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Improving Your Career With CliftonStrengths

Improving Your Career With CliftonStrengths

Webcast Details

  • Gallup Called to Coach Webcast Series
  • Season 8, Episode 36
  • Discover how to use your CliftonStrengths to improve your career -- whether you're searching for a job, experiencing changes in your role or have job stability.
  • Interested in learning more on this topic? Read more about how to improve teamwork in the workplace.

Austin Suellentrop, CliftonStrengths Portfolio Manager at Gallup, was our guest on a recent Called to Coach. Austin spoke to the timely issue of using your CliftonStrengths to advance your career, and how you can do this regardless of your current job situation. Whether you are unemployed and looking for a new job, are experiencing significant changes in your role, or are experiencing no major disruptions at work, your CliftonStrengths can enhance your excellence, energy and engagement at work and can boost your wellbeing.

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

What should I look for in a job/career?

Jim Collison 0:00

Hi, I'm Jim Collison, and live from our virtual studios around the world, this is Gallup's Called to Coach, recorded on April 20, 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 are listening live, we'd love to have you join us in our chat room. There's actually a link right above me there on the live page. It'll take you to YouTube page, there's a chat room there. Three little buttons on the upper right-hand corner, and you can pop that chat out. Make sure you're on live chat as well. That way you're getting all the most recent chat. Ask your questions during the program. If you have questions after the fact, and you're not listening live, you can send us an email: Don't forget, if you're on YouTube, subscribe to us. Right? Actually down this way, there's a subscription button and if you hit a "Like," that actually helps us get us discovered down there, but don't do it unless you really like it. Austin Suellentrop is our host today. Austin's the CliftonStrengths Portfolio Manager here at Gallup. And Austin, always great to have you on this Monday Edition of Called to Coach.

Austin Suellentrop 1:12

Yeah. Thanks for having me. I'm excited to be here. Appreciate it.

Jim Collison 1:16

Well, it's great to have you here. We've got a really important topic as we think about how CliftonStrengths, you, how you can use that to improve your career. We get this question a lot. It's April of 2020, right? We're in the middle of a pretty serious pandemic that has global implications around it. And we actually built this before any of us, that we built this page, before any of this stuff happened. Well it's causing havoc. Disruption, I think is probably a good way to say it, right? Major disruptions around the world and actually industries being disrupted. The problems created by this disruption aren't new, right? When we think of unemployment, when we think of high disengagement, when we think about stress and burnout, when we think about applying our own unique strengths to our career, that's probably the No. 1 question we get all the time. Those problems have always been there. Now they're amplified today, because of what's going on. There'll be a day when this settles down and we return to whatever normal that is. But let's talk about this. Let's kind of work our way through this. Why don't you do a little intro and get us started?

Austin Suellentrop 2:20

Yeah, absolutely. Thanks, Jim. You know, I think you said it really well. What we're facing right now in terms of issues in the workplace -- a lot of these have been around and have been issues we've been dealing with for a long time and at Gallup, we've been studying them, right? That's what we, that's what we do. We've been studying and measuring them and gathering best practices around it and, and really thinking about how an understanding and a focus on one's strengths can help mitigate some of these issues, can help us make sense of some of them, and ultimately work our way through them. So I think, you know, I think about my career, and I think I'm like a lot of us, in that, you know, I haven't always worked this one job. I haven't always worked for Gallup. I haven't always loved what I've done for a living, right? I was one of those guys, in high school, I remember applying for college. And I applied for a, probably 2 dozen different schools coming out of high school, to the point where I got really sick and tired of the applications and just started, like, filling in and not really thinking about it.

Austin Suellentrop 3:26

And I remember one of the last applications I filled in. It didn't really ask me to declare a major, but it asked me areas of interest. And I was like, Oh, I like numbers. Math is easy for me. So I put math down. So I actually started my college career as a math major for one day. Because I was like, This is fun, I'll do it. And I lasted one class, right? They put they put 16 characters on the board. And the professor said, Today we're going to solve this equation. I actually laughed out loud in the middle of class and said, "Today I'm going to change my major!" Right? And I pivoted. And I pivoted right, right then and there to a different thing. And I got out of college, and I ended up with a degree in finance, because it's sort of like the application of math. And it was, math is easy for me, but I like talking to people. So that made a little more sense.

