but I like the thinking ahead of time about who could be with who, and, and then configuring them thoughtfully about which pairings, you know, for the next day would would enjoy sitting together; which pairings will hopefully get people to talk more. I mean, what a small, what a small thing like shuffling desks, but everybody knows that's my role.

Curt Liesveld 17:24

And, and I could do it too, but I might not get to bed until midnight if I did it -- it, it --

Mara Hoogerhuis 17:29

And you wouldn't enjoy it right?

Curt Liesveld 17:30

And I wouldn't enjoy it, and people probably -- it wouldn't be the result. But no, that's, that's a pretty, that's a small example of that ability to kind of, it's really I think people with Arranger are comfortable with the complexity. They're comfortable with some complexity. And it can be the complexity of people, the complexity of pieces of process, curriculum, all of the different details that go with that and juggling. I mean, I often -- one of the things that I say, and I it's really to some degree when I compare Arranger to Responsibility: People with Arranger touch things; people with Responsibility hold things. There's something about hanging on to stuff. There's a time and a place for that, but there is a time just to kind of touch something, to kind of get it moving. And then, then you touch something else. And so -- I see Jim shaking his head on that one. So that must have resonated with him as well.

Jim Collison 18:26

Yeah, it's an opportunity to experience it, in some ways, you know, it's an opportunity to get -- and my Arranger plays out in front of me, and so if it, if it's going to come within my eyesight, literally, I want to have some kind of contact with it. Because it might be beneficial in the future.

Curt Liesveld 18:41

Yeah, contact. That's a good word. It's about contact, not about owning. It's just -- I just want to touch it. And, and sometimes, when people have both of those, that's a, that's something I kind of coach around is, is this something you need to hold on to and really own? Or is this something you can simply touch, you can have kind of a momentary influence on? But I think that's really what what Arrangers are often the best at is that kind of, that kind of momentary influence. Have there been any situations or scenarios where your Arranger has kind of been unproductive or problematic? How as, as where it's kind of gotten in the way of either your success or someone else's?

Mara Hoogerhuis 19:27

You know, I know, I know, for some people, it can -- that kind of constant state of change and wanting to initiate new change can negatively impact the people around them, if they're not articulating the reasons why the change is happening enough. So I certainly know that that's one of the kind of pitfalls that you can fall into. I've always been pretty sensitive about that. I think where it's gotten me into trouble is I can be a really big procrastinator if I don't have enough going on. So you talked about that comfortableness with complexity. I think actually I'm better when I'm, when I'm in the middle of complexity. And so I am at my most productive, I'm, you know, I think the best, I come up with kind of the best ideas, I'm able to do more when I have a lot going on. So when I don't have a lot going on, I just won't do anything. I'll procrastinate, and that creates a lot of, you know, stress and, and that gets me into trouble personally because it just creates a lot of undue stress.

Curt Liesveld 20:29

Yeah, that's a, that is a hard concept for me to kind of understand. Maybe it's just my own blind spot -- how not having a lot to do limits what I do, but I've heard that from other people. So I think it's, it's easier to juggle several balls than to just juggle one ball.

Mara Hoogerhuis 20:49

Yeah. So I'll wait until the last minute, until more comes onto my plate, to start doing things because I can be more efficient.

Curt Liesveld 20:59

It's the pressure of multiplicity that, that brings out the best in you, to some degree. So it's an example of sometimes where more, more is better. Sometimes, I think it depends on your filter. For some of us, less is better; for some of us more is better. That's probably a pretty important thing to know. If you're working with somebody or, you know, living with someone who has Arranger, that would help explain some things. How about some of your other themes that -- do you see any kind of, kind of pairings in the other kind of dominant themes that you have? Other themes that have a important impact on, on your Arranger?

Mara Hoogerhuis 21:46

Well, you mentioned Strategic and Arranger, so I have Strategic No. 1, and I actually have had trouble kind of parsing the two, because they do seem in some ways about the best configuration. I think the example that helps me articulate the difference is, if I'm looking at a new curriculum and I'm trying to make sense of what it will, how it will play out in the, in the classroom, in my head, I can kind of anticipate areas where maybe you need to ask more questions, or we need to get more movement in the room. So I can think ahead about that and anticipate what, what we should be doing and the best route forward. But it's not until I'm in the classroom, that real, like you said, real-time, you start to see it. And I, and I get anxious if I think, OK, we got to be doing something different. There's a better way to do it real-time, you know, in the classroom. I couldn't, I couldn't necessarily have anticipated it the same way, but real-time, there's a, there's a different way to do it. And I want to, I want to do it different.

