- Gallup Theme Thursday Webcast Series
- Season 5, Command
- The CliftonStrengths themes at the top of your profile are the most powerful and give you the greatest chance for success. Join us as we discuss Command.
Join Jim Collison and Maika Leibbrandt as they talk about your Command talent theme -- helping you unlock the power of truly understanding yourself through how you get things done, influence others, connect with people and think critically -- on this Theme Thursday Season 5 webcast.
NEW for Season 5: Below is a full transcript of the conversation, including time stamps. Full audio and video are posted above.
Jim Collison 0:00
Hi, I'm Jim Collison and live from the Gallup Studios here in Omaha, Nebraska, this is Gallup's Theme Thursday, Season 5, recorded on July 25, 2019. Theme Thursday is a Gallup webcast series that dives deep into the CliftonStrengths themes one at a time, and today's theme is Command. If you're listening live, you can join us in our chat room that's available there. Just put your post your questions we'll get to them as we can. And or after the fact, if you're listening to the recorded version, send us an email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Maika Leibbrandt is our host today. She's a workplace consultant here at Gallup. Maika, always great to see you. I always look forward to Thursdays. Welcome to Theme Thursday.
Maika Leibbrandt 0:43
Thanks, me too, Jim. Great to be here. You know, our CliftonStrengths at the top of our 34 are the most powerful. Many of us today have access to our full CliftonStrengths 34. And we want to help you understand and truly unpack the power of those ones that float to the top, that always describe you --those that we call most dominant. They're not just going to describe whether or not you're talented, but how you're talented, what's the unique ingredients that truly make up your greatest potential. And that potential describes the best way that you're going to succeed. Whether that success is at work or at home, really anywhere you think about, it comes from understanding and strengthening the things that you naturally do, and thinking about doing more of it. Today, specifically, we're going to talk about the theme of Command. So if you have a dominant Command or know someone who does today, today's podcast is for you.
Jim Collison 1:34
Well, so what does it mean? Let's as we dig in, what does it mean to have Command is one of my top talent themes, Maika?
Maika Leibbrandt 1:39
If you've got Command, you have presence, you can take control of a situation and make decisions.
Jim Collison 1:45
And then how might people with this dominant Command notice it in their life? What are some actual things they could be looking for?
Maika Leibbrandt 1:51
Sure, if you have dominant Command, you might hear or even feel people tuning in to you when they need direction. I think about Command as being that kid on the playground that other kids just tend to follow. You can't help but offer your opinion because it comes to you with such great clarity. Maybe others mention to you something that you've told them or a guidance that you gave that you didn't even know was guidance, because your presence has such weight with people. You also might notice that people take you seriously. It comes back to having that kind of presence -- not to say you are a serious person, but the clarity that you can offer tends to stick with people. So you might notice that it sticks with folks, even when you didn't know that you were offering it on purpose.
Jim Collison 2:37
I've explained it to people, as we talked about is the taking leadership or taking -- taking charge when in the absence of leadership a lot of ways. So if you're in a situation, it's not clear who's in charge of jumping in and assuming that role, I actually do that quite a bit. Command's a little bit lower; secret sauce -- 15 years ago, when I took it for the first time, it was a little bit higher, and it's dropped down, I actually think my Woo is -- it's more influence than it is Command. But it is an amazing and we need like we need this Command theme. Some people have seen it as maybe being a little bowling over people or a little bullyish. But as we think about these potential blind spots, a new kind of a new feature we're talking about in the new 34 report, how can people -- how might people, you know, tweak this theme or use it continue to use it for excellence, seeing these blind spots?
Maika Leibbrandt 3:31
Yeah, and you know, these aren't prescribed -- these blind spots, there's no guarantee you're ever going to see a negative side to any CliftonStrengths themes. I think as we, as we consider that goal of development through talent, it brings with us the responsibility to understand how this theme might be perceived by others. With Command, I think it has such a presence to it; it means that you might easily and very frequently have the final say about something. And that might not always be the best thing even for you. So it might be important if you've got Command to determine when collaboration and feedback is going to create something better. Make gathering input part of your plan of execution. I think also for Command, it's important to understand whose opinions matter and make time to seek out those people.