Austin Suellentrop 4:12

I go to my first job out of college. And -- honestly, I was excited to get in the workforce. I was working for a company that I'd interned with. And then really, very quickly, I realized that it wasn't what I thought it would be. That this, this vision in my mind, I built up of what this job was going to be, right? I was going to be an investment banker. I was going to manage people's money. I was gonna play golf with my clients every day, and I was going to retire at 40. Right? I had it figured out. And, you know, 6 months in, I'm like, I hate this. I hate this work. I hate what I'm doing because it was all of this aspect of the job that I didn't think I needed to care about, that I didn't think would be a part of it. I had romanticized in my mind what the job would be, and the reality was just far different. Add on top of that, I worked for a manager that didn't really help. I didn't have, I didn't have any relationship with my manager. In fact, his style was so difficult for me, he would routinely walk around to my cube at 5:00, put his back to my cube, and then at 5:01, turn around and hand me something to work on. Because in his mind, he measured commitment by how many hours you put into the office, right? And it just rubbed me the wrong way all the time.

Austin Suellentrop 5:28

And it came to a boiling point where I finally just quit. But the the quitting came after a couple years of dreading going to work every day. A couple of years of not enjoying myself during the day, finding ways to kill time when I was at the office. All the things we talk about as examples of lack of engagement in my work, I've lived, like many of us have. And so I think it's important to understand that I had the best of intentions going into my career. I thought I was in alignment with what I wanted to do, but it was a misunderstanding of what it really meant. And it was a lack of intentionality on my part to do some things that I could be responsible for, to ensure that that career I was in was going to be an experience that I enjoyed. I, I was sort of aiming my fate, my strengths in the wrong way sometimes. So I think that, that's an example, I think that a lot of us have lived or at least have seen others that we care about live. So, I'm excited to dig into this a little bit more because it's certainly been a part of, of what I've found in my, in my happiness, in my own engagement throughout life.

Jim Collison 6:36

Yeah. Years ago, when the earth was still cooling, I took a, I took a career assessment to join the military. And the thing I scored last in is what I ended up taking a job in because I thought it'd be a great idea. I'd, I'd get better at it is what I told myself, right? I didn't have, I didn't have these tools available to me. So when we think about, like there's got to be a better way, I wish that I would have just had some coaching to, to come along and say, "Maybe you should take the top one, Jim, that you scored in." But when we think about using strengths to decide or help us decide on that career, how do we go about doing that? How do we decide what career is right for me?

Austin Suellentrop 7:10

Yeah. So, you know that's a great question, Jim. And we get asked that a lot. I think, first, we got to make sure we level set with strengths. It's not a hiring tool. So CliftonStrengths is, there's not a magic set of 5, right? "Oh, I have these Top 5, I must be great at this!" Or "I have these Top 5; I'll be successful in that role." It would be really easy if it was, but it's not. Right? So I think it begins with understanding that CliftonStrengths doesn't dictate your career path, but what, an understanding of our strengths will enable you to excel in whatever career you do choose. Right? So, so regardless of whatever path you take, an understanding and a, a refinement and a mastery of your strengths will help you succeed and excel, right? So, how do you figure it out? How do you figure out what path to go down? I like to start, when, when, when coaching people, or working with organizations around this, I have people reflect on the best day at work they ever had.

Austin Suellentrop 8:11

So even at 21, when I was graduating from college and thinking about my career, and where I wanted to go, reflecting back on what was the best day I'd had at work prior to that, and identifying what those things were that made that day so unique. And then thinking about How can I find a career that's going to enable me to do that? Have that kind of experience as often as possible? Right? That's the way we think, think about strengths. It's more about the strengths-based mindset than it is necessarily the tool of CliftonStrengths, right?

Austin Suellentrop 8:47

So, you know, as a manager in a bank, I grew up as a banker. When I first got introduced to Strengths, I thought, Oh, high Competition, high Woo, they would make great salespeople on my team. So I would try to put them in those situations. What I lost sight of sometimes was, well, they got competitive about the wrong things, or they got really wrapped up in having the conversation but didn't know how to apply the conversation to create an outcome. So the raw talent themes and the raw talents we have, in and of themselves, don't make us successful. Understanding what path you want to go down, setting ourselves up to be able to have the kinds of experiences we love -- that's what matters. And then we can, sort of learn how to, how to apply our strengths to create success in whatever career path we take. So, again, I think we've, we've got to remember that it's not as simple as "These 5 mean that career." It just doesn't work that way.

