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CliftonStrengths Strategic Thinking Wrap: Teams and Managers

CliftonStrengths Strategic Thinking Wrap: Teams and Managers

Webcast Details

  • Gallup Theme Thursday Webcast Series
  • Season 6, Strategic Thinking Domain Wrap
  • In this wrap of the 8 themes in the Strategic Thinking Domain, learn how your team can own its talents and become stronger, improving its performance, organic growth and wellbeing.
  • Interested in learning more on this topic? Read more about how to improve teamwork in the workplace.

We summarize and wrap the 8 talent themes in the Strategic Thinking Domain, and discover how this domain 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.

If you lead with Strategic Thinking, it means you default to studying, learning and thinking, not just as a first reaction, but as your strongest reaction.

Maika Leibbrandt, 3:35

The promise of strengths really lies not in which themes are right for your job, but how you use those themes you do have in pursuit of success, and to honor and inspire the success of your teammates and of your followers.

Maika Leibbrandt, 3:22

The advice that we would give somebody who says, "I want to work on my team" is have a question beyond just "What are they like?" Have a problem that you want to solve. Really get your ego into your curiosity there.

Maika Leibbrandt, 14:05

Jim Collison 0:00

I am Jim Collison, and live from our virtual studios around the world -- at least here in the state of Nebraska for today -- this is Gallup's Theme Thursday, Season 6, recorded on September 3, 2020.

Jim Collison 0:21

Theme Thursday's 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, it's a Strategic Thinking Domain Wrap. If you're listening live, love to have you join us in our chat room. It's actually just right above me, the link there, if you're on our live page. Choose that; it'll take you to YouTube and there's a chatroom embedded there that you can jump in and join. If you have questions after the fact, you can always send us an email -- and many of you're doing this -- appreciate you guys sending those in: And don't forget, subscribe on YouTube, right below us down there. Hit the Like button while you're at it. And then, of course, if you want to listen to us as a podcast, you can always just search "Gallup Webcasts" on any podcast app. Maika Leibbrandt is our host today. She is a Senior Workplace Consultant here at Gallup with me, and Maika, always great to share Thursdays with you. Welcome back to Theme Thursday!

Maika Leibbrandt 1:07

Thanks, Jim, it is the best day of the week because I get to hang out here with you. I think that Season 6 may be my favorite because of all these bonus episodes that we have. We don't just have one episode for every theme, but we had a Domain Kickoff for each of the 4 Leadership Domains, and a Domain Wrap. So today, as you mentioned, is the Domain Wrap for Ralph's favorite domain -- that is the Strategic Thinking Domain. Think about it as a domain summary episode today. It's a chance to review where we've been, to offer some insights of what we've learned along the way and really summarize what we've learned is true and consistent about the Strategic Thinking Domain of CliftonStrengths themes.

Jim Collison 1:45

So what is the Strategic, the -- I can't even say it -- what is the Strategic Thinking Domain all about?

Maika Leibbrandt 1:52

So let's remember that all 4 of these domains were originally born from Gallup's research on leadership, really trying to answer that question of How do the most effective leaders lead? The answer to that "How" question specifically for Strategic Thinking is "By passing their investment in others through their head first." So let's call this what it is. Strategic Thinking, often a stumbling block for people who want to see all 4 domains as having maybe a different weight when it comes to leadership -- I coach plenty of people who have it stuck in their head that in order to lead, they need to "be strategic," whatever that means.

Maika Leibbrandt 2:29

But because that word "strategic" shows up as the title of the domain, I think many times we assume people who lead with these themes are naturally more inclined to lead other people, especially in organizational hierarchies. That is a misunderstanding of the entire construct. In addition, it's also an a misunderstanding of the domain itself. Your CliftonStrengths themes do not tell you what you do, but how, and very often why, you'll, you do it. They will describe the power and where you find your greatest potential. And, you know, we're infusing this word as your best 5 or your best domain. Because yes, you could operate just as the person down the street is operating or just like your boss is operating. But the entire idea of CliftonStrengths is where are you going to find your best? And the domain idea is also how are you going to lead best? The promise of strengths really lies not in which themes are right for your job, but how you use those themes you do have in pursuit of success, and to honor and inspire the success of your teammates and of your followers.