Maika Leibbrandt 4:23
Another thing you might consider with Command is you do very well when you have room to learn. And room that you can empower people or something you can empower somebody to do or to breathe through or to be. Always being the decision-maker might close your access to the opinions that other people could share. So take a break from being in charge. We're not saying dial down your Command. But give yourself a little bit of respite to not necessarily be the person making all those calls every time you sense a gap in leadership. Maybe that's by deputizing your star players, filtering your command into someone, and being able to say, Hey, I know that you can take charge here in this moment. Here's why I believe in you. The Command decision that I'm making right now is to delegate. It could also be challenging people out loud to take the lead on something and then follow through, listening for what you're learning, listening for what other discoveries does that give you that could lead to more clarity, and not just listening for what decisions should be being made? And how might you do it differently?
Jim Collison 5:35
I want to be really, really clear on Command in the sense that there are times when we absolutely need it. And it needs to drive groups and teams forward. When we think about teams, what kind of role -- How can Command look in a way that really benefits a team, Maika? Because we're trying to spend the season really looking at these success factors. How does that drive a team forward productively?
Maika Leibbrandt 5:55
Yeah, Command is an influencing theme. It's about affecting other people. Command is a decisiveness that often pushes others to do something, even if that something means not doing something. That -- I think that helps us understand the difference between that influencing and executing domain. Command is quite rare in our database. In fact, it's among the, the five least frequent when we look at how often it shows up in people's Top 5. When you do have someone with Command on your team, they could be the anchor, the navigator or the captain. So they could keep us grounded; they could help us move forward; or they could more out loud, tell us what to do. Command really is about truth. They like to get to the heart of the matter or get to the truth very quickly. And they can sort through that chaos, I think with some great emotional clarity, perhaps a lot faster than other people can. So they can be able to say, Hey, here's exactly what what's being said. And here's how that translates into a decision.
Maika Leibbrandt 6:56
To compare and contrast Command with some other influencing themes, one that I've struggled with for a long time is the difference between Command and Self-Assurance. But I landed on it a little bit like this: Command says, "In chaos, I take control and offer decisions. I look to the leadership gaps that that need filling." And Self-Assurance might say, "In chaos, I'm certain of what I can contribute. And so I look inward to my sense of direction." To contrast Command and Competition, Command is probably going to say, "Here's what we need to do," whereas Competition might say, "Here's who we need to outperform," or "Here's how we need to win." In partnership, Command can assure others. It can be a beautiful, brilliant, I think supportive theme. Command has that clarity of emotion that gives people time to sort through emotions. Command doesn't require as much time to sort before making a decision. So you could think about being the strongest cheerleader in somebody's corner, being able to say, "I know without a doubt that you can do this!" Command can quickly sort through doubt or or questioning. Command doesn't waffle quite as much. You can also empower others through your directness. I think Command, we mentioned this, Command is about the truth, they like to get the heart of it, they like to get to it quickly and help guide others toward it.
Jim Collison 8:25
Command in leadership, you know, I think oftentimes we think of Command as people telling other people what to do. But Maika, as you were talking about these definitions, I was thinking of more words like comfort, in the sense that when people know what they're doing and where they're supposed to be going -- I've watched teams in chaos when they don't know what they're supposed to be doing. Think about the first 2 minutes of an escape room. Right? Exercise, those are real popular these days. And so an easy example to do, where it's just absolute chaos, right? And Command brings this comfort to a team to to bring comfort, confidence, clarity to where they're going, and it puts people at ease, not makes it more difficult. And I think sometimes as we think about how we communicate with Command, how do we -- what are some clues, some advice, when we think for those who have it high, to bring this comfort and clarity and direction? What are some tips you would give there?
Maika Leibbrandt 9:22
I think, ask them what they think, be clear on whether you're seeking input from that person or a decision. Meaning, are you gathering their opinion? Or are you following through with whatever their opinion is? But give them that space to say, Hey, what are you sensing? What do you think is right here? And in in reality, Command is rare. And I coach a lot of people who struggle when they see Command in their top themes, because they perhaps have a little bit of doubt of how well that's going to be received by others. The fact that it's rare means other people don't have it. And so it's going to feel different to others. So of course, you might have a little bit of that doubt of is this going to be OK? This is different, is it going to feel all right? So think about that time when you've been in a group, and you felt a little bit lost, like you felt collaboratively lost. I really liked Jim, your example of the first 2 minutes of an escape room. Or maybe the, you know, the first 30 seconds after some jarring news, gets shared with a group. And then think about the moment that somebody is brave enough to step up and give some direction for how we move next, how that helps everyone exhale. Understand that anytime you can ask that person with Command to share what they're sensing, it's going to help them because chances are they've already got it in their gut; they already know what needs to be said. You're giving them permission to contribute in the way that they know best. I also think when you're communicating with people with high Command, make sure that you circle back and let them know when you took their advice. It will feed their understanding and and really help them make better future decisions. And I think decisiveness is one of the key tools for Command. And so being able to sharpen that ability to make decisions is certainly a way to honor Command.