Curt Liesveld 22:46

Yeah, no, I just think those are really two -- I mean, the combination of both of those -- the ability to anticipate the possibilities, but then the ability to kind of actually do that in in real time; the experience, almost, is, is the -- it kind of, they kind of play off each other quite well, I think.

Mara Hoogerhuis 23:09

The, the other one I think has -- that comes into play, it could -- probably the Maximizer. But I, you talked about the flexibility that Arranger brings. And I, and sometimes I think it's flexibility also that it doesn't have to be my idea. I often think, I often say, I'm not married to my own ideas; I just want the end result to be that productivity, that, that most efficient, effective way possible. But the best way isn't always my way. And so I remember, you know, being very open to that and trying to create space for that on the teams that I worked on or managed. Because if other people have better ways to do it, I will easily scrap a well-laid plan for a new way to do it, you know, very easily. It's easy to walk away from something you've been working on, for me, if there is a better way to do it.

Curt Liesveld 24:01

Yeah, no, I like that. I think that's, that's -- and I think that is a word that I think about when I think about with Arranger. I think about team and team player, to some degree. And that's really what I heard you describe. I mean, it's, it's not just about me; other people might have ideas. Other people might have a perspective that will help us get to it. It's really about, I think it's about getting to, you know, the, the best configuration for performance, getting the job done, getting it. And obviously, if you add things like Responsibility and Maximizer, you want it to get done well; you want it to get done right. But you also want to kind of get the job done.

Mara Hoogerhuis 24:47

One of the metaphor images we use with Arranger is the orchestra conductor. And I think about that the orchestra conductor doesn't have to be the best pianist and trumpet player and, you know, cellist; they just need to help bring that out in people. And I think that's part of it is, well, what would they say would be the best way? They know themselves; they know their talents. How do you see us going forward and trying to pull that out in people? is a role I can play as Arranger.

Curt Liesveld 25:17

Yeah, no, those words like orchestrator, coordinator, facilitator, they all imply that someone else is involved in this as well. It's not just me. And it's, it's really focused on the results that come by, you know, shaping and guiding and influencing the efforts of other people. And in other parts, it's just the complexity of all of the different pieces and putting them together and re-, rearranging them to get to get a better result. How about questions, Jim? Do we have any questions that -- as you're juggling several things here?

Jim Collison 26:00

Yeah, yeah, it's an exercise in keeping up. But I enjoy it. I mean, it's just why I do this. It's, it's -- this is Arranger in action for me; every single program is Arranger in action for me. And I walk away energized, as opposed to like, you know, get at the end, I can't believe, you know, we're done. And I'm like, "Let's keep going! I could easily do this for a couple hours." So a couple questions from chat. A one for you, Mara: Thinking back even farther, you were talking a little bit about when you were younger, how do you see your -- or, let's see -- Does she now see how her themes tie in with how she grew up? Your Top 5 --

Mara Hoogerhuis 26:39

With how I grew up?

Jim Collison 26:39

With how you grew up? Yeah.

Mara Hoogerhuis 26:40

I you know, I took my own, my own coaching medicine. We encourage people to ask their family members about how these showed up when they were kids. So I took my own medicine, and when I knew I was going to do this, asked my mom, how she said, you know if she saw this Arranger in me much. And I guess I'll share two stories. One was, I'm not -- in my adult life, I'm not a huge program coordinator, you know, event coordinator. I don't, I don't throw lavish kind of events. I think one thing we say an Arranger could do is handle all those multiple components of a big event. But as a, as a kid, I always had very elaborate birthday party plans, you know, themes, activities, transition points, time. You know, I mean, I, I was always very mindful of we're going to have a sock party and we're going to decorate our socks. And so I had it all planned out. And then in the moment would also kind of, like Jim said, have contact points with everybody. "Oh, that's a really nice design that you've done," you know, and just kind of help, help coordinate and stay on, on, on tasks in these little girl birthday parties. So I think that probably was maybe some Arranger talent at a young age.

Mara Hoogerhuis 27:56

The other way I think it manifested itself, and you compared Adaptability and Arranger, and I have zero Adaptability. And as a child, I hated change. I mean hated change, you know, plans would go awry. Something didn't fall through the way we said it would be. I just it would it would debilitate me. And I think it was, it was that I didn't have any control; the change was happening to me. And I just hated that, that something was being, was, was out of my control and so I think as an Arranger with my -- as an adult, I like that control. I don't like change to happen to me; I want -- I don't mind creating the change, but I want a "say" in it

Curt Liesveld 28:39

Yes. Change through me, not to me.

