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CliftonStrengths Community Update for February 2020

CliftonStrengths Community Update for February 2020

Webcast Details

  • Gallup Called to Coach Webcast Series
  • Season 8, Episode 6
  • Listen as Austin Suellentrop shares how a recent life event has helped him refocus on the profound impact we can have on others, plus some special recognition for Jim.
  • Interested in learning more on this topic? Read more about how to improve teamwork in the workplace.

Austin Suellentrop, CliftonStrengths Portfolio Manager, was our guest on a recent Called to Coach. In this February 2020 Community Update, Austin touched on a difficult life event that got him thinking about the impact one life can have on another -- even though, in some cases, we may not see the impact we're having. He and Jim Collison encouraged coaches to consider how all of their efforts and sacrifices and service to others are making a difference. And then Austin shared a highlight of the recent Gallup Year-End Awards that involved Jim Collison, and a few developments you can expect in 2020.

Below is a full transcript of the conversation, including time stamps. Full audio and video are posted above.

We've created the ultimate guide to improving teamwork in the workplace!

Jim Collison 0:00

I am Jim Collison and live from the Gallup Studios here in Omaha, Nebraska, this is Gallup's Called to Coach, recorded on February 10, 2020.

Jim Collison 0:20

Called to Coach is a resource for those who want to help others discover and use their strengths. We have Gallup experts and independent strengths coaches share tactics, insights and strategies to help coaches maximize the talent of individuals, teams and organizations around the world. If you're listening live -- I'm getting a little feedback from you, Austin -- if you're listening live ...

Austin Suellentrop 0:37

That's my fault. That is the flash-flood warning on my phone in my watch happening, so I apologize.

Jim Collison 0:41

All right, little thunderstorms going on. If you're listening live -- you may be a little bit safer than Austin right now -- join us live in our chat room. We'd love to have you do that as well. There's a link to it right above the video window on the live page. If you're listening after the fact and you have any questions, you can always send us an email: Don't forget to subscribe wherever you're at. So you can subscribe on our Eventbrite page: On our YouTube pages, the subscription button is actually right below the video window down there. You can just click Subscribe and click the notification button, or join us via the podcast on any podcast player. Love to have you do that as well. Austin Suellentrop is our host today. Austin is the CliftonStrengths Portfolio Manager here at Gallup. Austin, welcome back to Called to Coach!

Austin Suellentrop 1:20

Thank you so much. Always a pleasure to be here.

Jim Collison 1:22

Always good to have you. We are in our regularly scheduled monthly cadence. If you're kind of new to the channel or new to the program, newly ... certified, Austin and I spend the first part of every month kind of going through some monthly updates of going on -- what's going on in the community. Some things that you should know about. Sometimes they're tactical. Today, we're kind of going to take a missional approach to this, like, it's just always good to kind of recenter and figure out why we're doing what we're doing. And so, Austin, you've got some things prepared for us.

Austin Suellentrop 1:51


Jim Collison 1:51

What do you want talk about today?

Austin Suellentrop 1:52

So, first of all, thanks for having me. This is always a fun thing for me to be able to do. I'm -- I said in the pre, in the sort of -- before we kicked off -- I'm always blown away by just how far and wide the reach of this webcast is; the reach of our network; and our strengths advocates globally. So thank you, Jim, for having me on. And thank you to everybody who's here, either live or listening.

Austin Suellentrop 2:15

I want to, I want to share a couple of thoughts with you today. The first one was, you know, sort of a reminder, making sure everybody -- hopefully you saw last week that on our social media channels, so I saw a couple posts on LinkedIn and Instagram, which is where I'm really living on most of my social time, Last week would have been Don's 96th birthday -- would've been Don Clifton's 96th birthday last week. So we were we were sharing some posts and some stories and there was some conversation happening around it and there's big sort of dialogue happening internally at Gallup about like your favorite Don quote, or favorite Don story around his birthday.

Austin Suellentrop 2:54

We had the chance last week to gather in Omaha for our sort of year-end sort of, you know, recap of '19, kickoff of 2020 with all of our tribe members, and it was a really nice centering moment. And so it got me thinking about a couple of things. And one of the things it got me thinking about was, when I started my strengths journey and was introduced to things around the strengths-based approach and Curt Liesveld was so masterful at telling stories and articulating analogies that just got -- made things click. And, and then I had I, I'm having this experience in Omaha and things are great. And I came home a Friday, and we'd had some, some tragedy in our family, in our community here in Birmingham.

