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CliftonStrengths Discipline Theme: Teams and Managers

CliftonStrengths Discipline Theme: Teams and Managers

Webcast Details

  • Gallup Theme Thursday Webcast Series
  • Season 6, Discipline
  • "Strong themes, stronger teams": Learn how your team can own its Discipline talents and become stronger, resulting in improved performance, organic growth and better wellbeing.
  • Interested in learning more on this topic? Read more about how to improve teamwork in the workplace.

We discover how the Discipline talent theme relates to your manager and your team in this Season 6 episode of Theme Thursday. When we improve teams through owning our CliftonStrengths, we improve performance. When we improve performance, that's how we get to the kind of organic growth that allows us to have stronger economies, a stronger world and better wellbeing. And great managers hold the key: As they move from boss to coach, they help team members understand who they are already and hold them accountable for being even better, maximizing the team's engagement and impact. You might even be a manager in ways you never thought of! So join Jim Collison and Maika Leibbrandt for Season 6, as we focus on teams and managers -- including a new talent-mindfulness challenge at the end of each webcast. Strong themes, stronger teams.

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 Theme Thursday, Season 6, recorded on February 14, 2020.

Jim Collison 0:20

Theme Thursday is a Gallup webcast series that dives deep into the CliftonStrengths themes, one theme at a time -- this season based on developing teams and managers with CliftonStrengths. And today we are looking at Discipline. If you're listening live, love to have you join us in the chat room. There's a link right up there off the live page to the YouTube instance. There's a chat room there; log in, let us know you're there. If you have questions after the fact, you can send us an email: Don't forget to subscribe there on YouTube while you're there. It's a great way to get notified whenever we go live. If you do it on the recorded page, you'll get notified whenever we post a new one, or, if you're a podcast listener, just search Gallup Webcasts on any podcast player and you will find Theme Thursday there. Maika Leibbrandt is our host today. She is a Workplace Consultant here at Gallup with me. Maika, always great to spend Thursdays -- or Fridays -- with you. Welcome back to Theme Thursday!

Maika Leibbrandt 1:05

Whatever day it is, I'm glad to be here. Sorry this is the plan; it's a little bit off. So this season, we're exploring every theme through the lens of a team. And we know from, from our studies and from our experience that strong teams have 5 things going for them. You can read more about the 5 in the book Strengths Based Leadership. We're going to use these 5 truths as a jumping point, to really dive into the detail of every CliftonStrengths theme, domain by domain, and the domain that we're in right now is the Executing Domain. Sometimes we just look at those and we think, "Those are the people who like to get stuff done." They are, but there's something particularly special and magical about how every single one of them likes to execute.

Maika Leibbrandt 1:44

So as you listen today and really explore within the domain, I hope you're listening for, How could this help somebody thrive? Might be a little more difficult today because we're talking about a theme that, with more than 21 million people in our database, just 7.5% of people have this in their Top 5. And so you might need to think about this instead of experiencing it because those of you who have that in your Top 5, you're gems. But the chances that we've met you are a little bit less certain than some of those other themes. It's the beautiful theme of Discipline.

Maika Leibbrandt 2:16

So let's do the quick definition. If you have high Discipline, it means you enjoy routine and structure. And your world is best described by the order that you create. The first truth of a strong team that we'll use to explore Discipline is about conflict. And it's that "Conflict doesn't destroy a strong team because the strong team is focusing on results instead."

Jim Collison 2:41

Maika, my partner has Discipline No. 1, right? And when I think about strong teams, I'm going to kind of come through it from that lens. I don't. And it did create conflict early on, but when we think about focusing on results, what does it mean for someone with Discipline?

Maika Leibbrandt 2:57

So with Discipline, it's about exploring the roads that lead to the results. Discipline creates order, and that can mean making or following really specific rules. Sometimes the rule can overshadow the end goal. So results, to Discipline, won't mean necessarily the end game, but how efficiently they've used systems to make the most of the available resources in order to get to the end game.

Jim Collison 3:22

Well, and hard to kind of know results sometimes if you're not tracking progress. So how do we track progress? What matters most to folks with Discipline?

Maika Leibbrandt 3:30

Usually, they're going to track progress pretty cleanly, pretty obviously. They're, they're aiming for something. And so they have pathways of structure that lead there. Ask someone with Discipline how they track progress, and they can likely show you something that can be measured, whether it's participation from the team or deadlines for key players, or even just a regularly updated tracker of where we're going.

Jim Collison 3:52

This was super helpful early in our marriage, where she was -- we created lists of things to do and, and menus and menuing systems, right? We had a bunch of kids. What, what is the second truth, Maika?