Jim Collison 9:45

We have done a bunch of work around kind of figuring out what the new job space looks like, and what individuals are looking for in a job or a career. Austin, what was the, what did we discover in that process about it?

Austin Suellentrop 9:59

Yeah. So as, as, as you've mentioned, we've been studying what sort of, what people are looking for, and it's shifting. It's been shifting for a while, in terms of people's expectations from work. That -- I think about, you know, maybe a generation prior to me, my dad's generation, there was really a focus on, Hey, I'll do whatever it takes to get that paycheck. Right? And, you know, That's sort of what I need, whatever it takes to put the roof over my head, and the white picket fence, the station wagon, the 2.3 kids and the 1.4 dogs, right? Like, that was sort of the, the dream. And what we're seeing is that there's now a heightened focus on the purpose of the work I'm doing. So whereas in the past, I would say, "I'll do whatever it takes." Now, maybe, I've got to have meaning and impact in the work I'm doing. So I think that that's one of the shifts we've seen.

Austin Suellentrop 10:48

There's also been a big shift -- and we talk about in a lot at Gallup -- about moving away from looking for a boss to tell you what to do, how to do it, when to do it -- and looking for a coach. Right? Our coaching community understands the, the value of coaching, but in the workplace, in particular, from a career, from a job, people are looking for that opportunity to have that, that coach relationship. And so I think, along those lines, moving into more of a focus on where do my strengths fit into the purpose of this job? How am I getting coached by somebody to help me play up my strengths? So I think it's important when you, when you're looking for something out of a career, figure out what's most important to you. Where do you fall in that spectrum? Where do you fall in terms of what your priorities are? And how do you find a career that's going to enable you to fulfill the part of your life that matters the most to you?

Austin Suellentrop 11:43

And as we go through seasons, one of the things I have loved so much about the last 6 weeks of my life, is that I've had more family dinners in the last 6 weeks than I had probably in the 6 months before that. My children, my family are very important to me. I have a job where I'm able to work from home, to spend time with them. In the season of life I'm in right now, that is a high priority. I would not work anywhere or do a job that would force me to miss that. It comes from a clarity of understanding my priorities that I'm able to say that. So when we think of, anybody thinks about picking a job or a career, it's having that kind of clarity around what your priorities are that really is important. Our friend Curt [Liesveld], I think he taught to me the, the, the most powerful way, which is figuring out how do you bring your soul to whatever role you're playing? So connecting with whatever this job is, whatever this career may be, how can you bring your soul and connect it that kind of a level with it? And that comes from prioritization and being able to ensure whatever you're committing to doing is in line with your personal prioritization.

Jim Collison 12:54

I think we find sometimes that, to get fulfillment in a career, we think we might have to change jobs -- in order to do it. But we could find fulfillment, or we could retool maybe in the current role that we're in. So for folks, you know, especially as we're thinking about a situation right now, where jobs are, may not be, plentiful to change into, that won't always be that way, but how do we find fulfillment in our current role?

Austin Suellentrop 13:18

Yeah, that's a great question, Jim. And, you know, I think fulfillment is inherently personal. That all of us will take away a sense of fulfillment from different aspects of work. Right? And so I think understanding where your development lies in that fulfillment spectrum, if you will, like, what, what are you trying to get better at? What are you trying to improve and develop yourself around? And if you're looking for more fulfillment from work, how do you move yourself and your needs a little bit higher in the priority of how you spend your time during your day? And one of the most powerful ways to do that is to engage with your manager in more frequent and focused conversations. Right? I'm consistently amazed by how many people I speak with, whether I'm coaching or I'm teaching or just in general conversation with friends and family, that are missing something from work, and they've never shared it with their manager. Whether it be fear, whether it be sort of a sense of pride that keeps him from doing it.