Maika Leibbrandt 3:35

If you lead with Strategic Thinking, it means you default to studying, learning and thinking, not just as a first reaction, but as your strongest reaction. And maybe what you've likely been told that you're too much of if you have a lot of Strategic Thinking themes is a thinker, a studier, a contemplator, maybe even a dreamer. The power of this leadership domain comes in the depth and breadth of consideration that it brings to a problem and that it therefore brings to a team. We're going to talk about all of this as we continue to review everything we learned this entire season through Strategic Thinking.

Jim Collison 4:13

And then so which CliftonStrengths themes show up? And what do we know about them?

Maika Leibbrandt 4:17

So you've got Context, Futuristic, Ideation, Strategic, Input, Intellection, Learner and Analytical. While every theme has a different way of going about this, Strategic Thinking, as a domain, describes the talent to understand and improve upon ideas and concepts. Now remember our talent themes don't just describe how you're wired, but how you're productively wired. So those natural patterns create something, they change something or they help you and others perform really well. I took just a stab at sort of clustering these Strategic themes together and helping us understand what unique flavor does each of these themes bring to that answer of how we lead through Strategic Thinking.

Maika Leibbrandt 5:02

I think Context and Futuristic both bring this, this flavor of comparison. So Context is comparing to past learning; Futuristic is comparing to future yearning. (Like how we did that? A little rhyming never hurt anybody!) Think about this cluster of Ideation, Strategic and Input. Ideation is about create and connect. Strategic is cluster and discard. And Input is investigate and gather. Learner and Analytical: Learner is from not knowing to knowing, and Analytical is from complex to simple. Intellection gets its own cluster of just identifying a new perspective.

Maika Leibbrandt 5:43

So you can see that all of these themes bring something very different to the table. Anytime you are helping a manager evaluate the entire makeup of her team, help them see, not just Do we have a lot or a little of Strategic Thinking themes, but How do those people with Strategic Thinking themes solve problems? How do they study? How do they further our understanding of the problems in front of us?

Maika Leibbrandt 6:06

I'll also go a little bit further into the prevalence of these themes because I know people are -- really find it helpful to understand, when they see a theme, whether it's theirs or in relationship to people on their team, how frequently does this show up in somebody's Top 5? Or how often should you, as a manager, expect to see this among the people you're leading? These data are interesting. Please don't let yourself be more interested in the globe than you are in the functionality of your own team. But to help you understand your own team, and perhaps just how beautiful and unique they are, here's a little bit of facts of our global data you might find helpful.

Maika Leibbrandt 6:46

When we look at Top 5 only, which Strategic Thinking theme is the most common? So you can describe that here. I want to drop this into the chat. I just listed all those Strategic Thinking themes. Go ahead and guess which Strategic Thinking theme shows up most often in people's Top 5 when we look at our global database of 21 million respondents? Give you a second; I'll check out the chat here. Do you know, Jim, without looking at my -- ?

Jim Collison 7:14

No, I already looked. But the clue is, it shows up -- these, this shows up with another one all the time in the Top 1 and 2, so yeah. So we're getting some guesses from the chat room.

Maika Leibbrandt 7:27

Chris got it right. It is Learner. Yeah, nice job. Chris, Kelly, Jamie, Shannon, Mark, Jennifer, Phil, it is Learner. So Learner is actually second in our entire global database, right behind Achiever, as the most common that shows up as people -- in people's Top 5. More than 6 million of our 21 million respondents in our latest theme frequency database have Learner in their Top 5, followed by Strategic, which is 5th in our entire database with 4.7 million, and Input, which comes in at No. 7, if you take a look at those 3 being in the Top 10. 28% of our respondents have Learner, 22% have Strategic and almost 20% have Input somewhere in their Top 5.

Maika Leibbrandt 8:13

So you can see, as you mentioned, Jim, that combination of Learner and Input very often showing up together. I really loved both of those episodes this season where we got to compare and contrast Learner and Input. Because you see them so often together, that can be a little bit of a stumbling block for coaches wanting to isolate either of those to help co-create some action with, with their clients. So if you are an individual, probably not as much of a, an ask for you to be able to know the difference between the two; you just need to know how they work for you. But if you are a coach, it is your job to love every theme and to be able to effectively suggest ways to use the best of that theme in order to customize your clients' pursuit toward their goals. If you want to check out even more of the difference between Learner and Input, I highly recommend Al Winseman's Mastery Monday blog, where he compares and contrasts each of those.

