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Developer: Highlights From Your CliftonStrengths 34

Developer: Highlights From Your CliftonStrengths 34

Webcast Details

  • Gallup Theme Thursday Webcast Series
  • Season 5, Developer
  • 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 Developer.

Join Jim Collison and Maika Leibbrandt as they talk about your Developer 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 August 22, 2019.

Jim Collison 0:20

Theme Thursday is a Gallup webcast series that dives deep into the CliftonStrengths themes, one theme at a time, and today's is Developer. If you're listening live, we'd love to have you join us in our chat room, super easy to get to. Or if you have questions after the fact and really questions on anything, send us an email: Maika Leibbrandt is our host today. She's a workplace consultant here with me at Gallup. And Maika, always great to see you on Theme Thursday. Welcome back.

Maika Leibbrandt 0:44

Thanks, Jim. It's great to be here. You know, those CliftonStrengths at the top of your profile are the most powerful. We love our 25-page CliftonStrengths 34 report. It helps you navigate really all 34 -- your entire profile. But those ones that always describe you are what we call your dominant themes. They tend to be 1 through 5, maybe 1 through 10 or 11, or 12. Wherever you find those always, that's where your greatest potential lies. Your greatest opportunity to succeed at work or anywhere is in really uncovering what you naturally do best and doing more of it. If that is Developer for you, or you care about someone who has high Developer, today's podcast is going to be great for you.

Jim Collison 1:25

So what does it mean to have Developer as a top talent theme?

Maika Leibbrandt 1:28

Well, it means that you recognize potential in other people, and you gently nudge them toward that improvement. You are especially delighted with other people's moments of discovery and growth.

Jim Collison 1:39

So how might people who have this high, and I don't know why I'm doing shooting guns while I'm doing this. But how would people with this dominant theme notice this in their life?

Maika Leibbrandt 1:48

Could probably ask you, it turns out Jim and I have Developer 7 and 8. Not that we both have it twice, but it's right there in our Top 10. So Jim, you might notice, for example, that you perhaps have been called out for being patient with other people. People with high Developer might also notice that you can see things in others that they themselves or other colleagues around them, maybe maybe don't. People might come to you for help and hope. I think there's a lot of hope wrapped up in Developer as well. Perhaps you share an excitement when other people have a moment of discovery or those Aha! instances. In some way, you might be a teacher, a tutor, an instructor or an encourager.

Jim Collison 2:29

Yeah, what, it's what we're doing here, just to be honest, right?

Maika Leibbrandt 2:32

It is.

Jim Collison 2:32

These webcasts, a lot of people think it's Woo. But there's so much Developer in here, it just, I really want to see the community grow and change and work. And so a lot of -- don't get me wrong, Woo is still driving this and I have Relator as well. So, but a lot if -- I think if you take what Maika, and you have it too, and so I think if you look at what what we're trying to do here, from the 34 report, which we've been spending a lot of time talking about during this series, there's also this idea of blind spots. Right? And so let's talk a little bit about that. How might that hold that hold us back from excellence?

Maika Leibbrandt 3:03

Yeah, you know, it is our responsibility to understand how each of our themes might be perceived by others. Not that the theme itself is going to, you know, hold you back. But it might, there might be patterns within that theme that (keep) you from being truly truly excellent. Think about this as how we might get in the way of our Developer. One way is, Developer really loves growth, and believes in it when -- even when other people have given up. So it's important to be careful not to lose balance of who owns that growth. Ultimately, it is best for people to own their own journey. But that can be a little bit difficult to let go for people with high Developer. So I think it's important to learn and practice coaching and teaching as a skill, instead of just as maybe a "heartset" or a mindset. Look for skills that are going to help you empower others and notice when you are owning more of the journey than they are. Find a habit or even just a phrase that helps you stop and hand that decision back to them. Maybe it's a great question like, Hey, why is this journey important to you? And why is it important to the people that you're trying to help? Really staying in a better balance there so that you are not shouldering the ultimate development burden there. I think another thing it's important to understand around blind spots is that Developer is ultimately others-focused. Remember, you cannot be world-class at developing others if you're not also taking care of yourself. So maybe this is also about balance, instead of the previous blind spot where it's the balance of ownership of that development, this is now the balance of where you're focusing your efforts. Find opportunities for you, yourself to be developed. Lean into the relationship aspect of this theme. Think about gathering your own personal board of directors. Who are the people whose opinions truly matter? Who are those that you can learn from? Who is maybe holding their hand open to you? How can you spend more time with them?