Austin Suellentrop 14:22

I think the most important thing we've found in our research, and in our best practice sort of analysis over the years, is to find more fulfillment -- it's not something you can do just by yourself. There's an element of it, you can, you can absolutely control. But it works best when it's done in partnership with your manager, who can help shape the direction your career takes. Right? And can help shape the kind of work you're able to do. I think development is one of those things where, again, we'll be, as we studied, the shifting sort of expectations of the workplace, development used to have a very linear path to it. Right? It was sort of very, like the next step up, the next rung in the ladder, if you will, was how people thought of development. But it doesn't always work that way. In a world with more matrixed teams, and more collaboration now, development can take -- can be lateral, it can be very much in-role development, as you said. So figuring out and identifying where that ranks for you, in prioritization, how do you make this something you talk about more frequently, and being, being comfortable with the fact that it may not look like you initially thought it looked like? But how can you develop yourself to give yourself a little more joy in your week? 10% more. Right? How can you find a way to get incrementally better? That, that, that kind of proc -- that sort of progress, at a "small step" progress, is what can lead to more fulfillment over time.

Jim Collison 15:48

When we began to put this material together, we had no idea that just in the United States alone, there'd be 26 million people unemployed, and there's gonna be a lot of folks in a lot of new job interviews. We do find sometimes in those interviews, employers are asking about, what are your strengths? What are your weaknesses? Well, how do we answer that? Like, what's the, what would be our advice on it, whether it's in that form or in another form? How would we, what, what kind of advice would we give on that, Austin?

Austin Suellentrop 16:20

Yeah, I think it's, I think that's a, again, something we hear a lot of, and sort of, I'll give one sort of comical answer, if you will. Throwing your Top 5 on a resume can be great -- if you happen to strike a home run and, and be talking with a recruiter or a manager who knows strengths and knows the value of it. Right? And understands CliftonStrengths. But when you answer the question, you know, What are my strengths? We've got to go beyond themes. Right? And I think being able to understand how your talent themes show up for you every day -- what I love about CliftonStrengths is it enables you a vocabulary, and a depth of understanding what it is you do really well. So, what we see in interviews, what people are really looking for, when they ask about your strengths and weaknesses, what, what are hiring managers really looking for? They're looking for self-awareness. They're looking for humility. And they're looking for authenticity. Right? So I think those 3 things are really important.

Austin Suellentrop 17:21

So rather than giving -- generic, sort of cliched answers like, "Oh, I'm a perfectionist," or "I work too hard," as sort of weaknesses, right? No. Like, let's, let's get into reality. Let's own what we're great at. Like, if I'm a "people person," and that's how your sort of instinctive reaction is, what would it sound like? How, how would you distinguish yourself if your response was, "You know, I gain energy when I'm interacting with others." I could speak to more detail of what a "people person" really means. Or, you know, one of my things I always saw on resumes when I was hiring people was, "I'm a team-first thinker." Like, I think about my team first. What if you reworded that into something like, "I love the challenge of collaborating with other people." Or you know, probably the one I saw on every resume I ever reviewed when I was hiring somebody was, "I'm detail-oriented." Right? Nobody wants to admit they're not detail-oriented. Right? But, what if it was, "I care about the smallest detail, even in the most complex situations." When you get to this kind of level of specificity, it really sort of paints a picture on what your strengths look like in action. But I think that's Step 1.

Austin Suellentrop 18:36

Step 2 is then being able to own when you're not going to be at your best. Right? And I think being able to own your weaknesses, you know, being able to say, I'm not the person you want to build the plan for something; I'm not the guy you want taking notes during the meeting. What that does more than anything, is I believe, it empowers you to know whether you're actually a fit for this role or not. If you're authentic in your answering, your articulation of what a weakness may be, and the hiring manager looks and says, You know what, that's a big part of this job. Would you really have enjoyed working in that role to begin with? Would that have really been something that would have set you up for engagement and fulfillment? Right? So I think it's a great way when you own, and you can be authentic and candid about what you're great at, as well as what you're not great at, it's a great sort of screening tool to ensure you're setting yourself up for success.

Jim Collison 19:27

At Gallup, we actually have some numbers, some data kind of behind that. What, what kind of benefits are there for a career that aligns with your strengths?

Austin Suellentrop 19:37

Yeah, you know, probably the most common statistic we share on this is we, we measure across a lot of organizations, a lot of clients, and as part of our little, larger sort of global polling as well. This idea of, Do you get the chance to do what you do best every day? Right? Do you get the chance to do what you do best every day? And when people are confidently answering "Yes" to that -- they're saying, "Yes, absolutely!" -- they're 6 times more likely to be engaged in the work they're doing. And that's regardless of industry. That's regardless of level in the organization, of tenure. Six times more likely to be engaged.