Jim Collison 9:05

Maika, we -- I get this question a lot, and I see this in the community a lot. As we see these kinds of numbers -- so today we're talking about it, Strategic Thinking and Learner's No. 2, what does that really mean? Like, as we think through, let's be practical and give some really practical advice. Because I think this is actually the No. 1 -- I say this a lot -- the No. 1 thing people really struggle with is they want to start grouping people or they want to start pigeonholing people or they want to start making assumptions about people, based maybe on a global database number. So give us some -- just, as we think about this, so now that we know this, so what? What do we, what can we do with it?

Maika Leibbrandt 9:44

Yeah, let's, let's make sure that we're using those database numbers to further our own understanding of individuals or of ourself. If you're doing it that way, it's brilliant. If you stop at the global database numbers and just want to be the best at trivia, well, just know that that's what you're signing up for. You're not signing up for actually helping people perform better. But it is important maybe for you to know which one's most common.

Maika Leibbrandt 10:05

That being said, if you look at Strategic Thinking themes, if the -- it was the entire globe of people who have completed CliftonStrengths was one person, and we were looking at a theme being in that person's Top 5 to determine frequency, 3 of that person's Top 10 are in Strategic Thinking: Learner, Strategic, Input. Analytical, Ideation and Futuristic fall 14, 15, 16. Intellection and Context are No. 20 out of 34, and No. 30 out of 34. But even if you go to the lowest Strategic Thinking theme, and by "lowest," I mean least frequent, showing up in someone's Top 5, that of Context, you still have 9% of the population who has Context in their Top 5; that's still 2 million people. So simply by the numbers, you are likely to have someone with at least one Strategic Thinking theme on your team.

Jim Collison 10:57

And if, so, I think the big misnomer on this oftentimes is OK, so Learner is high, and Self-Assurance is low. And they take it the same approach as if it showed up on someone's report that way, right? In other words, oh, yeah, globally, Command, Self-Assurance are at the bottom. That must mean they, you know, again, our brains start kind of going to this idea of, of weakness as opposed to, or ineffectiveness, where it's, that doesn't mean that at all. Talk about that.

Maika Leibbrandt 11:29

I think especially as you're looking at even the frequency of a team, what you're looking at there isn't so much what we have high and what we have low, it's how many people on that team have that theme high. That's it. It's not how many people have that theme low. Unless you're looking at Bottom 5 as well, which is heavy work. What you're looking at is, Who, who has this theme that they bring to the table in beautiful, powerful ways? Now, you may only have one or two people who bring some of those rarer themes, but they still bring them. So it's not the same as saying, "We have a lot of this and very little of that." And I think specifically, if you want to lean into those Strategic Thinking themes, if you find them quite prevalent, understand that you're going to prepare those people on your team to do some great work inside their head, or maybe in a space of research or study or imagination.

Maika Leibbrandt 12:20

That Strategic Thinking Domain, what it's describing isn't just what you like to do or what you've been taught to do. It's what you can't help but do. And for somebody with high Strategic Thinking, it's conceptualizing, understanding and creating. So Strategic Thinking as a domain is striving to conceptualize through compare and contrast. You think about Futuristic's ability to compare today to where we're going; Context's ability to contrast current decisions to past experiences; or Learner's ability to compare what I know to what I have yet to know. Strategic Thinking is a commitment to understanding through investigation.

Maika Leibbrandt 12:59

Input will investigate existing collateral within their own experience and that of their, of their immediate reach. Analytical will investigate evidence and provable patterns. Strategic Thinking is also clever creation or creating clever or novel approaches to problems. The Strategic theme is creating pathways through pattern and theme. The Ideation theme is creating new ideas and noticing innovative connections. And the Intellection theme, creating perspective by bringing thoughtfulness to the center of the conversation. So again, it's a great reminder that these aren't just going to tell you somebody thinks; they're going to help accelerate your understanding of how they think best.

Jim Collison 13:45

I think it's a great reminder, right? We're focusing on success, and we're focusing on moving forward -- not just defining, you know, the Name it, Name it and Name it aspects, sometimes these fall into. What advice would you have for a manager of a team -- this season, we've been talking all about teams and managers -- what kind of advice would you have for a manager of a team with, that has a lot of this talent in Strategic Thinking?

Maika Leibbrandt 14:05

We, we oriented this entire season toward teams because it's what we hear a lot of desire around. And the advice that we would give somebody who says, "I want to work on my team" is have a question beyond just "What are they like?" Have a problem that you want to solve. Really get your ego into your curiosity there. Do you want to know, How do they perform better? How do they, how could they be more collaborative? How could they be more productive? How could I better position them to make a difference in the world?