Austin Suellentrop 3:45

My oldest daughter is 9 years old and in the 4th grade, and she lost -- her teacher passed away unexpectedly this past week. So on Saturday, we had a really gut-wrenching difficult emotional day of laying her to rest. But what was beautiful about, about this was the the conversation around the life that her teacher had lived. And it was -- it was beautiful in that there was a consistency I heard around students, family members, fellow teachers around what she did while she was here and why she did it. And there was a striking similarity between her approach and Don's approach.

Austin Suellentrop 4:36

And I share this because it was -- it's always tough to watch your children go through something, right. It's always tough to watch people you care about struggle and grieve. And what was incredible was, the one theme that kept coming up over and over again was a life committed to helping others develop, and a life committed to helping others find something they love, and go for it. And my 9-year-old daughter, who is the biggest ball of emotion you could ever hope to be around -- we describe her, and she describes herself, as having big feelings. So when things are going well, they're going really well. And when things are tough, they're really tough. She has really big feelings is how she talks about herself.

Austin Suellentrop 5:30

And we're at a funeral on Saturday for her teacher. She is singing in the choir with her classmates. And there's not a dry eye in the house. We're all, we're all grieving and sobbing. I look at my 9-year-old daughter, and she and her classmates were almost laughing as they were singing. They were smiling so big and so excited. And they had tears in their eyes almost laughing. And after the service, I asked her, I said, "What was what were you so tickled about up there? What was going on?" And she said that "Playing is praying," was what her teacher would always say. That if you go out and just play as hard as you can, have as much fun as you can, live life as hard as you can, that's a way of praying for her. And she said, something about the song they were singing during the funeral made them think about that. And it made them all think about it at the same time.

Austin Suellentrop 6:29

And so, it was, I'm watching this and I, I couldn't put myself in her shoes, but the reason it struck me was because there was obviously something that her teacher had said and done -- an impression she had made in her, a connection she had made -- that was happening across this group of children at the same time. And when you devote your life to helping other people get better at something, to helping other people develop, to helping other people learn, whatever it may be, sometimes you get the benefit of seeing it come to fruition. Like sometimes you get to see the Aha! moments, and you get to see these moments of sort of just pure excellence in people. But I think most of the time, you don't. I think most of the time, it's way down the road or it's when you're not around, and it's, it's a comment or, or a thing they do where the coach or the teacher isn't with you -- that that investment happens.

Austin Suellentrop 7:33

And so as I was reflecting over the weekend, and the combination of being around my friends in Omaha and Don's birthday, and then this incredibly emotional weekend of laying a friend to rest, it was, it was reinvigorating that I'm looking around -- and I've been going to this church since I was 15 years old, and I've never seen it more crowded than it was on Saturday morning. There was an outpouring of people saying, You know what? The investment she made in all these kids over these years -- this is what it looks like. And it was, it was touching; and it was also sort of a reinvigoration for me of the importance of having people in this world who focus their life on helping others in that sense.

Austin Suellentrop 8:21

So when I think about the coach movement, the strengths movement, that to me is at the core of it -- as coaches, being willing to devote your time, your effort and your energy to helping other people get better at something. I hope all of us can not lose sight that, even if you don't see the impact you're making, it doesn't mean you're not making one. And that we can all of us, I think, naturally, as humans, we can get wrapped up in the feedback we do get -- both good or bad, right? That if I make some, if I'm -- if Oh, wow, that really worked. I should do that every time! Well, how many times are you hearing that that didn't work? Or, if I get feedback that that didn't work, do I dramatize that, like -- Oh, that's never going to work!

Austin Suellentrop 9:13

Understanding that I think is really an important thing. So I wanted to share that story. Because honestly, it's still in my mind; it's still where -- I'm still coming through a sort of a roller coaster of emotions. I know my, my kids and my family and my community still are. But yeah, I just want to sort of kick us off with that. So ...