Maika Leibbrandt 4:02

"Strong teams prioritize what's best for the organization and then move forward." Or maybe in a marriage, prioritizing what's best for the family or the other, and then moving forward. I mean, even just changing the wording a little bit, I think, helps me understand that truth in a team, in a business context. It really is about aligning your priorities, and making sure that we can run really fast toward something, as long as we're, we're in lockstep about where we're going.

Jim Collison 4:28

Oftentimes, you know, we focus on the "me," but in teams, this is really about the "we." So someone with Discipline, how can they really maximize that for the benefit of the team?

Maika Leibbrandt 4:38

Ask them to own the influence that they have over order and structure in service of a larger goal. Rather than asking them to follow the rules that someone else has defined, let them shine where they're already spending their time and energy, and that's in the process. So can you ask them to be in charge of how a specific event happens? Can you give them the authority to truly own that? Not on what success looks like, but more about the rules that need to be followed or the tasks that get to happen in order to get to that success.

Jim Collison 5:11

So, remember we're in the Executing themes. It's about doing things, right. So what inspires someone with Discipline to take action?

Maika Leibbrandt 5:17

You know, sometimes mess really begs to be sorted out. Depending on their other themes, someone with Discipline might be attracted to create structure where structure is lacking, thinking about creating order in a void of order. Other inspiring environments might be opportunities with objective measures of success, where there's a larger target than just the process so that their structure and their organization in pursuit of victory can really, really shine. Also, permission to make the rules or to explore the rules or the processes overtly with other team members.

Jim Collison 5:52

Let's look at No. 3.

Maika Leibbrandt 5:54

No. 3 is "Members of strong teams are equally committed to their personal lives and their work."

Jim Collison 5:59

So how does Discipline -- this is, this is not rocket science -- but how does Discipline show up in someone's personal life?

Maika Leibbrandt 6:05

I love that you say it's not rocket science. Jim, what's going through your mind right now when you think about this?

Jim Collison 6:09

Well, I see this every day. Like, for me, it's super obvious because I live it. But, but how does it show up -- how does it show up for someone with person -- in a person?

Maika Leibbrandt 6:15

They can be a beautiful machine. It might look like precision, how they organize their day with great detail. It might look like organization, the physical space, with really thoughtful attention to how it all fits together. For someone with Discipline, I just -- so many of us don't have it, and I don't have it either. And so I'm aware that everything I've said so far might sound like a drag to people without it, but it's so beautiful for people where it comes authentically. Process equals promise for someone with Discipline. There's, there's a beauty and a confidence and a flow in the way that they honor their systems. Don't assume instantly that someone with Discipline is going to expect others to follow the same structure. But, but do ask.

Jim Collison 7:04

I think, actually, that's the beauty in Discipline in the "we" of not expecting others. I actually find great appreciation as art. So when I see something someone with high Discipline has done, the art in it, it's just incredible to me. So I have a very high appreciation for that. And I think as I've gotten older, I've understood how to take advantage of it -- in my instance, we, we, since I don't have it. It's one to take advantage of.

Maika Leibbrandt 7:31

It's OK. You can say "we."

Jim Collison 7:33

How can we -- well, if I get into this question, like, how can a manager tap into that? Someone who sees that in their personal life?

Maika Leibbrandt 7:43

You might ask them, here's just a couple questions you might ask. What's the most important habit you have? What do you expect in a meaningful partnership? Well, that's a big one. Well, are there any things your strongest partners do that you wish everyone would consider doing? What are you measuring lately? What are you counting down to or looking forward to? What system do you have that brings you the most comfort? How would you want others to describe your sense of order?

Jim Collison 8:14

Yeah, I like that term "sense of order." I think that just really brings an idea of a, I don't know, just beauty. I see it that way. All right, let's look at No. 4.

Maika Leibbrandt 8:23

No. 4 can sound loaded: "Strong teams embrace diversity." Diversity is bigger than CliftonStrengths. Let's just make that explicit. But this is huge when you dive into what this means; it's about the power of differences and how that they do make us a whole lot stronger. So we're just going to use this diversity idea to say, What does some -- what does Discipline give somebody that's different from other themes?

Jim Collison 8:45

Yeah. And as we think about the role on a team as they work, what are some words to kind of help describe, like, what do they play in this space?

Maika Leibbrandt 8:53

Yeah, your person with Discipline on your team is your organizer, your sense-maker, maybe a systems developer. They're dedicated, focused and efficient.

Jim Collison 9:04

And what unique perspective do you think Discipline brings to a team?

Maika Leibbrandt 9:08

They can offer a different way to prioritize. It's, it's less about what should be done or sort of, you know, where are we clicking around before we decide to engage and log in. It's more about how what needs to be done should be executed. So other Executing themes might look for, What can be done in specific ways? For example, Deliberative looks for what has been carefully vetted to minimize risk. Belief focuses on opportunities that are most in line with core values. What Discipline does is helps the team approach whatever priority is in front of them in a more systematic way. It minimizes "flail" by organizing the energy.