Maika Leibbrandt 14:34

In pursuit of whatever question is on your mind there, then if we dive into the Strategic Thinking Domain, if you've got teams with a lot of talent or a prevalence of talent in Strategic Thinking, they likely enjoy considering a problem and considering a solution, perhaps so many different times or so many different ways that thinking becomes quickly what they do best. So lean into that and feed it on purpose. Make space for musing, because they'll find opportunities and rabbit trails that other people might miss. And those can eventually really propel you into future development or accelerate how ready you are to take on new solutions, because you've given them time to muse and you've given them time to go down those "What if?" pathways that might be less obvious to people who are more focused on Executing or Influencing or building Relationships.

Maika Leibbrandt 15:25

Specifically, if you want some tactical reminders of just bullet-point advice, What do I do with a team strong in Strategic Thinking?, identify those individuals on your team who can consistently keep the team on track with projects. Encourage members to keep a journal of their ideas. They're going to have a running list in their brain anyway. So encourage them to really get into a habit of capturing all that juicy brain energy and putting it somewhere else.

Maika Leibbrandt 15:54

Discuss future ideas, ask questions that push people to make the future seem as vivid as possible, and share ideas within the team and with others outside the team to develop this sort of analytical approach for solving a particular challenge. Help your team talk about their system of operation for how they think best. Allow that to evolve over time, but help them say it out loud, so that they can share the thought process together or at least track where other members of their team are in the process.

Jim Collison 16:27

OK, Maika, the dreaded question: What if the team is low in Strategic Thinking?

Maika Leibbrandt 16:33

Well, it doesn't mean they don't think! And we should probably get in the habit of saying "frequent or less frequent," because, again, you're probably looking at just how many people lead with Strategic Thinking? Not, What do we not lead with? You could even say "dominant or rare." When you consider the DNA of a team, again, it's, it's fastest to look at what every person has really high. So rather than saying, "We don't have any Thinking themes," acknowledge there might be, there might be one person on your team who leads with it; they're just, they're not weak, they're just the minority and they must be honored.

Maika Leibbrandt 17:07

So if your team doesn't have a lot of Strategic Thinking, it does mean they have other domains high. And so it doesn't mean they don't think or don't make decisions; it means they do that through people. Think, for example, about the way that maybe somebody high in Influencing thinks. They probably shop their ideas around people whose opinion matters to them. Or they might think through doing, if they've got high Executing themes. They say, "I don't need the plan. Let me just try and then we'll come back." Now if you, if, so the answer to "What if they have Strategic Thinking low?" is figure out what they have high.

Maika Leibbrandt 17:41

But I think it just, just means they're not going to go to the drawing board first. It means that they are faster at Executing, they can connect more easily without having that mental warmup. And for a team with rare Strategic Thinking themes, you might just have to invite critical analysis on purpose, maybe as a stop in the, in the structure or with other people, rather than just making space for it to organically happen.

Maika Leibbrandt 18:06

So if you've got, you want a couple bullet points for your, your team with Strategic Thinking rare, No. 1, Find time, on purpose, on a regular cadence, to meet with the team to discuss current goals and future goals. We've, we've learned over the years, not, not even just here in 2020, but we've learned at Gallup that remote working can and does go bad but that there is a "sweet spot" of engagement for remote workers. And what tends to be a lever that people can pull to truly engage and, and boost the productivity and the innovation and the collaboration of people who are working remotely, is -- that lever is feedback from their manager.

Maika Leibbrandt 18:47

So specifically, if you're trying to invite more thinking or you're trying to invite more planning, have regular feedback loops. Think about all the different ways that you can connect with them and you can help them think together. Take time to examine large projects with the team and identify specifically how each member of the team is going to contribute. Talk about ideas in a group, instead of thinking that everybody is going to have hundreds of them in their own head, and help them on purpose align to how those ideas lead to an organizational goal. Have the team end their team meetings with an understanding of, What did we just cover and what's next? And who's responsible? And maybe even What impact will that have on the organization or on the future?

Jim Collison 19:29

Maika, there's some really good advice in those last two segments. Where can, where can people find that stuff?