Jim Collison 9:34

Austin, I think it's a, I think it's a great story in the fact that I think we realize the most powerful moments are found when we serve each other. Like those are -- leading is really serving, and, you know, whether that's coaching or consulting or advising in that space, when we really spend that time -- that teacher had that impact cause she really served her students. Think about the impact of the, I mean, you see the impact of the classes that are there right now, but think about -- multiply that times every year she had teaching in that, right, every year she'd been there. Not the easiest job in the world right now to be a teacher, you know, and just the impact that you get to have on those individuals.

Jim Collison 10:14

And the impact that we get to have on each other, I think, as we spend time, I just think, in some of the work that we get to do -- serving the community in the way that we get to serve them, we don't see, you know. After the Learning Series, I got dozens, 50s of notes, maybe, 10s of notes, I guess, is the way you'd say it? And it's just a great realization and a great reminder of why we do the things that we do, right, why we wake up early in the morning to do an early-morning Learning Series, or why we do 16-hour days to put those series together. Or, you know, the various sacrifices that are made -- the travel that people make to be on site, on locations, to go places to do that.

Jim Collison 10:57

And so I think, for our coaches, who are out there making those sacrifices, really serving the people that they coach -- because I really think that's really what it's about. Not, not too much difference between managing and coaching people in a lot of ways, right? It takes, it takes a sacrifice, and a sacrifice of time. And sometimes you never, to your point, I think you never see the outcomes of those. Again, easy to see the outcomes for the parents right there as they're watching their kids in that moment, but how often do we not -- how often do we don't get to see those moments with that impact?

Austin Suellentrop 11:32

Absolutely. I, you know, one of the ways we, we talk about coaching when we when we teach it, when we -- in our courses, we teach coaching, right? We talk about being in the passenger seat, not being in the driver's seat. And I think, you know, in -- that's a, that's a, sometimes a vulnerable place to go, where you're going to, you're going to say "I'm going to let you drive. I'm here to help you but ... " even though, as coaches, God love us, how many times do we know what this person needs to do? Like, we can very easily tell them, you know, I've seen this story before. Here's what here's what you should do. But trusting in the approach of coaching of being in the passenger seat with them, giving them -- you can give them guidance, and you can give it you can give them advice at times, right, but but never stepping into the driver's seat for them. Right? So I appreciate the chance to share that story. It's, it's somewhat cathartic for me, it's, but I also hope that the, the overall point and emotion of it resonates with you and our friends.

Austin Suellentrop 12:32

I do want to share a second story. This one a little bit more uplifting and less emotional. So we were in Omaha last week. And again, if you ever doubt how glamorous our life is, remember, we're hosting this awards thing in Omaha in February. It's, it's about as glamorous as it gets! It was actually unseasonably warm, I would consider for Omaha, it was only in the, in the 30s. But we're there. And we have, we have the whole the whole Gallup group together. And we have an annual award we give out internally, that is sort of our Excellence Award. So it's, it's sort of aimed at the person or the -- that really epitomizes this, the commitment to their work, to the outcomes, to what they're doing, to supporting our mission.

Austin Suellentrop 13:26

And it's really neat. I think it's one of the coolest awards I've ever been a part of, because it's not something that is driven by, you know, the top sales record or some sort of hard metric, right. It's very much voted on and elected by peers. So we all get a vote. Everybody's vote carries the same weight. Jim Clifton's vote carries the same weight as my vote, which is really cool, and all across. And so I want to make sure this community knows that, that Jim Collison won that award this year for his commitment to this community, to our brand, to our mission as an organization.

Austin Suellentrop 14:07

And it was, it was something that, over the last year, we think about 2019, you think about everything we've been doing, everything we've gone through and all the work that's been going into this. Jim wakes up every morning, when his cellphone alarm goes off to wake him up, he's checking social media feeds, he's checking email and forwarding things on to people to get action going. Throughout the day, he's either hosting podcasts, webcasts, Learning Series, trainings, you name it, sort of as an air traffic controller directing feedback all of these different places. In the evenings, he's oftentimes doing webcasts overseas, for various organizations, for various groups globally. And then he has a day job where he's actually doing other things as other responsibilities as well.

