skip to main content
Futuristic: Highlights From Your CliftonStrengths 34

Futuristic: Highlights From Your CliftonStrengths 34

Webcast Details

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

Join Jim Collison and Maika Leibbrandt as they talk about your Futuristic 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

I am Jim Collison and live from the Gallup Studios here in Omaha, Nebraska, this is Gallup's Theme Thursday, Season 5, recorded on September 5, 2019. Theme Thursday is a Gallup webcast series that dives deep into the CliftonStrengths themes, one theme at a time, and today's theme is Futuristic. If you're listening live, you can join us in the chat room available for you. Or if you're listening to the recorded version, you can email us your questions: Maika Leibbrandt is our host today. She's a workplace consultant here at Gallup and Maika, always great -- hurricane or not -- always great to see you. Welcome to Theme Thursday,

Maika Leibbrandt 0:42

Thank you. Hurricane or not, it is always my favorite place to be. So we're happy that that you've joined us here and talking about Futuristic today. Specifically, this one describes a specific cluster of talent, we'll talk about what that is. But we want to help you remember that whether or not you have Futuristic as one of your dominant talents, this podcast really is for you. Our entire goal is to help you focus on those themes that you have the most potential within. And those are the themes at the top of your your CliftonStrengths profile. So if you possess a great deal of Futuristic, you probably find that it always describes you, which means we would call it a dominant talent. But even if you don't, but maybe you care about somebody who does, today's podcast is for you.

Jim Collison 1:25

I wish I had a cluster of talent. That sounds so great.

Maika Leibbrandt 1:28

I think it sounds a little medical, but it is -- you have lots of clusters of talent, you should probably get those checked out.

Jim Collison 1:34

I should probably get it checked out. What does it mean to have Futuristic is your top talent theme?

Maika Leibbrandt 1:38

It means that you are grounded and inspired by what could be; that you make sense of today by placing it in the context of tomorrow, and you energize others with your visions for the future.

Jim Collison 1:50

It's one of my favorite I don't have that I really enjoy in people. So as I'm looking at people with this dominant Futuristic, what would I what might I notice?

Maika Leibbrandt 2:01

If you have high Futuristic, you might notice that others come to you during hard times for that idea of where your brain is. So you might notice, Jim, if you're looking for Futuristic in others, you might find that there's somebody you're drawn to when the present seems really difficult. Maybe that you find comfort in the clarity that they can offer, the picture that they can paint about where we're going without getting lost in where we are right now. If you have high Futuristic, you might find it hard to keep your feet on the ground. You can easily and vividly daydream about what might be possible. The future makes more sense to you than the present. You may have been called a big thinker, imaginative or even a dreamer. In some of our materials we use that word "dreamer" to be like a barrier label. We we really don't mean it in the sense of being negative; it really truly means that you you might have bigger dreams than other people. You might also -- go ahead, Jim

Jim Collison 2:57

No, I was gonna say those dreams are I think are super important, though, as we think about -- without them, we don't -- oftentimes we don't move forward with stuff.

Maika Leibbrandt 3:04

Exactly. And and or we move forward but not as far as we could. I think Futuristic has this ability to be sort of like a magnet for progress to be able to say no, we can go farther, you know, we can we can jump faster. If you've got high Futuristic, you might even find that you are less impressed by current revelations or big changes than the people around you. Maybe because you saw them coming or because you're so busy imagining, again, with that magnet for where we're going, that you're imagining even something more, more, more big, more disruptive, more different.

Jim Collison 3:37

In this season, we've been spending a lot of time on the All 34 report or thinking about it that has a new section called blind spots. And so, as we look at Futuristic, how does that -- how could we be held back from excellence with these blind spots?

Maika Leibbrandt 3:49

So just a reminder, these blind spots are a possibility. They're meant to be a nugget of idea for you to think about how might you get in your way of your own success, or perhaps how might other people who don't have this talent theme perceive it? And we've got that responsibility to truly understand how we're showing up in the world so that we can, we can absolutely be at our best. With high Futuristic, you might find it difficult to celebrate the current moment, because modern time kind of feels like the past. So don't do it for yourself; find what's important to those you care about and celebrate them -- celebrate the person instead of the present. You also might find that others are struggling to see what you see or to be as excited as you are about what you see. And that could leave you and them both feeling frustrated. So make it a point to feel out your partner's capacity to dream. Spend time really understanding your vision so that you can feed it with other people who are equally enchanted and energized by what has yet to be practical. But also learn to pay attention to signs that someone is not following what you're offering. So keep offering your vision, but maybe learn to do it without attachment to it being right or being bought. It's sort of like letting a balloon go up without a string attached; keep having these big ideas, but don't necessarily decide success or failure based on whether it energizes other people.