Maika Leibbrandt 19:36

So this -- these are just examples of some of the personalized management nudges included in Gallup Access, which is our online portal, to all -- it basically is your your frontline connection into the most powerful brains and greatest coaches in the world. So if you want direct access to Gallup's world of knowledge, discoveries and learning, managers who use Gallup Access get individualized suggestions like this every time they log on, based on basically how much we -- they feed that, that engine. So based on the makeup of their team, based on their specific CliftonStrengths results, based on perhaps some performance metrics or some engagement metrics that they also have access to right at their fingertips. So it's kind of like having a coach in your pocket or on your screen.

Jim Collison 20:23

For Certified Coaches, we actually have a really nice document that lays out the consumer, and the Access subscription information. So you can head out to the ultimate guide for Certified Coaches. And that's just, I think,, if you want to see that. And then, if you're an organization, you want to see it, you can head out to We have a demo available for you. If you have any questions, you can email us: Maika, we've learned a few things from the community during this time. What, what have we learned? What what kind of feedback did we get during this, this time?

Maika Leibbrandt 20:54

So for those of you listening live, tell us what you've learned in the chat right now on the, about Strategic Thinking themes. You know, as I've tried to keep my ear to the ground and really close to the community, a couple things have stood out to me this season. Specifically -- and this has probably very little to do with the specific domain and more about the beautiful community of coaches we have who care about each other and care about changing the world through greater performance and through finding that opportunity for internal growth that's, that's still untapped -- is I've heard people just say, you know, even when it feels like our world turned upside down, having this space to come back to and this regular cadence to get to focus on what people do right, has made all the difference in terms of staying engaged, staying hopeful, staying connected to what we need to do.

Maika Leibbrandt 21:40

And I, I implore you to think about how you're creating that for somebody else -- ideally, somebody else outside of this community, because we can support each other, and we will always continue to support each other. That won't go away. But your real calling as somebody who likes focusing on what's right with people, as somebody who's attracted to this idea of CliftonStrengths and coaching and stronger teams, your real calling is to spread that out even farther. Go be there regularly; be the person who can't help but ask somebody what's right about their day, where their brain is going and why that's powerful. When have you been told you're too much of something and how can we help that be a positive?

Maika Leibbrandt 22:20

In addition to that, I've got a you know, a great two, two specific callouts I want to make sure that we've heard from our coaches community. Steve Allen says, we've done this all season long, but specifically to the Strategic Thinking Domain, he loved the nuances that we've put to differentiate the different themes. I really like this sentence; he says: "I think it was especially magical in the Thinking themes." And another quick shout-out to Nicki Luther, who's leading her own Theme Thursdays within her organization. So one quick -- not quick, I would say a way that takes a lot of work that she is doing with great style and elegance and accuracy is she's just hosting weekly get-togethers. And we've seen John Sexton do the exact same thing. How do we get folks together to talk about what's right with them as individuals, knowing that the return on our investment ends up benefiting more than just those individuals, but the teams, the organization and the community in which they serve?

Jim Collison 23:14

Maika, I'm gonna say, I got to do a big shout-out to John in the work he's doing at Vibrant. I mean, they kind of set the bar pretty high for organizations in using strengths. It's pretty clear, even from a hiring standpoint, if you were going to take a job at Vibrant, you'd, you would know pretty well, just by watching their videos, where their values are. I mean, I think it's an incredible -- John has done an incredible job. But so there's that, that, there's that forward-facing example of it, plus all the impact it's had on the organization kind of internally.

Jim Collison 23:47

And so if you really, like, if your organization is struggling, or even as a coach, if you're trying to help an organization do this, have a good look at Vibrant and some of the work that they're doing along these lines and just some of the great -- and they're not, I mean, they're 300 employees. So it's not like they're gigantic doing this.

Jim Collison 24:05

Maika, it's funny, sometimes I get -- just as a side note, as I'm talking about sizes -- sometimes I get coaches, they'll say, "Hey, I want to hear about a case study of a, of a big organization." And I say, "Well, we have Accenture." "Oh, they're big." "Yeah." "Could you get a little smaller?" And, you know, it's like I go through this up and down kind of period of doing it. We've got a lot of great examples, just as I mentioned, Vibrant, we had them on back in December. Got a lot of great examples of organizations doing this through Called to Coach. So if you haven't jumped out there and got those, you might want to. There was a question, speaking of a credit union, Atlanta Federal Credit Union asks, can you --

Maika Leibbrandt 24:41

I thought it was Atlanta too; I think it's Altana?