Mara Hoogerhuis 28:42


Curt Liesveld 28:43

Yeah, no, I think that's a good, good distinction. And obviously there are, there are advantages to both but I -- sock parties -- that's, that's a new one to me. I've not heard of sock parties.

Mara Hoogerhuis 28:53

Your 4-year-old granddaughter, Curt, I'll tell you all about it. Yeah, decorate socks with bells and, you know, beads.

Jim Collison 29:01

You know, Mara, I would say my Arranger flips a little bit opposite from that. Because of the heavy Woo and Communication for me, I'm very adaptable. So I -- my Arranger, and I do, you know, here I do love to organize large events. I like to plan things that have very complex plans to them. Now, I'm not very good at actually carrying any of those things out. Right. So you -- I'm the event coordinator but I have to have -- we were talking about this in the, in the chat room a little bit earlier. I've got to have those Discipline Responsible, you know, those those folks with strengths who are the doers, the the Achievers, the, you know, to actually help me get things done. But if I can oversee it, I can plan it and ideate on it and get it rolling. I can get most projects moving -- Activator is [No.] 5 -- that most people can't. But I'm terrible at follow-through, once it gets going. And I get bored -- we talked about this in chat too -- I get bored very easily by it. So if it slows down at all, I'm already looking for something else, you know, to kind of do. It's like, OK, that's already done. And they're like, Jim, but we just talked about that yesterday. And I'm like, I know. What can we move on? You know, what else -- what other hill can we conquer? And even in the program here, I've got all these things going on. And it's just, it's, you know, for me, I like that. So it's different for me. I like, I like change, as opposed to you more with the -- you, you like more consistency.

Curt Liesveld 30:25

Yeah, likes, likes, you know, things responding to what's going on around you. That's something you pick up on?

Jim Collison 30:32

Yeah, I never shy, if somebody calls me and says, Hey, change in plans, and I'm always like, OK, what's the new opportunity? You know, what can we do with this? How can we take advantage of it? Especially if it's with people, then I'm all for it. Like, you know, I could drop, I've, I've gone skiing on 2 hours' notice. You know, an 8-hour trip, you got to get things ready to go. I've done that in 2 hours because it -- for me, that's, it's like Hey, new opportunity. Let's do it. What are we going to do, how, and I'll be making it up as we go, you know, as, as we're getting there. So very comfortable in that.

Curt Liesveld 31:04

So is Adaptable -- Is Adaptability lower for you, Jim, or is it high as well?

Jim Collison 31:08

No, Top 10. I think it's 10.

Curt Liesveld 31:09

So yeah, that's, that's, that's a big difference here is, you know how that is paired with, with Adaptability. And so that's why I think these themes -- both of you have that same theme high on your profile, but it really appears quite different. It has some things in common, obviously, but the color of these things and the shape are really affected by, by, by what else you have with it.

Jim Collison 31:33

Yeah, Terry asks the question from the chat room as well, how does Arranger interact with efficiency? And I think we danced a little bit around this to begin with, but, you know, oftentimes, I think Arranger is -- the basement of Arranger is maybe we're seen as being inefficient because we're always doing stuff. Curt, talk a little bit about that. How is it seen with efficiency?

Curt Liesveld 31:51

Yeah, I think it's, and again, I think it has to do like, like I would certainly think of Mara as an efficient person -- even though I don't know if that comes from her Arranger, though; I think it to some degree comes from her Responsibility. It comes from Maximizer. I think people who have, have Arranger are -- I don't know if "efficiency" would be the first word that I would use. It's, it's coming up with, it's more about effectiveness. I'm willing to change things so that I can be effective. It may not be as efficient doing it another way, but it's more about the, almost the, the end results than the path that we take to do there. So flexibility and efficiency are not always synonymous. They don't always mean the same thing. So efficiency is not the primary interest, I don't think, of the person with, with Arranger. Maybe you can add to that, Mara, if that makes sense to you.

Mara Hoogerhuis 32:45

Yeah, I think that's the -- I think the last thing you said really struck a chord, where it's not the primary. I mean, I believe if we get all the moving parts situated and configured in the right way, efficiency will follow. But it's not, it's not the way forward. It's not that effectiveness comes through efficiency; efficiency comes through effectiveness, and I'd rather get us effective first, and then it gets streamlined.