Jim Collison 9:51

I just got a really interesting mental image when you said "flail." I use that word "flailing" a lot.

Maika Leibbrandt 9:54

I know; and I didn't know if I, like, is that a commonly understood piece? It just made sense.

Jim Collison 9:59

It is for me. It's just like I'm blown away in the wind. And I need some Discipline to bring it back.

Maika Leibbrandt 10:04

Don't do it by accident, I think is what, what Discipline does.

Jim Collison 10:07

No, super great. All right, let's look at No. 5 -- my favorite for the season.

Maika Leibbrandt 10:10

"Strong teams are magnets for talent." And we're thinking like the kind that attracts, not the opposite pole. It's about spotting a strong team and indicators that it's one that everyone wants to be a part of.

Jim Collison 10:22

And what, what specifically are they drawn to?

Maika Leibbrandt 10:25

They'll adhere to their system. And this creates, I think, efficiency for the person with Discipline, but it also creates trustworthiness. The motivation behind it, for someone with Discipline, is probably more focused on what to execute. But from the outside, it can feel like there's an emotional benefit. It can feel like safety and certainty.

Jim Collison 10:44

Yeah, just do a little more describing on what are those key kind of elements that really drive people but things people want more of.

Maika Leibbrandt 10:52

From somebody with Discipline, I think what's going to attract others -- exploring their interest in offering their talent as a coordination consultant. You know, people are going to want more of their sense of, of how you can minimize flail, right? More of their sense of purposeful systematizing or shared expectations, what pathways are we not utilizing that could boost our efficiency. I mean, that's something people pay for, for from anywhere, but specifically with Discipline. Those folks on your team are already, they're already bringing it with them.

Maika Leibbrandt 11:27

And I think because of the attention that somebody with Discipline pays to order and structure, they get a lot done. And that's attractive too. This is -- it's fun to be around, especially for other Executers. Tap into your own talents. Ask yourself, what is attractive to you about accomplishing a lot? Maybe it's the impact it has on the larger community. Maybe it's the space that it creates for relationships and connection. Maybe it's the money at the end of it when we get something done. I mean, really, Discipline is about accomplishment.

Jim Collison 11:58

OK, let's review those 5 again.

Maika Leibbrandt 11:59

1) Results, not conflict; 2) Do what's best for the organization then move forward; 3) Work and personal lives both matter; 4) Embrace diversity; 5) Magnet for talent. You might use those 5 just to think about, How are we doing? What could we be better on? How can you honor the talents that you do have within your team in order to solve the challenges in front of you?

Jim Collison 12:19

You might have singlehandedly brought the word "flail" back. I just, I just want to say that in this, Maika. It's getting a little room; it's getting a little run in the chat room.

Maika Leibbrandt 12:26

There's going to be a little "Mean Girls" moment. Maika, stop trying to make "flail" happen.

Jim Collison 12:29

Let's -- we've been, this season, we've been kind of doubling down on talent-mindfulness. You have another one ready for us, Maika, let's get through it.

Maika Leibbrandt 12:36

This is the final section of our time together today. And it's meant to be less about learning, loving or strengthening a talent. It's about practicing your own talent. It's just 5 minutes. And whether you came here because you're a manager trying to make the most of your team or an individual, a contributor trying to live your own best life, you are worth 5 minutes of focus. That's all it's going to take. If you don't like it, you can be done. Follow us, do all the things Jim says at the end. But if you do, just, just give it a try; it's only 5 minutes.

Maika Leibbrandt 13:06

Let's take just a few breaths. Breathe just a little deeper than you have been. The reason we're doing that is just to mark this time as different from the rest of your day. You might want to come back later and take some notes. But for now, just close your eyes, if that's available to you, and focus -- or focus on something that isn't going to change. In the Discipline theme, there is, gosh, there's a lot that goes unseen. Prep time, structure time, creating order, thinking about doing before you're doing. Likely no one notices the majority of that investment.

Maika Leibbrandt 13:49

Even if you don't have Discipline, I'm betting there's work you do that no one else sees. Think about something that you do, or have done recently, in your work that no one else knows about. Don't worry, you're not going to tell them. What's something that makes a difference for how effective you are, even if it's small, and it doesn't come for free. So something that -- an effort that you put in, that positively affects what you can, what you can give others. Maybe it's the dishes that you put away after everyone's in bed, so that when your family wakes up, their space feels more ready. Maybe it's the notes that you take during a meeting so that you don't miss out on what's being said. Maybe it's the healthy choice you make when you'd rather slack off because you know it'll let you be more present with others. Maybe it's just the way that you set up your day or the way that you close your day; what you do on your commute, what you listen to.