Austin Suellentrop 20:16

And when we talk about "engaged," we're talking about that, that commitment, that psychological commitment to the work -- to give that extra effort, to go over and above. But the one that strikes me the most, the data point that strikes me the most, is they're 3 times more likely to report having an excellent quality of life. I mean, listen, as coaches, if we're not caring about the quality of life our people are living, what are we thinking about here? Right? This is, that's a huge, high bar to cross. So, if I find a tool, I find an approach, a mindset, that can help get me 6 times more likely to be engaged, and 3 times more likely to have an excellent quality of life, that's something I'm gonna, I'm gonna pay attention to. Right?

Austin Suellentrop 20:58

And so I think the, the beyond that, there are there are more sort of qualitative benefits, if you will, right? So beyond just sort of the empirical data we know, right? It's, it's things like having more energy. Which makes sense, right? If I'm able to do what I love, I'm gonna get more excited about it. I'm gonna, I'm gonna bring more energy to that work, I'll be more amped up, if you will, right? I'm gonna have more confidence. I'm much more confident if you ask me to do something that I'm good at than if you asked me to do something I struggle with. Right? So like, Jim asks me to come on and talk to somebody, I'm gonna, "Hey, let's talk." Jim asks me to build out a project plan for the next 6 months on something, I'm gonna find a way not to do it. Right? And then, as a result of these things, as having more energy and being more confident, I'm gonna have less stress in my day, because I'm "in the zone," if you will. Right? Doesn't avoid, doesn't eliminate all stress. I still have plenty of stress in my life. But I've got less stress than I used to, because I'm able to play to my strengths.

Jim Collison 21:58

Oftentimes in someone's career, the moment this career-changing decision is made during a moment of stress or burnout, right? And so when we think about this, maybe we're not coming at it from a totally positive perspective. How do we recover? What are some tips, because this could be also used to recover or to come out of a situation with burnout.

Austin Suellentrop 22:20

Yeah, so burnout's powerful. I think -- I think it's important for everybody that's hearing this message to understand -- most of us have experienced some burnout at some point. Our data would show that 8 in 10 employees have experienced burnout, at least sometimes, in their, in their role. So it's part of, it's part of the work, the working life. It's part of being human. That, that's going to be something we, we experience. So I think, it begins with understanding what burnout really is. Right? So, the World Health Organization, WHO, has a definition of burnout, that, that it's a syndrome conceptualized as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed. So I think it's powerful to break this down to think about. Workplace stress is there. Chronic workplace stress is an ongoing, never-ending, repetitive, sense of stress from work. But the issue is not the stress. Burnout comes when we aren't able to successfully manage it. So understanding our strengths, and understanding how we're going to thrive in a role, helps give us a framework for how we can manage those chronic stressors of a role. Right?

Austin Suellentrop 23:40

So, in the environment we're in right now, when everybody's routine is disrupted, and all of our norms are sort of thrown, thrown into a hat and jumbled up, how do you find a way to make sense of it, and play to your strengths on a daily basis, to feed yourself with what you need to get through the day? I think about all, all of my friends, who are similar to me, and they get energy from being around other people. How do you create an opportunity for yourself, in your role, every day, to connect with somebody -- to be around people? Maybe it's virtual, instead of, instead of in the same room, but it's on us to find ways to manage it. Right?

Austin Suellentrop 24:19

And so what happens when we're able to do this, is we're able to identify, How much effort is it taking me, to manage this chronic stress? And if that becomes something, right, if the effort to manage the chronic stress is becoming something you're having to battle over, and over, and over again. Right? It's, again, it's best managed when it's not done alone. So how are you having those ongoing, frequent focused conversations with your manager, to be able to be authentic about what you're dealing with? Right? And I think, you know, to boil it down to it to a simple idea -- we cited some data earlier. If asking somebody to do something every day that they're great at can help lead to higher engagement, can help lead to higher quality of life -- asking somebody to do something they're not great at every single day can have the, the sort of opposite effect. Right? So, I think understanding how we can apply our strengths day in, day out, helps us to mitigate some of the issues of burnout, for sure. It doesn't eliminate burnout.