Jim Collison 5:01

Some great board of directors -- when I think of you and Mike McDonald and Dean Jones, I mean, just think about those names for a second, Maika, it's like you're speaking to me through this webcast here today. What role does Developer play on a team? I think this is a really important part here.

Maika Leibbrandt 5:16

Sure. So Developer lives in that Relationship Building domain, which means that it might feel a little bit more like the glue that holds the team together. Developer is about moving forward and incremental steps toward improvement. But it's not an Executing theme. It is a people-connecting theme. The lens that Developer has for how the people on a team can improve and the place Developer is likely to home in on is less about the plan or the strategy and more about the growth that other people can experience as they journey through that plan. So in a team, position your Developer as that real-time, kind of third base coach, if you think about about baseball there, they're they're on the field, right? A real-time tutor. Offer peer feedback, help design perhaps who might be best for certain tasks based on their potential, rather than just by by taking a look at their proven performance. Let's compare Developer with a couple other Relationship Building themes. First is Connectedness. So if Connectedness says, We're here for a reason, Developer says, Whatever the reason we're here, I can help you grow from it. Another one that I'd like to compare is Positivity, because I think they both sound very similar and might, in fact, even look like each other if you take away the motivation aspect of it. But what Positivity is going to do really well is set the tone for energy and for emotion. What Developer will do really well is set the exploration of learning and improvement. If Positivity says, "You can do it!" Developer says, "I can help. And then you'll know how to do it." Did you catch that reference there to a popular home improvement store?

Jim Collison 7:00

I do, I do. And I would say, there's this this Woo-Communication-Positivity package that we talk about all the time. But I love the fact that you're bringing Positivity and Developer together. I've seen those show up together. And that is such an -- when we think about a role on a team, a team member who has this Developer, Positivity and maybe Individualization in that package can be so powerful to the human elements of a team.

Maika Leibbrandt 7:28


Jim Collison 7:29

Let's see here are we done?

Maika Leibbrandt 7:30

We're talking about what Developer can do in partnership.

Jim Collison 7:33

Let's do that.

Maika Leibbrandt 7:33

So if you think about what does what value does Developer bring to a partnership? It encourages people to press beyond their current capability. Developer is not limited by what we know right now. So I think it can be one that says, OK, let's do a little bit more -- let's let's take on more than we might be comfortable with right now, with the belief that we can meet those expectations. I think Developer can increase the patience with which a partnership tackles tough obstacles. It allows for safety in failure, because, again, Developer has that, that that learning element to it, where it's not necessarily about knowing it all; it's about getting it right and discovering what you need to discover in order to improve. A Developer can also drive honest conversations, because they're rooted in that belief that we want to truly improve, not just sort of band-aid, lasagna our way toward, you know, pulling something off. Developer wants to say, How do we actually get better? And I think that can lead to some really great sort of reality-based honesty conversations. Developer can also uncover potential in others and help other people to see that same potential. So it could it could look like Individualization; it could look like Includer in what it's doing is encouraging the acceptance of others. But Developer comes at it based on this assumption that, hey, we are all growing, we are all changing, we can all get better.

Jim Collison 8:58

Any clues and advice on communicating well with Developer?

