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An Introduction to the Focus® CliftonStrengths Theme

Looking to learn more about Focus? Whether you want to know more about how to use your Focus theme to succeed, or how to help someone harness theirs, you've come to the right place.

You'll find definitions and descriptions made popular in the international bestseller StrengthsFinder 2.0, plus ideas for how to better understand and use this CliftonStrengths theme.

What Is the Definition of Focus?

Focus and the rest of the CliftonStrengths themes are comprised of natural talents that Gallup has identified through decades of research.

People exceptionally talented in the Focus theme can take a direction, follow through and make the corrections necessary to stay on track. They prioritize, then act.

People complete the CliftonStrengths assessment to learn which of the 34 themes, like Focus, are strongest in them.

The following theme description highlights the thoughts, feelings and behaviors you are likely to experience if you have strong Focus:

"Where am I headed?" you ask yourself. You ask this question every day. Guided by this theme of Focus, you need a clear destination. Lacking one, your life and your work can quickly become frustrating. And so each year, each month, and even each week, you set goals. These goals then serve as your compass, helping you determine priorities and make the necessary corrections to get back on course.

Your Focus is powerful because it forces you to filter; you instinctively evaluate whether or not a particular action will help you move toward your goal. Those that don't are ignored. In the end, then, your Focus forces you to be efficient. Naturally, the flip side of this is that it causes you to become impatient with delays, obstacles, and even tangents, no matter how intriguing they appear to be. This makes you an extremely valuable team member.

When others start to wander down other avenues, you bring them back to the main road. Your Focus reminds everyone that if something is not helping you move toward your destination, then it is not important. And if it is not important, then it is not worth your time. You keep everyone on point.

Focus is a theme in the Executing domain of CliftonStrengths.

People with dominant Executing themes like Focus make things happen.

Each of the 34 CliftonStrengths sort to one of four domains -- Executing, Influencing, Relationship Building and Strategic Thinking. These domains help you understand how to use individual CliftonStrengths to succeed when you join, create or lead a team.

Learn more about the CliftonStrengths domains

How to Better Understand Your Focus Theme

Making the most of your Focus talents starts with gaining valuable insights into what you naturally do best.

How people with strong Focus talents describe themselves:

  • "I am deeply driven and single-minded."
  • "I need a goal to establish priorities."
  • "I love to begin with the end in mind."
  • "I hate going off on misdirected tangents."
  • "I bring clarity through concentration and direction."

How to Apply Your Focus to Succeed

The most successful people invest in their strongest talents. The only way to develop your Focus talents is to use them every day -- at work, at home and everywhere else.

The following are a few ideas for how to apply your Focus to achieve your goals:

Work With Focus: You function best when you can concentrate on a few well-defined initiatives and demands. Give yourself permission to reject projects or tasks that do not align with your overall mission. This will help you concentrate your efforts on your most important priorities -- and will help others appreciate your need for focus.

Lead With Focus: Your greatest worth as a team member might be helping others set goals. At the end of meetings, take responsibility for summarizing what was decided, for defining when these decisions will be acted on, and for setting a date when the group will reconvene.

Live With Focus: When you set goals, discipline yourself to include timelines and measurements. These will provide regular proof that you are indeed making progress.

Check out our in-depth webcasts from Gallup experts for more ideas on ways to use Focus to maximize your potential.


If You're a Manager With Focus

Your Focus talent makes you stronger. Lead with your strengths so both you and your team can succeed. A strengths-based approach to management will lead to:

  • better conversations
  • stronger partnerships
  • higher team engagement
  • greater collaboration

For manager-specific insights and strategies, check out your CliftonStrengths for Managers report and explore your top 10 themes and how you can use them to reach your goals.

Managing Team Members With Strong Focus Talents

Discovering the collective talents of your team using the CliftonStrengths assessment is just the first step.

To successfully manage or lead others, you must individualize your approach. You must understand what makes each of your team members unique. And you must lead meaningful conversations about performance that focus on what each person naturally does best.

An Example of Managing Team Members With Focus

Their most valuable contribution might be to help others set and work toward goals. When employees with dominant Focus talents work on group projects, help them develop a strategy for summarizing what the group decides, when group members will act on those decisions and when the group will reconvene.

Use the CliftonStrengths Assessment to Discover More About Focus

CliftonStrengths DNA Strand image.

How Strong Are Your Focus Talents?

Purchase CliftonStrengths 34 to reveal your complete unique talent profile and learn just how strong your Focus talents are. You'll get personalized insights into your CliftonStrengths results and ideas for maximizing your potential.

Group of people at work discussing their strengths.

How to Work With Others With Strong Focus Talents

Gallup offers resources and products you can use to help others succeed by developing their Focus theme and all their CliftonStrengths.