Austin Suellentrop 25:23

But I think -- I think what I want everybody to hear from us, is that honest communication with our managers helps get a platform, to talk about how you can deal with this. But burnout is not something you just get used to. Burnout's not something you just, you know, accept as the reality. If you feel yourself sort of experiencing these things, begin by, by looking at what, what can you do to to adjust to it? How can you change and play to your strengths to try to, to manage that stress a little differently? How can you talk to your manager to be honest about it, and realize it shouldn't be something that lasts forever? Right? I just, I think that's important for all of us to understand. That it's something that a lot of us deal with, but it doesn't need to be the new normal.

Jim Collison 26:12

Austin, as we think about these 34 themes, divided into these 4 Domains, that we talk about all the time, what kind of advice would we have, when we think about our own career counseling? Maybe we're in that spot where we're engaged, or disengaged, or we're somewhere in between, right? How would we, how can we use these themes, these domains, in our own, kind of career coaching?

Austin Suellentrop 26:34

Yeah. Again, I think it goes back to starting off with understanding that it's, this tool, the CliftonStrengths Assessment, and the domains, they don't give us a prescription for, this kind of profession will will light you up, and this one won't, or this kind of profession is going to be a perfect fit, and this one won't be. What I think it it helps -- what I love about the domains, in this area -- is thinking about the kinds of activities I get to do, in each of those domains. Right? So from an Executing perspective, if I, if I've got a lot of Executing themes, how can I find a role? How can I find aspects of my role that allow me to be accomplishing things every day? Getting stuff done. Checking it off, off the list. Showing that kind of progress.

Austin Suellentrop 27:17

If I've got, if I'm heavy in the Relationship Building Domain, how do I, in my role, get the chance to work in small groups? How do I get the chance to take care of people around me? Be, be a linchpin in some key relationships. Right? If I've got a lot of Influencing, how do I get the chance to meet new people? How do I get the chance to champion ideas and sort of be on the forefront, leading initiatives? If you've got a lot of those Strategic Thinking themes, how am I giving myself the time to think and process? How am I chewing on those big, complicated, long-term things, that we can really benefit from in my role? So I think it's about understanding that the domains can help paint a picture for the kinds of activities, the kinds of responsibilities, that may give us energy. And then, how do I find a way to ensure I'm able to do a little bit of that at least every day?

Jim Collison 28:09

We are going to have a whole bunch of people who are either going back to work, doing the same job, they're going to have new roles, or they'll have the same ones, that they, that they started this with. As we think about improving your career, how do we kind of summarize this? How do we bring it all in and say, OK, we know all this, what can we do now, to really launch us on a path of success?

Austin Suellentrop 28:29

Yeah. So I think it's gonna come as no surprise, I think it begins with you taking the time to force a conversation with your manager. "Hey, here's what I'm looking for. Here's what I love about my role. These are, these are the lists of things in my role that just really excite me, that I love. I want to find a way to do more of this." Right? And then, "Here are the things in my role that I understand are part of my job, but I don't necessarily love doing them. They don't bring me a lot of energy. It takes a lot of effort. How can we work together to find a way to do a little bit less of this, or maybe approach them differently?" I think oftentimes in this conversation, around how I can start changing my career, and improving things today, people put it all on their shoulders to go rogue, and start doing things independent. It works best when you are honest, candid, transparent, and partner with your coach, your manager, to figure out what it could look like. Right?

Austin Suellentrop 29:31

There are going to be some parts of your job, every day, for many of us, that they don't light you up. They don't get you excited. Right? But being able to talk about that, and embrace it, and own it, right, can help you get through them quicker, can help you worry about them less. They were taught to me, this idea was taught to me early on in my career, this idea of cheers vs. chores. Right? Every job has got some cheers, those things that get you excited, you just, you'll do them all day long. And every job's got some chores, some things that you have to do to enable you to do these other things. So beginning by understanding your list of responsibilities and activities. How many are cheers? How many are chores? How do you maximize those cheers? How do you find a way to amplify them, do more of them, do them more frequently? And then minimize the chores. Get through them quicker. Partner with people, find other ways to approach them. That, to me, are simple, tangible steps we can take, right out the gates.