Maika Leibbrandt 15:03

Think about all these tiny actions as sparks, fireflies. Now alone, they're potentially insignificant. Definitely not overtly impressive. No one would stop or notice or even really care. Heck, in the daylight a firefly doesn't even barely exist. But they add up. The more purposeful habits you invest in your talent, the more sparks you gather. Pretty soon, either by repeating the same investment over and over, or by adopting additional ways to invest, you build these sparks into a flame, going from a single firefly to a swarm of light. And that, my friend, is your power.

Maika Leibbrandt 15:59

When these healthy investments, these focused initiatives, are aimed at your unique talent, that's what's different about strengths-based development than anything else. It's that multiplicative effect, that ability to truly ignite fire. So today, I'd like you to silently commit to one more habit or one repeat of an existing one that invests in your talent. You can find specific actions in your CliftonStrengths 34 report, or you can think of them on your own. You can play back Season 3 or 4 of Theme Thursday and listen for the challenges; you can look at Season 5. A great place to start, though, might just be recalling, What was going well the last time you were successful?

Maika Leibbrandt 16:52

And I'm going to give you one more challenge, one more way you can think about a small spark that will make the most of, of your power. Do this: Next time someone gives you a compliment, just say "Thank you!" Let that love in. Don't apologize; don't qualify it. Let the gratitude of others be another spark to your flame. And together we'll start something really big. That's your talent-mindfulness for today.

Jim Collison 17:29

It's a good one. I think, I think we all struggle with that -- that "Thank you!" -- by the way. I just think that's something we all could do better: just saying "Thank you!" for that. I'll encourage everybody to work on that one thing of just saying "Thanks!" Don't qualify it. Don't add to it. Just say "Thank you!" So thanks, Maika, for you doing this and for the talent-mindfulness you bring to us -- I think an important -- these have really become important to me. And, and I just really appreciate them. So thanks.

Jim Collison 18:01

With that, we'll remind everyone to take full advantages of all the resources that we do have available for you now on the new Gallup Access, so check those out. Go to By the way, easiest way, it'll take you straight into the strengths dashboard on Gallup Access. So easy way; you can give that address out to your friends, family members, clients, whatever; they can get in there and get that done. We also have a lot of resources that are available there. I feel like this, we have almost 200 of these now. And we'd love for you to get involved -- and, and some really cool resources that are available. Again, While you're there, sign up for the new CliftonStrengths Community Newsletter, monthly newsletter to stay up to date. We have some great writers that are doing that as well. And so stay up to date and stay informed. If you're on YouTube, maybe you're a YouTuber. I am; I've stopped watching TV. I only watch YouTube. Go to, search "CliftonStrengths" and subscribe over there. Every time we produce a new video -- and not just Called to Coach and Theme Thursday, but kind of some of our just strengths videos we put out there; we don't necessarily talk about them here. They're there. They're there on the CliftonStrengths page. So subscribe over there. Check the playlists; all those things are available for you out there. It's a pretty powerful channel. And if you're a podcast listener, like I am, too, I listen in my car on the way in every day. Just go to any podcast player, Android, iPhone, whatever you're using to listen to podcasts, search "Gallup Webcasts," and you can find Theme Thursday there among them. If you have any questions about anything we talked about; you need some help in your organization; any of those kinds of things, you can send us an email: We got a team that monitors that email address 24/7. And so, if you'd like, if you got some questions, we'll get back to you pretty quickly. Again, If you want to get some training, maybe org needs some training; maybe you need some training. Head out to our courses page: and a great opportunity. Speaking -- our courses are all 15% off during the Gallup at Work Summit. So go to June 1, 2 and 3. There's no better time to be in Omaha than in June. It's so beautiful here. It's almost like California. So if you want to come out, join us June 1, 2 and 3 for the Summit; there's training on either side of it. Maika and I will be there to greet you as well. We would love to see you there: And it's filling up fast, so just -- you might want to jump in there before the price change on April 4 as well. Join us in our communities:, about 14,000 of you have done that. And we appreciate that on Facebook if you're not a Facebooker -- is that a word, Facebooker?

Maika Leibbrandt 20:29

"Flail"'s a word, you can follow me on Instagram @strengthstalk. I don't monitor it as well as Jim monitors Facebook; it's a totally different experience, but ...

Jim Collison 20:36

It's not a support; it's not a support place. And if you want to do LinkedIn, maybe you're neither one of those and you want to do LinkedIn, it's getting real popular with all the kids. Head out to LinkedIn -- not really -- head out to CliftonStrengths Trained Coaches. You don't have to be a trained coach to be there. I'll let you in, and we can have some great conversations. Want to thank you for joining us today. We'll be back with more of these. Follow us on Eventbrite so you know when we're live. With that, we'll say, Goodbye, everybody.

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