Austin Suellentrop 14:08

And the thing that I -- that stood out to me was, there's not a moment that goes by where Jim isn't thinking about how he can serve the community. What does, what does the community need? How can I help them? How can I make sure their voice is heard? How can I make sure that the feedback they're giving me is being acknowledged and recognized and heard and acted upon?

Austin Suellentrop 15:21

So the same message of Don, the same message of my daughter's teacher, I hope you all know -- Jim is that as well, and it's noticed, and it's recognized. And so I wanted to take a few minutes to tell this this audience that your feedback is heard. Jim does a tremendous job of sharing it and and representing you and your needs. So much so, so effectively, that his peers acknowledged him for the excellent work that he does. So Jim, congratulations.

Jim Collison 15:51

Thanks, Austin. Yeah, just a reminder, you were up for that same award. So let's, let's be really clear.

Austin Suellentrop 15:56

But you won it!

Jim Collison 15:58

I did. It was it was a good year. It was a good year. Listen, I just -- I appreciate the fact that we're all in this thing, you know, we're all in this thing together, both the support that Gallup provides. It takes a team to do what I did: You and Tiffany and the folks around, you know, Emily, and, and the folks who rallied during that migration. And we still have some work to do, but we're here because of it. And, you know, it's partly our job, but partly all of us come with that passion to get it done.

Jim Collison 16:26

So, you know, what's awesome is to kind of come off of a time like that and to celebrate that. There's a lot of karaoke going on, where there was a lot of crowd singing, and I felt them releasing a little bit of stress over the last six months -- sometimes, sometimes, I feel like the community doesn't, doesn't fully understand the effort that everybody behind me puts in to get this done. There's a lot of folks working a lot of hours to get a lot of things done and to do it in a way that's professional and efficient and all those things. And it's hard to get everything right, as big of a system as we have, and as many things that have to get done. It's hard to do all those, do them right, and all at the same time and everything.

Jim Collison 17:09

I've always appreciated the professionalism in this community and the way people have approached me professionally. And, and, you know, doesn't mean you have to like it, but it does mean that we're all in this thing; we're all on the ship together. So appreciate that, Austin, it's, it's very, very meaningful because it's a peer voted. I blacked out a little bit as I was walking up on the stage, so I don't quite remember what exactly -- you know, in those moments, you just kind of, I do this for a living! But in those moments, you just kind of, all of a sudden get up there, and Jim Clifton said, "Wow, that was really loud!" And so the crowd, the crowd must have responded. But I appreciate that, Austin, thanks for that recognition as well.

Austin Suellentrop 17:49

Well, well deserved. I think the, the reason I share that today on this is I want, I want all of our coaches, all of our advocates, our champions, the people out there who love strengths and love CliftonStrengths and the approach we take and how we're trying -- what we're trying to build. I want you to know the commitment we have as an organization to it, what we're trying to build long-term, that we understand there are things we've got to get better at. And we're working hard to improve those. We have things in place now that we didn't have in place 6 months ago: listening posts, mechanisms, development approaches, that we're evolving and adapting with. We're trying and we're continuing to make sure we have the right approach in place, and we're trying to build something that's going to outlive any of us, right.

Austin Suellentrop 18:43

And that what Don kicked off, and what Don really set in motion, he could not, I don't, I mean, from talking with, with his closest friends and his family, I mean, he'd be blown away with where we are. Right? And I want to, I want to help be a part of taking that, and building it to a point where it would blow me away in my wildest dreams. And I got some pretty wild dreams, right?

Austin Suellentrop 19:07

So I'm just, I'm really excited for where we're going in 2020. The initial feedback we have on some of the changes we've made, little things like the new format of the Coaches Newsletter, right. The initial feedback on that's been really positive to us, right. So the initial feedback on exclusive video content. If you look on our social media pages, things like LinkedIn, and Instagram, you're seeing more and more micro video content. Right? We share that so that you've got something you can take and share with your networks and get the conversation going about strengths in a different way. Right. So there's more of that coming than ever before. We're really excited for sort of the ability to continue to put out relevant content for you, that helps keep the conversation going.