Jim Collison 5:19

I love that you used the word "disruptor" a little bit earlier in this because when we think about the future, oftentimes the changes from the way things were doing in the past, and it causes disruption, that can be tenuous for a team. And so as we think about the role of Futuristic and what it does for a team, where can it really shine on a team?

Maika Leibbrandt 5:40

So Futuristic, when we think about the role that it plays, it falls into that Strategic Thinking category. And that's a category of talent that describes people who solve problems by studying. Specifically, Futuristic, it's going to figure out today's challenge by putting it into the scenery of tomorrow -- sort of thinking about what's tomorrow's backdrop going to be and then pulling today's challenge up to that. The role that that Futuristic can play among other collaborators is perhaps to push the courage of current solutions beyond what others may have even comprehended; being able to say, Hey, we can be braver, we can be bolder, because you feel some safety in the future. If Futuristic can expand how the group defines what's possible, it can also calm people down who maybe are feeling really weighted down by current challenges. I think Futuristic is tied, if you want to, it can be stitched really closely to hope. And so Futuristic can can be hopeful and practical as a peer coach. To somebody with Futuristic, the future is real, it's not fluffy, it's not dreamy, it can be incredibly inspiring to tell other people what you see them achieving or becoming.

Maika Leibbrandt 6:55

Jessica Dawson is one of my close friends and one of our fellow course leaders here at Gallup. And she told me probably 5 years ago, she's like, Maika, I think you should start an Instagram account because the stuff you're doing on Theme Thursday is going to be a really big deal to people. I thought she was crazy. And now it's where I spend a lot of of great time and where we get a lot of great opportunities to make a difference for other people. But again, to her, that was real; she saw it happening and and that little nudge to say all right, maybe stretch Futuristic into a Relationship Building or an Influencing capacity by thinking about how great of a peer coach you might be.

Maika Leibbrandt 7:33

Let's compare Futuristic to other Strategic Thinking themes. So first, I want to go Futuristic and Strategic. Futuristic is dreaming about what could be; getting the most energy from the future. Strategic is dreaming about possible steps and sequence. The most energy for Strategic comes from sorting out patterns, or themes or clusters. Again, another very similar theme to this is Ideation. Ideation is creating new concepts, new products and new ideas. Futuristic is considering where those concepts, products or ideas might take us. And almost considering that from the future, and then and then pulling those new concepts toward you. Futuristic would say the unknown will be revealed with time and it's thrilling to consider. Learner would say everything can be known and figuring it out is a thrill. In partnership, Futuristic can challenge people to think more boldly. Futuristic is is less chained by current limitations than all the other themes are. It can also offer a pretty sincere belief in people. Think about just the phrase, "I see you doing big things." So I'm also reminded -- I mentioned Jessica earlier -- I'm reminded of a question that I was asked in my freshman year of college in a philosophy class. Or maybe it was economics. I don't even remember what the class was, but I remember the question. And it was something like the richest man in business offers to buy you whatever you want. What do you ask for? And my instant reaction -- I do not have Futuristic, I do have high Adaptability. So my instant thought was, well, I would say I want tuition for the next three years. Because that was my instant challenge. Whereas in hindsight, I should have said, or Futuristic might have said, I want majority ownership in Apple stock or I want to own Walt Disney, like you could have dreamed a lot bigger, a lot farther beyond your current need or your current problems. I think Futuristic has the ability to do that.

Jim Collison 9:39

Maika, because I love hanging out with Futurists, that's what I would call them -- folks who are always thinking in the future. And I have high Communication and love to synthesize that through my own Activator. Like I love to take other people's idea -- I'm not sure I've ever had an original idea. But I love to synthesize other people's ideas, bring them through, communicate them out and get them done. Right. That's one of the things I love to do. The temptation, though, and through that Communication, was to tell people, "I told you so." Because I would see through other people the future before other people saw it. And I would be, you know, I saw the internet in 1994 coming and I began to say, Hey, this is coming, guys, we need to kind of pay attention to this thing. That's not -- people always don't want to hear "I told you so." So as we think about communication techniques for people who see the future, who may be -- Ralph is saying in the chat room -- 20, 30, 40 years ahead. What are some advice or clues on communicating well, especially within teams on Futuristic?