Curt Liesveld 33:08

Do you have Discipline fairly high in your profile, or not?

Mara Hoogerhuis 33:12

It's mid; it's middle. It's probably 14 or 15. But I have Focus. And so I think it's -- yeah, I have -- Focus is 8 or 8, I think. And so I there's a narrowing for me that I'm very goal-oriented. And so the arranging is, is a means to an end. And I get and I have a lot of clarity on the end goal.

Curt Liesveld 33:36

And I think that's an advantage you have where you've got Arranger and Strategic that helps you deal with the, the complexity and the multiplicity of the world in which we live, but then that, that -- to some degree, Maximizer and Focus, to some degree -- help you kind of narrow and OK, this is what I'm going to focus on now. And this is, this is kind of what we're trying to get to. So yeah, I think efficiency and I think sometimes that's, that's confusing to people because we do use that word "organized" in some of the definitions about Arranger. And I think it's a different kind of organization than we normally think about. When we think about order and organization, we usually think about Discipline or maybe something like Consistency, where there's kind of this predictable kind of structured approach. And flexibility, I think, is -- that's why I think flexibility is such a key part of the Arranger theme.

Jim Collison 34:27

Mara, you said a comment that struck a chord with me, you know, you said, kind of arranging for organization's sake -- you didn't say it in that, in that terms, but, you know, arranging the process is more important than the end goal. And as a kid, I used to mess up processes just so I could fix them, right? I would, I would never keep them, once I got them going. I'd be like, Ah, you know, I'm not really interested in keeping it now. But you know, if my room was a mess, I'd like it to get a mess so I could clean it up, straighten it, organize it, arrange it, you know, those kinds of things. Is that -- for me, it's the, the Arranger is more of the process. The goal is the process, not the end result. Is that what you were saying in that?

Mara Hoogerhuis 35:04

No, I think, I think it's maybe the maybe it's the opposite for me, is the, is it's not as important how we get there. I want to I want everybody involved in how we get there. But, but maybe maybe, to your point, Jim, it is about the process is about getting people involved and getting them set up in the right role to meet that end goal, if that makes sense. Maybe it's not, it's not exactly opposites. But the the configuration is important. And so getting the process right is important, but it's to what end?

Jim Collison 35:38


Curt Liesveld 35:39

And I think the other thing is think process is usually kind of a fluid thing. It's never a permanently fixed thing. Because the world is changing. And, you know, we just, that's why I think Arrangers have, have often have some success in life because we keep talking people don't change that much, but I keep telling it the world is constantly changing. So there has to be some part of us that helps us deal with change. And I think Arranger is a theme that equips people to deal with change, and to, to kind of manage change to some degree. And so I think that's, that's why I wish I had it.

Jim Collison 36:19

Ty asks an interesting question, he says (assuming it's a he; sorry if I mess it up), How do you manage the combination of Arranger, Achiever and Activator? It seems like I push really hard and others can't keep up, which frustrates me at times.

Curt Liesveld 36:35

Arranger, Achiever, Activator. Yeah, that would be -- it's people who start stuff, who finish stuff and they, they -- it involves other people, obviously. I think Activator is a theme that is more about getting people moving. Achiever is a bit more independent. That's why I want to get stuff done. And so I think there's a kind of a tension, sometimes, between I want to get this done and We want to get this done, and how am I, how am I influencing people to get to the finish line? Here's how I do it, but, but as you said, I think whenever you have, when you're working with other people, I like what you said earlier, Mara, about explaining, to some degree, what you're doing. Especially with your Strategic, you might be thinking through all these things, you know, you're comfortable with change, but other people might not know always why are we doing it this way now? And to some degree explaining why, why we're coming up with an "audible" here at the line.

Mara Hoogerhuis 37:37

Right, because the, they probably see, see it very, very clearly. And it makes intuitive sense that they're, you know, where they're going and how they're going to get there and why they're changing it up. And so sometimes helping articulate what comes so naturally to you helps alleviate for people the sense of, well, it's change for change's sake. I think if you can help them see the, the importance of this change, Then it can smooth, smooth the path forward.

Curt Liesveld 38:03

Yeah, no. And I'm glad you used that word "intuitive." Because I think that is a part of this theme as well. I mean, a lot of times when we ask people to stand up if you're, you're intuitive, that's, that's the one where most people, when we take the StrengthsFinder, stand up. And I think intuition can come from different places. This is, I think, people who are intuitive about the relationship between the variables and getting the job done. It's all of these areas. There's an intuition about variables. And, and so I think that is another key thing, but I really think that's, that's helpful.