Austin Suellentrop 19:53

So as we think about the, you know, the year ahead and the next 2 years and 3 years and 5 years, right, that Learning Series, I thought, was a great example of sort of, you know, that's an innovation in simple things like time zones. We're going to keep trying different things, all based upon the feedback we're receiving. And we're going to ask for your feedback along the way. Right? So Jim is, again, literally excellence in action. That's who Jim is. I try every day to, I mean, even from the microphone I use, like I try my best to be Jim Collison. We have, we have enough enough uniqueness to not, not be exactly Jim. But I model a lot of what I've learned from Jim's approach, which is, you'll never see Jim not bringing energy and his best self to what he does every day.

Austin Suellentrop 20:39

So my, my sort of closing comments today, if you will, are to be thinking about, you know, What got you into coaching? Like what was it that motivated you, that drove you to get into coaching in the first place? And to think about how you know you're making an impact through that. Was it to help? Was it to help people through times of change? Was it to pass along life lessons you had? Was it to help people avoid tough times? What, whatever it was for you, right? Realize you're making an impact, whether you see it or not.

Austin Suellentrop 21:17

And if you need to find a way -- if you need to measure, if you need to validate the impact you're making, to think, think about the way it makes you feel. Think about the the energy you get from it, and the ripple effect that can have on every person you talk to, all the relationships in your life. Because I have zero doubt in my mind, that if you devote your life to helping others with something, you're making a more positive impact than you may ever realize. So just a level of gratitude and appreciation beyond what I can express effectively through words, really, sincerely to this whole community, to everybody who supports strengths, and especially to you, Jim. So thank you.

Jim Collison 22:02

You're welcome, Austin. Anything else from an announcement perspective you want to throw in there before we go?

Austin Suellentrop 22:06

You know, I think keeping up with, with the newsletter is the best way to get the new content. Stay tuned for more, I say in the month of February, we're kicking off a lot of the things we've been working on the last couple months, right, around the feedback from the, from the community. So you heard, if you're on the Learning Series, you may have heard Dean mention some things around sort of building a Coaches Panel. Right. So we're trying to build build out a formalized sort of coaches panelists -- what Gallup does really well: We know how to survey people and get feedback. We've been working on, on building out a Coaches Panel. So look for an invitation and a survey, sort of get feedback from you and get you to opt into that panel, which is sort of our way of, of having a pulse of this community.

Austin Suellentrop 22:49

And then we'll be doing -- from that panel doing a lot more sort of ongoing feedback mechanisms. There'll be some unique opportunities for feedback and learning at the Summit this year, right, which is really quickly approaching. If you were on the Learning Series and heard, or participated in that conversation with Jim Asplund and myself, we'll be doing a live version of that at the summit, where we'll be able to dig deeper into some of the things we teased out. By then we'll have formally published some of the research that Jim was talking through. So those are things that we're, we're sort of polishing and getting ready for now. And, and really excited to continue to push out new content, new support, new tools for all of our coaches.

Jim Collison 23:32

Don't forget the summit registration deadline for the coaches discount -- the discount doesn't end, but the price goes up for everybody April 4. So you got, you got about 2 months to get it done. Breakout sessions just went up, I think, this weekend. And so, if you haven't gone out there and checked those out, those are available as well. 15% discount for any courses taken during them. They're all listed on the page, as well as some additional paid breakouts, if you want to do it. If you want to take master coaching courses, we have those available that you can purchase from us. Those are available that Monday that you come in. So there's a lot of options for you.

Jim Collison 24:07

So if you've been holding off looking, now is probably the time to look and get registered for the summit. There's still room; it's going to go fast, so, and it will sell out. It does every single year. So you make sure --you probably want to get in there and get that done. Maika and I -- one more final thing -- Maika and I will again do a live Called to Coach at the end. So if you're coming out, you're going to want to reserve, even if it says it's full, you're going to want to reserve 1 to 4 after the summit to come out and join us live for a very special live Called to Coach that we're going to be doing. And we'll make room for everybody. So don't, don't listen to what the app says. You'll get in. You'll get in unless the fire marshal says you can't get in. That -- so that's coming up as well. Anything else, Austin, to add?

Austin Suellentrop 24:48

Nope. I appreciate it. Looking forward to a great week.