Jim Collison 11:11
It's um, you know, as we think about for, at least for me, and the use of it and communicating it, I sometimes cheat when I'm in groups that are in chaos, and I just fill the role until someone else does. Like I don't actually want to be in charge. But I know the team dynamics, and I know have the ability to say, OK, I will start helping make decisions. And as soon as the group straightens itself out or gets moving, right, then I can easily pull back and give that rein to someone else. But I know the dynamic of groups in a way, when we have chaos that we'll spend a ton of wasted time trying to figure things out until someone gets put in charge. So I just short-circuit that and say, If I'm sensing chaos in the first 30 seconds, I'll take charge and figure some things out until others do. So I think from a communication aspect, I say that long story to say, Maika, I think from a communcation aspect, we could also say -- a Command: Don't be afraid to communicate early. Carmela had asked in the chat room a question about you'd mentioned this thing of truth, and before we move on to inspire and motivate, can you, can you kind of elaborate a little bit when you say it's about truth? What do you mean by that?
Maika Leibbrandt 12:18
For people with Command, I think they've got a real sense of what's -- it's different than, say, Belief, where we talk about right and wrong. Command sorts through clutter and question to get to -- truth is the best word I guess I've got there, to get to reality, to get to accuracy, to get to maybe the the actual point of what's going on. So in Jim's story there about, Hey, I'm sensing some misdirection, and I'm sensing some confusion. He's also using a great dose of influencing themes to sense when that confusion is gone. And so it's not fact based, like Analytical would be, but it is a maybe more about the reality in the moment. Command can sort through even when you're just thinking about a group of people who want to go to lunch. The person in the group -- they can't decide where to go. The person in the group with Command doesn't have to think about, gosh, why are we questioning this? Or is there chaos here, they can sort to Hey, I know we all had mentioned that we've been feeling a little bit off, there's this health food store now or even around the corner. Let's go there. And so it's that ability to sort through indecision in order to get to decision based on truth that you're gathering from other people. Does that help?
Jim Collison 13:37
Yeah, I think so. And let's talk a little bit about inspiring and motivating, maybe that'll clarify even a little bit more.
Maika Leibbrandt 13:42
Yeah, you can, you can truly inspire and motivate somebody with Command by minimizing the distance between decision and execution. So give them opportunities to make the call that will be immediately carried out. And I also think actual authority is, is really great for people with Command. Sometimes we say, Hey, you're in charge, and then we hang on to that, that control with a like a little string, or a membrane. If you can let that go and really put the person with Command in charge, they don't have to be in charge of every situation -- I don't think they desire to be. That's probably something I would put on them is to say, You don't always have to be in charge. You might need to ask somebody with Command if that's true or not. But it's not about leadership; Command and leadership are not mutually exclusive pieces. But it is a real, I think thrill and a jolt for Command to get to take true ownership of the decisions that need to be made. You can also, you know, motivate and inspire someone with Command by inviting them to sort through chaos. A lot of these themes I like to think about how can they offer themselves in more of a consultant role, where they don't have to own the entire project? But what can they contribute that helps collaborate or helps somebody else improve what they're doing. With Command, it might just be the opportunity to share options, to be able to say, Hey, I'm sorting through this, can you help me like navigate the questioning and just get to what you see with clarity as being our options or our ways forward?
Jim Collison 15:07
Ralph in the chat room makes an interesting comment. He says, lunch -- so as we're thinking about Command, lunch place selection, as we talked about the raw version of Command, I want Chinese! Mature, I want what they know about the decisions made -- what they know about the people. And I think in one of the seasons, maybe 3 or 4, I can't remember, Maika, we talked about how this idea of these themes when I make decisions, what's best for me. And then a mature version is when I point that outwards, and I make decisions that are best for the group. And I think it as we think about Command and practicing this talent every day, how can we face that outward and practice it in a way to kind of create that maturity in the best outcome?