Jim Collison 38:39

Mara, a great question for you: What strategies do you use -- I'm sorry, what strategies does Mara use when she doesn't have a lot to do? What, what does she seek out? What kind of projects those, kinds of things? When you don't -- what what are you -- how do you overcome that when you get bored?

Mara Hoogerhuis 38:56

So you have to, I have to manage my like mischievous derailleur, right? You get bored and then you get a little mischievous and you start poking at stuff that probably doesn't need to get poked at. I think one, one thing I do is I have is I talk to people about what they want to achieve. So, you know, is there -- What are your goals? And sometimes, knowing what the goals are of those around me helps, helps me know where I can best play and, and kind of intentionally use my Achiever -- ah, Arranger. So, so asking people about what the goals are. I think, yeah, what do I do? Part of it is I also just tend to keep a lot of side projects, if that makes sense.

Mara Hoogerhuis 39:43

So I have -- one thing I know is I have a capacity to do a lot of stuff. And, and so when I'm not as busy with work stuff, I do a lot of side projects. So on our team internally, I tend to kind of find stuff to keep me busy, like I interview people to learn about how they work with healthcare clients. And I made a quick-start guide for new Learning Development Consultants that come on board that they can use. Or I organize, I'm working on our learn -- internal learning SharePoint site, or I write questions for our certification exam. You know, so I tend to also raise my hand for stuff; when there's not external client work, there's internal work. And I really enjoy that internal work because it's that arranging on a team that I'm a part of. I know the people; I know the team's goals. I feel like I can have a bit more control on and, and see kind of where we can reconfigure our own team better.

Curt Liesveld 40:43

Yeah, that's good. I like that. That helped. That kind of makes the distinction between this external teams that you work with, that you kind of join, that you oversee, that you orchestrate. But also, you're you're part of where you are real, not just the team leader, but a team member, to some degree. And I think both roles kind of fit, fit people who have Arranger, I think, sometimes. They're comfortable being the leader of the team, which I've seen you do. But I think they're also very -- could be very valuable -- this is a time to be a team member; what, what role could I play as a team member?

Mara Hoogerhuis 41:15

And equally energizing. I mean, I like both of them.

Curt Liesveld 41:20

Yeah. And it's just, again, more is better. And so, and having time, I mean, to some degree, I think that's, that's kind of the way life is. There are these seasons, seasons of business and seasons of not-so-busy, and so kind of understanding, this may be a time when I can, you know, when the external work is less. Internally, this is the time to kind of make some hay here, and maybe make some discoveries about things.

Jim Collison 41:47

Well, I have some -- oh, go ahead, Mara, sorry.

Mara Hoogerhuis 41:50

Well, one last comment on the question about how do you manage it? Part of it's also just now having a, having a label for why I get, why I procrastinate. It takes away some of the guilt of the procrastination. So, you know, if it is slower and I don't have as much going on, I know that my process is, well, I'm going to be that much better when I do have other stuff on my plate. So that I'm waiting right now isn't dead, lost time. It's just the thinking I do, you know, I can design a really great webinar in 2 hours when I'm, when I've got everything else going on. Or I can take a day and a half to design the same webinar. So if I decide to just put it off and do it when everything else is going on, it's no difference to me, you know. I'd just as soon put it off and do it in 2 hours.

Curt Liesveld 42:39

Yeah, you know, that sounds a lot like Adaptability, to some degree. It's this idea where, with the pressure of the moment really pushes me to perform. There's, there is some similarity between those, those two themes. You had another question, Jim?

Jim Collison 42:56

No, I was gonna say for a lot of years, I wondered, you know, I like to keep lists of things that just are available to me. And it's strategies to keep me out of trouble is to make sure I have those lists handy. I see my Arranger as like those lists need to be in front of me. If they get hidden, they get put away, they get put inside a book, I forget about them. If it's not in front of me, it doesn't -- it's not real, it doesn't exist. And so in, in my, in the last 5 years or so, I've really worked on keeping those lists current and up to date. And so when I do get a bored moment, because I'm just like that, I'm not good bored. I mean, it is -- it goes south in a hurry for me.

Jim Collison 43:30

And so really important to have those lists that I pull out to remind me and then I'll pick something off. OK, here we go. What can I do? I've been wanting to fix this for a while, and it's with website stuff, with my own website stuff, oftentimes, on a weekend, I'll just have a few minutes. And so I'm like, I'm gonna pick this off today. And I'll spend 2 hours fixing it, working it, get it done and send a note to everybody said, I know we've been talking about this for a while, but I finally got it done. And, but those lists have been key for me to keep me productive.