Maika Leibbrandt 10:34

Might be two different questions. I'll take the first one, which is what you asked: If I've got high Futuristic, how do I communicate with other people? So I think it is about feeling out where you've got people who are equally energized by what isn't yet seen, and maybe some patience to realize that you are unique, and it's beautiful, you know, if you can clearly conceptualize things that haven't yet happened, you might find that same sort of energy coming from something like Ideation, coming from probably less of the practical thinking pieces around solving or sorting through what's really happening right now. But pay attention to clues when when you've hit somebody's hot button. And a "hot button" is something you could talk about for days, a moment where you're talking about something and their eyes light up. Find those people who can really feed your Futuristic and then also, you know, find great assists in people like like Jim, who can take a Futuristic idea, get excited about it and synthesize it and then you know, disperse it. So it might also be just allowing yourself to be the Futurist and not having to come down off that cloud. But but also pay attention to when -- when are there times where you need to just sort of introduce your Futuristic before introduces you? Being able to say hey, I'm I'm sensing something really big. Would you like to hear what it is?

Maika Leibbrandt 11:49

If you are then thinking about how do you, without Futuristic, communicate with somebody who does have high Futuristic, give them time and a platform to dream. Don't hold them to being practical alone, but lean into their capacity to imagine. That means know there will be some things that they say that you're not ready to hear or that you're not ready to take seriously. But that's OK. I would also say don't miss out on their visions. Sometimes, it's important to study the times and the ways that we communicate with the most passion or the most joy. And for Futuristic, it can mean that those times or those pathways or those habits happen maybe around certain deadlines or in certain environments, or even within certain relationships. There might be times when their future vision becomes more clear. So try and pay attention to those and re-create them as often as possible.

Jim Collison 12:38

What might also inspire or motivate somebody with Futuristic?

Maika Leibbrandt 12:42

invite them to challenge current solutions with their stretch goals or their creative thinking. Don't require them to own or even follow up on any adjustments to the plan. We've said this about a couple other Strategic Thinking themes. And it might be true for even more than those thinking themes, but that capacity to serve as a really great adviser with without having to own the execution. I would also say if you're if you're wanting to inspire or motivate someone with Futuristic, do your very best not to ever put their feet in wet cement. Assign praise based on what they've inspired, not just what they've completed. Don't save recognition or praise for the very end of a project or a job. Give them room to dream about their own future. Remember milestones that they have predicted as being important. And also pay attention to you know how far out they're looking, and allow them to keep looking farther. Are they imagining a huge goal? Maybe a preschooler with high Futuristic is thinking about where to go to college. Maybe a first-year teacher is thinking about what they'll be doing in their first year as an administrator. Make sure that you know that from the very beginning so that you can be ready to celebrate it as they get closer to it in just as big of a way as it seemed when it was in the future.

Jim Collison 14:00

So what can people with Futuristic do to practice this every day then?

Maika Leibbrandt 14:04

Think about having a countdown to big future milestones and check in with them regularly. It's going to help light up that vision for the future. I think Season 1, your Futuristic guest was Jeremy Pietrocini, and he talks about having high Futuristic. Something I also happen to know about Jeremy is he has had a countdown to his children's high school graduation date on his phone for as long as I've known him. And I've known him a lot longer than he's had high schoolers. So that idea of keeping those big future celebrations right in front of you. It's incredibly inspiring. I would also say, Get in touch with other dreamers. Read about advances in technology or find a writer, a podcaster, a leader whose visions inspire you and spend some time being inspired. Write down or or draw or measure what it is you're seeing. This is going to help you notice how often and how vividly you're spending your headspace in tomorrow. And flex your ability to get your own vision into the hearts and minds of other people.

Jim Collison 15:04

Maika you mentioned the word "technology." Future just isn't in technology, we actually need help with people thinking about the future of humans. And so there may be a good a good spot for you as we think about what we do and policies and and how we act as a globe. Speaking of practice, we've been spending some time this season thinking about this through this idea we're calling talent-mindfulness. And Maika, you've got another one ready to go. Let's hear that.

