Talent is a big deal. Bigger, perhaps, than we can even imagine. Individual CliftonStrengths themes describe specific patterns of thought, feelings, or behaviour that can be productively applied. These talents are specific enough to warrant their own definitions, their own expectations, and their own successful outcomes. Even if you only study one of your Signature Themes, you could consider that theme or talent one of 34, which is like knowing you are unique in a group slightly larger than the average public school classroom.
But, as you know, the CliftonStrengths study of talent does not stop at one theme. Consider the uniqueness in your Top 5 themes. The chance another person has the same group of strengths in their Top 5 is roughly one in 275,000. The 2012 London Olympic Stadium holds 80,000, so that is nearly 3 1/2 times the stadium's capacity.
So, you're stacked more than three-to-a-seat watching the opening ceremony and you are still the only one with your specific Top 5. Not quite special enough? Your strengths are listed in order of intensity, making the combination of your talents even more distinctive. If you wanted to find someone with the same Top 5 themes in the same order as you, the odds are one in 33.4 million. That's nearly every person in the Greater Tokyo Area -- the world's most populous metropolitan area.
The CliftonStrengths assessment is a tool we use to build our understanding of what is right with people, so I find it comforting to realize that the possible combinations of what's right are seemingly infinite -- certainly more than most of us could ever fathom. Even if you share a few themes with others, your life experiences, values, and circumstances add layers of complexity to the way these strengths come to life.
There is great power in each of your strengths, and sheer magic in the combination of your Top 5 taken together. What CliftonStrengths gives us that many assessments do not is a way to embrace the complexities within success. It reminds us of the need to view personal discovery as a journey, rather than a one-time event. Describing your talent is not as easy as putting yourself into a box, nor should it be. After all, you are 33 times more special than 1 in a million.