Curt Liesveld 43:57

So these are literal lists that you have on your computer or something?

Jim Collison 44:01

Physical, I've got them all over the place. They're, they're in a OneNote document on my computer. They're both written -- in most cases, they're written actually on pieces of paper. I keep one at my desk here at work, and I keep one on my desk at home. And I've got a copy on a computer in case I'm someplace where I can't get to the list. So --

Curt Liesveld 44:17

Things I can do in case I'm get bored.

Jim Collison 44:19

Yeah, things I want to get done. It's just --

Mara Hoogerhuis 44:21

I've got the same thing, Jim. Yeah, it's not, it's not the Arranger -- the Achiever list, right? You've got to get it done today. And then the next day, you start new. It's an ongoing, you know, ongoing when the, when the other stuff is done, I could come to that. I have the same thing.

Jim Collison 44:39

Yeah. No, and it's, it's gotten terribly effective for me. I mean, I just -- in your past. Yeah. Well, it keeps me busy, right. My wife would say, Why are you so busy all the time? And it's these darn lists that keep me happy, but I get in real trouble when I'm bored. I mean, I just, it goes. It's not a -- boredom is not good for me. I, you know, it's just one of those things. It's, I need to stay busy. And so these lists have helped.

Curt Liesveld 45:05

Yeah, I think that's what I've heard people with -- it's another word I don't think we've talked about, which is, people with Arranger really prefer dynamic environments. And I think dynamic means, you know, there's an energy, there's a kind of variability, there is a movement to some degree. And when things get a bit static, that's when, when Arranger is not kind of fed; it kind of is at its worst. So --

Jim Collison 45:36

Yeah, no, for sure. Curt, we're at our 45-minute mark. Anything you'd like to, as we wrap this up, you want to throw in?

Curt Liesveld 45:42

I don't think so. I think we've kind of covered, covered everything that I wanted to cover and I think we've given some good examples of what Arranger looks like. I mean, I this is one thing that I have a hard time finding a downside, to tell you the truth. And I think that's a good thing. Because what sometimes frustrates me is sometimes we know more about what, what's wrong with a theme than what's right with a theme. And so this is a theme that I find a hard time -- maybe it's because I don't have it; I have kind of "theme envy." But it's, it seems like it's harder to find a basement to Arranger than other themes. So, for those of you who have it, congratulations to you. You have less of a basement.

Jim Collison 46:23

Well, very good. Mara, thank you for coming in. And I know you're a little bit -- on either on vacation, which, as Arrangers. Do we really ever take a vacation? Let's just be honest. Do we?

Mara Hoogerhuis 46:33

I can take a vacation, Jim. Yep. I know how!

Curt Liesveld 46:36

Juggle, juggle your vacation activities.

Jim Collison 46:39

Yeah, well, that's probably true. Yeah, you plan --

Mara Hoogerhuis 46:42

I do a little couch time, TV time, book time.

Jim Collison 46:45

Very good. Well, thanks for taking the opportunity to come in. It's great having you and great to see you. I will remind everyone to take full advantage of all the resources we have available for you around, around StrengthsFinder. We have a lot that's available now to you. If this was your first time on Theme Thursday, we have a bunch of these videos stacked up on our YouTube page, as well as a very thriving Facebook group. And I'll throw those links here in the chat in just a minute so you can get them from there. All that information, though, is available at And of course, if you haven't taken the StrengthsFinder, we'd love to have you do that. You can get that; the code's available for that for just $10 out at the Gallup Strengths Center:, and we do want to mention, we do have some StrengthsFinder meetups going on around the country, as well as international. If you live in Singapore, or in St. Louis -- I'm sorry, not St. Louis -- Sacramento. There we go. Austin. In Oklahoma City area, we do have some thriving meetups going on. That's all on our Coaches page. You don't have to be a coach to come to the page: If you want to keep up to date with everything we're doing around these webcasts, and we have a bunch of them going on -- just about one every week, sometimes two -- you can find those at our Eventbrite page. That is just We want to thank you for listening today. Stay around for a few minutes; we'll stay a little bit into the postshow. And, remember, you don't get the postshow unless you come for the live show. Thanks for coming out today. Goodbye, everybody.

Mara Hoogerhuis' Top 5 CliftonStrengths are Strategic, Maximizer, Relator, Responsibility and Arranger.

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

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