Jim Collison 24:51

I have a closing here, and I want you guys to listen very carefully. I you know you, you tune me out, but there's a whole bunch of new things -- and there may be some things that you have just taken for granted, as far as resources goes, and I just want to use this kind of outro as the opportunity -- so don't, if you're listening on the podcast or on the live video, don't tune me out just yet.

Jim Collison 25:11

A couple reminders: one, take full advantages of all the resources on, now on Gallup Access, but that for strengths folks, the best way to get to that is When folks log in that way, it takes them right to their dashboard, right to their strengths dashboard. So that doesn't -- if you go to or if you go to, that will take you to the typical Access dashboard, which is not bad. But for your folks, you want to take right to the dashboard. Again, that was feedback that we got. And so now, you can do that. Again, that's

Jim Collison 25:43

We also post full transcripts, which have all the links to everything. Like if you're not going back and looking at the post, even to this one, if you're not spending time on looking at these things -- Mark does a great job of putting up all the links in there, including a way to subscribe to the new CliftonStrengths Community Newsletter. So not only the one that we put together for Certified Coaches; we have one for the community. You may want to get your folks -- the folks that you're coaching -- involved in that. There are links to that at the bottom of every single post that we have. So get signed up for that as well. You can pass that along so others can, can get that done.

Jim Collison 26:15

If you need to contact us, send us an email: That goes to our lead response team. They'll get you routed if you got questions about training or you got questions about access or you got -- just send us an email, and that lead response team will get you. That's really the fastest way to kind of get anything done now, especially for our Certified Coaches send that in:

Jim Collison 26:35

If you want to see the [2020 Gallup at Work] Summit courses, they're on the Summit page, right, so -- all one word -- is really everything that's going on around the summit. And just about everything you need to know is now posted. So go out there and take, a take a look at that as well.

Jim Collison 26:52

If you want to see our other courses, go to and that's where we update where we're doing them, no matter what time it is, and no matter where in the world they are. Those are available for you.

Jim Collison 27:01

I just had an email come in this morning and said, Hey, how do I know when things are live? Well, follow us on Eventbrite. So go to There's a little "Follow" button right there. If you register for these events, you'll get a 2-hour warning -- no, I'm sorry, a 2-day warning, a 1-hour warning and a follow-up. So for everybody who registered -- for the 205 of you, which is, is a pretty good number -- for the 205, you're going to get an email from me here, oh, just in a few minutes, I think maybe in one minute that says, hey, thanks for coming. You didn't miss it. Here's the live link to get that done as well. So that's why you register on the Eventbrite page. Just make sure you get that done, and that, that you're getting all those emails from us. Eventbrite -- we struggle sometimes to get email to you, but Eventbrite doesn't. So make sure you're staying up to date with that as well.

Jim Collison 27:45

You can join our Facebook group, at least for the webcast: Certified Coaches, you may not know this, there -- you have your own unique Facebook group you need to get invited to. Send us an email certification -- by the way, any certification question -- Just send that in, and we'll get right back to you on it.

Jim Collison 28:04

Join our LinkedIn group, and it's growing, CliftonStrengths Trained Coaches. You don't necessarily need to be a trained, one of our trained coaches -- I'll let anybody in that group that is kind to one another in there. But just search "CliftonStrengths Trained Coaches." LinkedIn does not yet have vanity URLs that make it easy for me to do that. It's some weird combination of numbers. So you just search for that and ask to be invited. And you will -- we will get in there.

Jim Collison 28:28

Austin, we have a ton of content coming out this year through Called to Coach. And if you've not subscribed to the podcast, or subscribed on the YouTube page, chances are you're going to be missing some of it. And learning is knowing, and so make sure you're out there figuring these things out, as far as -- and we do it in just about every way. Now you have, we have full transcripts you can read, you can watch the video, you can listen to the podcast. Please -- it breaks my heart when you don't, when you don't find things. And I want you to. So make sure you're connected in some way. We will see you back next month for the [March] Community Update. We'll have more for you as well. Take advantage of all the things we have going on here through our live network and through all the things that were done. Austin, thanks for coming out today to being a part of this. With that, we'll say, Goodbye, everybody.

Austin Suellentrop's Top 5 CliftonStrengths are Communication, Activator, Futuristic, Belief and Positivity.

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

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