Maika Leibbrandt 15:32

So talent-mindfulness is a practice for you. Whether you lead with Futuristic or not, it is a powerful opportunity to spend 3 to 5 minutes studying your own talent. Let's set our space for studying that talent really intentionally. I invite you to take a deep breath through your nose, fill your lungs, and exhale through your mouth. Let's make the most of this and do it again, once more, really expand from your sides, fill your lungs, take up horizontal space. And exhale through your lips. You are more powerful today than you were yesterday. You know more about your natural patterns of behavior, emotion and problem-solving than you used to in the past. You have gained skills that you didn't use to have. You've learned more about the world than you used to know. And your awareness is going to continue to expand, whether you try or not, it's it's part of being on the planet. If you channel that awareness into areas of your best potential, it multiplies the effect that your talent has on yourself and on those people who care about you.

Maika Leibbrandt 16:53

So let's spend some time thinking about how effective you will be in the future. For now, just listen. You can come back later and write things down. You can play it back; you can hit Pause. But for now, really just be comfortable with with listening and thinking. You might even close your eyes or turn your gaze downward. From where you are in time right now, if you were to write a postcard to your childhood self that made them hopeful for the future, what would you write? It's a postcard so you don't get any more than two sentences. And again, it's about today -- where you are right now. But you're writing to your childhood self. Think about what those sentences would be.

Maika Leibbrandt 17:49

Keep your eyes closed; I want you to imagine now that you would get up from where you are and go to your own mailbox. In that mailbox, you find a postcard from yourself 10 years in the future. It's got a beautiful picture on the front and you flip over and there's your handwriting. What are 2 to 3 things that you read on that postcard that make you hopeful? ...

Maika Leibbrandt 18:37

Sometimes, studying talent means you're brave enough to focus on your whole self, on the whole-person experience. I intentionally am not asking you to write on that postcard about your talent specifically; I didn't even use the word "strength." Maybe what you have to be hopeful about in the future is the relationships in your life, your health, your accomplishments, your community. Whatever it is, I do know this to be true. Your future can be better than your present. And you do have the power to make it that way. That's your talent-mindfulness for today. I'll hand it back to you, Jim.

Jim Collison 19:24

Thanks, Maika. I always feel like I want to whisper when I come back into this. Let's see if I can actually join us. I can't figure out how to join us in the video. There we go. Appreciate that. You want to hear what I wrote down?

Maika Leibbrandt 19:37


Jim Collison 19:37

You inspire me today.

Maika Leibbrandt 19:38


Jim Collison 19:39

So here's what I would have written to myself: You'll still be a dork; people will just appreciate it more.

Maika Leibbrandt 19:49

I love that.

Jim Collison 19:52

That's kind of what I wrote to myself to myself in the future. Enjoy. You know, nerds have never been more -- there's a nerd chat going on.

Maika Leibbrandt 19:59

You'll still be a dork; people will just appreciate it more.

Jim Collison 20:02

People will appreciate it more. So, super great. Well with that we'll remind everyone to take full advantages of all the resources we have available at the Gallup Strengths Center. If it's after September 20, some things have changed. You used to go to the Gallup Strengths Center; now you're going to go to You can also reach that location at Pretty easy to get to. We're excited for the new platform coming and a lot of changes coming as well. If you have any questions, you can always send us an email: Lots of resources available. And we will be moving our resources as well -- that I'm going to ask you to be a little more patient with, because we won't have all of it ready on Day 1. But if you bookmark, that will be the new site for all the materials that we put out. We currently -- what we used to put out on, that is moving. We have a brand new live page coming too, so in a couple weeks you guys, you'll come in you're like "Whoa! This is different than it was before." And so we're excited for some of those changes that are coming. If you wanted to take a course from us so you get some learning, there are some options that are available. You can go to our courses page: If you want to follow us live, and there's a bunch of you who do, and it's always more fun live, come out and join us some Thursday when we do this. And you're like, but Jim I don't know when that is, so just go to Gallup ...

Maika Leibbrandt 21:16

It's the day after Wednesday and before Friday.

Jim Collison 21:20

Again, Jim, you're still a dork; but people just appreciate it more. The -- follow us there, you'll get a notification every time we add something to that. I just added 2 Called to Coaches to that yesterday, and we'd love to have you come out and join us live. Be a part of our Facebook group as well: and a great community out there, a very kind to community and we'd love to have you join us as well. Want to thank you for joining us today a little bit more in the post-show as we do this. With that we'll say, Goodbye, everybody.

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

Gallup World Headquarters, 901 F Street, Washington, D.C., 20001, U.S.A
+1 202.715.3030