Maika Leibbrandt 9:01

Share your discoveries. Be, I think, be the first person to say, Here's an interesting change that I've had in my own perspective. They live for those moments, the moments that other people's brains light up -- that's like candy to a Developer. So if you've had one of those, share it! I would also say, Don't be limited by talking about current capability or current capacity. Let that Developer know what success really really looks like without watering it down based on what you think their potential is, or what what the team's potential is. Because that Developer can see the bridge between where we are now and where we need to be in order to succeed. I would also say, Offer words of encouragement. They often shoulder a lot of the support for other people, and you offering that support is speaking their language and acknowledging the value that they place on help and the value that they place on hope.

Jim Collison 9:56

Maika, you know from experience, I host my office in the atrium here at Gallup. So if you've ever been to Gallup, you know, and most mornings, you can find me in the atrium, this morning ...

Maika Leibbrandt 10:04

Some people call it "Gallup"; in reality, it's Jim's office,

Jim Collison 10:07

It's kind of known as that. This morning, one of our one of our coworkers came to me and said, Hey, I just got done listening to Theme Thursday Context, and it was awesome! She says, I have a very low -- just helped me understand a little bit more about those that I'm working with that have Context. So how cool, you know, as a Developer, How cool was that to hear the results of it, right? Very inspiring, very motivating to me, I kind of got pumped up before today's session. So what else might inspire when we think about things that inspire Developers, what else might inspire us?

Maika Leibbrandt 10:39

Get them involved in conversations about the potential of people. Maybe that's putting them in a place where they're doing some resourcing; thinking about them as sort of a talent agent on your team; or just asking them for their opinion on who might be a great fit for a new challenge. They might help you understand that there's potential that you otherwise would have missed. I would also say offer them directly that chance to mentor, to tutor or to just give feedback to people. Ask them to dream about what can be -- again that that image of you know, the Developer can see the bridge between where we are today and where we can go in the future. So pair them up with somebody perhaps who likes to think and maybe that bridge comes a little bit more cerebrally than it does relationship-y. Pair them up with somebody who likes to think about the future through their brain. And you will capture a very rich picture of hope, which our friend Shane Lopez always called the the belief that tomorrow is going to be better than today and that I have the ability to make it that way.

Jim Collison 11:36

You had to mention Shane. As we've been doing this work, I've been going back -- by the way if you haven't caught those, Shane Lopez, just search for that on our site, you want to listen to those for sure. What can people with Developer do to practice this talent every day?

Maika Leibbrandt 11:48

Make boosting other people's emotions a daily ritual. And that might sound like a lofty goal. But, seriously, just do it for a week and see what happens. Write an encouraging note or send a thoughtful text to someone as you start every single day. I would also say, Check in with people who you know are pursuing learning opportunities. Offer to be their reflection partner. Or just learn some great coaching questions and practice asking them, even outside of that traditional development setting, like a class or, or a coaching experience. You could be a really great coach in a project meeting. Maybe it's when you're noticing that people are feeling hesitant or people are feeling like they're being pushed outside their boundaries. Try addressing that emotion in a way that helps other people master what it is they need to accomplish. It might even be as simple as you being that voice in a team saying, Hey, what is it we're really feeling? What do we need to do? What do we need to go learn? Or how can we get better in order to meet the challenge that we're being faced with?

Jim Collison 12:53

Speaking of going and doing, we've been spending this season with a little talent-mindfulness, some actual work, some something to do. So hang tight with us on this. Maika, walk us through this exercise. What can we do to get better, get stronger?

Maika Leibbrandt 13:05

Yeah, well, we're going to take the next 3 to 5 minutes to really think about this on our own. Let's just start with a really deep breath in through the nose. And out through the mouth. Drop your shoulders, drop any baggage, drop any necessity to figure out Developer This is now about you, regardless of whether Developer is in your top themes. Developer is a Relationship Building theme. So today's mindfulness reflection is an exploration of your relationships, which, even if you don't lead with Relationship Building themes, I bet you have some love in your life. I bet you have some people in your life. This is going to be a meaningful way to invest in your talent, again, with or without dominant Developer. Let's just take one more breath, and then we'll really get into it. So a deep breath in ... and release that breath out.