Jim Collison 30:31

Austin, I think the end to my story, as we think about how that started by taking an assessment, picking the thing I didn't like -- that I wasn't good at, and then forcing myself into that role for 6 years of really, very miserable -- it taught me a lot about myself, but not something that was very, very engaging, and over the next 20 years, really looking to find that right place. Right? You mentioned, I have a lot of Influencing themes, as we talked about that, and it gave me the opportunity -- even in my role, my 13-year role here at Gallup, has been an evolving process of getting into that, you know, into that space where I can continue to do more. As we started the webcast this morning, you'd mentioned to me, How are you doing? It's been a rough Monday for me. And yet, I said we would get on the webcast, and I'd light up, right? It would be, it's a, it's an opportunity to do what I love to do. It's an opportunity to do what I do best. My story today puts me smack dab in the middle of those themes, doing what I really, really love to do. How does your story end?

Austin Suellentrop 31:32

Yeah, so I left that organization, I talked about it early on. I left that company very abruptly. Because I was I was rubbed the wrong way. And I just, I just didn't, I felt disconnected. I felt that discord. My, my life changed. My career changed when I found a manager that took a chance on me, saw things I was really good at, and gave me the opportunity to stretch, and to challenge myself. And working in an organization and in a place where she empowered me, and she gave me the most powerful feedback I could ever, ever ask for. Because it was the first time I was hearing things that were affirming and constructive. Right? So I had the chance to work for a manager who believed in strengths. Who believed in developing people.

Austin Suellentrop 32:26

But the thing I love most about where my career took me is I, I now, after 10 years-plus of working with strengths, I now walk into almost every situation, and I can tell myself, I'm going to trust my intuition. I'm going to trust my instinctive reaction on how to handle this. I'm gonna be Austin. I'm gonna be myself in this situation. Because I know that's what my team needs from me. I know that's what I've been hired to do. And I know that's what my partners expect of me. I'm not having to play a role. I'm not having to put on a face, in my job, I can be authentically me.

Austin Suellentrop 33:07

And the comfort that brings in my day-to-day life -- and the example I'm able to set for my children, and for my wife, and my family of, this is what it looks like to live a life based in strengths. I'm very transparent. My, the people I work with, know the things I'm great at, they know the things I'm not great at. And so, it's not that I don't have to do expense reports. I still have to do expense reports, right? It's the fact that I just do them and I get them over with, and I move on with my life. I don't dwell on them. Right? There was a time of my life where I dwelled on them. I put them off. But I'm not expected to do expense reports for the team. I'm not asked to organize, you know, massive spreadsheets for the team. It's part of my responsibility to myself. But the things I'm responsible for to my team are things I love to do, things I'm great at. And that comes from the summation of all my experiences, and the managers I've worked for, who haven't enabled me and empowered me to be me. And it's really a powerful thing.

Jim Collison 34:07

I think Austin, with that, we'll remind everyone to take full advantages of all the resources, we do have available the Gallup Strengths Center, except we don't call it that anymore, it's called Gallup Access. You know, when you've been doing that for 5 years, it just kind of rolls off -- Out there, we post full transcripts to these programs, as well. So if you want to get them, that way, you can do it. Don't forget, we also have a CliftonStrengths Community Newsletter comes out. It's called CliftonStrengths Insight. And we'd love to have you sign up for that. Bottom of the page, on, out at, out at, you'll see a place you can sign up and subscribe for that, as well. Don't forget, if you have questions after the fact, we're going to spend some time after this in the postshow, one of the advantages to joining us live, answering some questions, but if you have some questions that didn't get answered, send us an email: I mentioned listening live. You can join us there, if you follow us on Eventbrite: Don't forget, you can also join us now, for the brand-new Gallup at Work Virtual Summit. Just announced, we're about 45 days, or so, 43 days away from that. And it's going to be completely virtual. $195 for everybody, and we'd love to have you come and join us, and be a part of it. Get more details, June 2, you can get more details: Join us in our Facebook Group: You can also join us live in our LinkedIn, our LinkedIn page: "CliftonStrengths Trained Coaches." If you just search for that, you'll find us as well. Want to thank you for joining us. If you're listening live, stay around for some postshow. Austin, we have some good questions. We'll get to those in the postshow. 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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