Maika Leibbrandt 15:45
Command in many ways is not afraid of confrontation. I'm cautious to say that because confrontation is never without fear. But Command really comes alive with the courage and bravery that confrontation -- that it takes to successfully confront things or people. But I think one way that you could practice your Command or make it even better is, practice turning confrontation into persuasion. Learn the local language, what words, tone or even topics are really popular among your constituency. When I say "local," maybe I'm talking about a neighborhood; maybe I'm talking about a family; maybe I'm talking about a new team that you're a part of. Really get into understanding how they talk to each other; what they find to be the most important priorities, so that you can expand your toolkit so that it's not just that idea of I can go through the brick wall, but I can help you build it right alongside you. From the very beginning. I would also say, help your friends or your partners make commitments, and follow up with them as an accountability partner. With Command, you have this great ability to connect clarity to action. And that's a gift that you can offer others.
Jim Collison 17:01
Do we need to spend some time -- I think we've got an exercise we've been doing this season. So let's spend a little bit of time here in this exercise, as we think -- How do we get better and stronger if we have this?
Maika Leibbrandt 17:11
Yeah, so we're going to do a bit of talent-mindfulness to close out Command. This is for anyone, regardless of where Command falls in your profile. You might hear maybe a whisper that is something connected to Command; this is not scientifically connected to Command at all. And it's for you, I want you to think a little bit about yourself. We're going to take probably the next 3 to 5 minutes. This is an exercise that you can do on your own right now. We invite you to follow along; let's just start with a big deep breath. …
Maika Leibbrandt 17:47
Our topic right now, similar to Command, is clarity. Now different talent themes are going to find clarity in different times and in unique ways. So as we think a little more about clarity, put both of your feet on the floor, lengthen your spine. Imagine how it feels to truly know the answer to something. Feel how solid your feet are on the ground right now. Think of that feeling -- feeling that same kind of solid peace or that same certainty in your gut, in your heart or in your brain. Roll your shoulders up, back, and then slide your your shoulder blades down your spine. Now you're slightly bigger, maybe even a little bit more powerful. When you feed your talents, they bring an element of clarity, of certainty, of calm. What gives you clarity? Depending on your talent themes, it might be time, plans, chaos, people talking, studying, doing, sorting, what brings you clarity? Your greatest strengths give you power; that power is comforting. It's addicting. It's really beautiful. Know that right now you are powerful, not in the same way that anyone else is; not in a way that's momentary or fleeting. I want you to carry that power with you today. The world needs it. And that's our talent-mindfulness exercise for the day.
Jim Collison 19:31
That's super great, Maika. I think -- hopefully, I'm getting some feedback from individuals, and some really love this section. Some are still a little confused how to use it. Really settle in, right, this mindfulness idea is -- kind of we've been spending a lot of time at least as a culture, and maybe its global, of thinking about it, but some time to slow down and think in the moment -- like slow down for a second. Think in the moment. Be present, be there, look internal, those kinds of things. I think, Maika, would you give any other advice? And then let's wrap up Command.
Maika Leibbrandt 20:03
Don't overthink it. It's not meant to be pieced apart or even I think really not meant to take notes on it, like you are the rest of our Theme Thursday content. So it really -- think about it as something separate that we tag on to the end because we want you to routinely get in the habit of paying attention to your own talents. And we'd also love to hear feedback. If it's working for you, let us know. If it can be better, let us know. You can use #talentmindfulness on any sort of social place, and reach out let us know how it goes.
Jim Collison 20:36
Super cool! With that, we'll remind everyone to take full advantages of all the resources we have available at the Gallup Strengths Center, just gallupstrengthscenter.com. Send us your questions and comments. We'd love those in an email, email@example.com. You can send those to, they'll route those to us as well. You can also catch the recorded audio and video, both downloadable for offline listening. We call that podcasting. We're in every podcast app you can get to, so if you're listening to us on our website, you haven't subscribed, if you haven't done those things -- get connected to us and subscribe there, and get that every single week so you don't miss it. If you're interested in becoming a Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach or see a list of any of the courses that that we have available at this time whenever you're listening, head out to our courses page courses.gallup.com. We have a we have a bunch -- one of them may fit what you're looking for. Don't forget, you can also register for future webcasts. If you want to come out and join us live, you may be like -- you know, I've never done a live program before. You should come out and join us live. You can see a list -- we have plenty of going this year and we always list them out there on our Gallup Eventbrite page go to gallup.eventbrite.com. You can join our Facebook group and continue in that conversation facebook.com/groups/calledtocoach, and a whole bunch of you out there doing that. Follow Maika @strengthstalk on Instagram. We'll look forward to the next Called to Coach, which if you're listening live, is going to be in about 10 minutes. With that, we'll say, Goodbye, everybody.