Maika Leibbrandt 14:05

Of all the people in your life who has helped you grow? You might be thinking of a lot of people, a lot of names, maybe some of them are living and some of them aren't. If you were to think about all the people you've ever known who have helped you grow, and line them up facing you, that line might wrap around you in a in a giant circle or a tiny little circle. So that no matter where you turned, you'd see the face of someone who's contributed to your development. Strengths, and for that matter, human beings, grow best in relationship with others. Of all the people you're imagining right now, I'd like you to narrow your focus to just one person. Who has helped you grow the most in the past 90 days? From that Developer lineup you've got going in your imagination, imagine that one person taking a step toward you, and the rest of your great Developers kind of fade away. Now you're left with one person who has significantly helped you improve recently. See their face. Imagine how their voice sounds when they say your name.

Maika Leibbrandt 15:35

Growth requires change. Because of this person, you are changed -- for better, for good. How are you different than you were before this person? What's better about you? What is stronger about you? What did they uncover in you? What's brighter, more powerful, more sophisticated? Let's take all those ideas and finish this statement in your mind. Because of this person, I am ... .

Maika Leibbrandt 16:40

I want to encourage you to first appreciate the growth in yourself. Understand that areas of talent bring infinite potential to get better. But we don't get to world-class by accident. You deserve to feel proud of the change that you have made. And next, I want to encourage you as well to reach out to this person, if possible, over the next week, and share that gratitude. That's a dose of talent-mindfulness for today.

Jim Collison 17:16

Pretty great. I'm kind of really enjoying these. I'd recommend if you're listening live, sometimes it's kind of hard maybe in the live show, go back, grab the recording. Do this -- I'd actually also encourage you, if you're listening on the recorded version, maybe take a moment and pause. Like pause the the audio, if you're listening on your phone or whatever device, and really spend some time thinking. Maika, the key as I've been working through these with you is to take that moment to stop. Like, this isn't -- don't rush through this. Like really spend some time kind of thinking through it. At first it felt a little dorky to me, you know, when we first started doing this it's like, I don't know, Maika.

Maika Leibbrandt 17:50

You hated it. You were like, this is the strangest thing you've ever made me do.

Jim Collison 17:52

If you go back to Achiever, you might see it in my face.

Maika Leibbrandt 17:52

To be fair, they were a little dorkier. They've gotten better.

Jim Collison 17:58

Well, practice. I think they've gotten -- I think they've gotten better for both of us. And it's just one of those kinds of things it's nice for me to stop and reflect on. Well, speaking of reflecting remind everyone to take full advantages of all the resources we have available at the Gallup Strengths Center, just Soon you'll be redirected to our new Gallup Access site, You should check it out today. Not everything is the way it's going to be come here September 20, 2019. Got some great stuff coming. If it's after the fact, it's already there. And you've enjoyed it. Congratulations, you made it. We want to remind you if you have any questions on anything, you can send us an email: and don't forget our resources coming up on our Coaches Blog -- today, But we have a new site coming for that as well: All those links, by the way, (are) in the show notes. If you haven't gone to those, we have some really good show notes with full transcripts that are available for you in there. You can search for anything there and get it if you like it, including all those links that I just mentioned. If you're interested in becoming a Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach or any courses that would just make you better, we'd encourage you to go out to our courses page: Who knows, Maika may even come out and teach you -- you never know. Might be -- she just might magically appear in one of those -- and like, oh my gosh.

Maika Leibbrandt 18:00

I did this week.

Jim Collison 19:07

So glad I came to this class. If you want to follow all the things that we do and join us live, the best way to do that is on our Eventbrite page, go to Finally, don't forget you can join us in our Facebook group, if you want to do it that way. And we have a LinkedIn group as well; And on LinkedIn, you can search for CliftonStrengths trained coaches -- not just for coaches but a site for folks out there, if you want to join us on LinkedIn. Want to thank you for joining us live. We will do some post-show. With that, we'll say, Goodbye everybody.

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

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