Jim Collison 24:44

Oh, I'm sorry. I, you know, you're right. Thank you. I read it too fast.

Maika Leibbrandt 24:47

Difference between Context and Input. Now, I would say it's probably pretty common for somebody with Input to also relate to Context. It might be less common for someone with Context to automatically relate to input. The difference is Context has a timeline to it. Context is not just, "Let's place this in context"; it's "Let's place this in history." So Context is about understanding how different events happen that line up to creating the reality that we're in right now. And it's really about looking backwards into the past.

Maika Leibbrandt 25:23

So people with high Context are, they might show up to a credit union on Day 1 as a new employee and say, "What's the history of this place? Why do we exist? What have people in my role done well before?" And they're probably more likely to be thinking about Where have we come from? than they are to be thinking about where -- they are thinking about where we're going, but it's through that lens of what have we learned before? To contrast that to Futuristic, which is thinking about where am I going, based on where am I going in the, very farther into the future. Think about the difference between that and Input. Input wants to take in information from everywhere. So from the past, from the present, from insightful ideas about the future, Input is the gathering piece; Context is the place what I've gathered into a timeline.

Jim Collison 26:11

Maika, one of the, as we've been going through this series, one of the things I've been thinking about, you know, this, Season 6, we went domain by domain. And it has really enhanced my learning of these, and thinking -- thinking about them in these packages, You and I both heavy Relationship Building and Influencing themes. Influencing themes very heavy. Yet, we we've got someone on our team, if you and I are a team, who has got Strategic pretty high, right. And so we lean on that, you know, that's kind of the only -- in this area, I'm not saying the only one -- but we, we tend to be Influencing and Relationship Building more than we're Strategic Thinking. But we really rely, I have found -- in the years that you and I have been working together -- that one theme of yours, we just gr -- you know, we just really take advantage of every time. And so it's a great oppor --

Maika Leibbrandt 27:03

How do we do that? Like what does that, what does that look like to you?

Jim Collison 27:06

Well, I think, so for us, we throw out a bunch of, we throw out a bunch of things. We just do some things, some things, ideas, ideas. You help me sort through those by kind of thinking through those, right? By being able to sort through those in a way, you help me align those back to the organization on what's most important. And I have some ideas, I have, most of the things I get back are through talking.

Jim Collison 27:33

So most of my thinking, I don't have any Strategic Thinking in my Top 10, just to be, just to be 100% honest. I have to do, if I'm going to do that, I have to do that strategic, those, the processes of thinking and sorting in that way through Communication. I just have to. It's just the way I've found to get it done. So you help me do that by allowing me to talk it out. But you, you're absolutely way better at sorting and ranking in that area, like what's most important to the organization? We've said this in the 5 things, right, the 5 Truths --

Maika Leibbrandt 28:07

We've said over and over again.

Jim Collison 28:08

Right? We've said, we've said over and over again. And, and, but so, what's best for the organization, you're able to zero in on that and have that way more naturally, than I would. I sometimes, I will kind of start to what's most fun, and what I think I can actually achieve. And you'll come back and be like, "Yeah, but this is really what's important." And so in our little team here, the two of us, when we think about that Strategic Thinking, we don't come to it with -- as a team, we don't come to it with a ton. But what we do have, we maximize the crap out of. I mean, you and I just take every ounce of that talent in you and take advantage of it. So thanks for being my Strategic Thinking partner.

Maika Leibbrandt 28:51

Well, I love that. I -- side note: I didn't plan on talking about our partnership, but it's my favorite topic so I'll go there. What I notice as well is your, how your Arranger really serves my Strategic. And I don't mean that as a hierarchical piece. But my Strategic would be kind of alone if it wasn't for your Arranger to give it legs. So the way that I've talked about Strategic today I think might be the clearest I've ever felt about that theme. And it might be because I have it No. 1, it's sort of like, it's hard for me to realize that other people don't think that way. And so I would say out of all 34 themes, Strategic is the theme I've had the hardest time unpacking and being really clear about. It's probably because it's my No. 1.

Maika Leibbrandt 29:33

But when we said today that idea of cluster and discard, so what Strategic does is be able to really quickly notice patterns and themes and sort to the ones that work. But that also means we're getting rid of all the ones that don't. So what that looks like in practice, Jim, between you and I, is we also both have Ideation and we'll just throw things at the wall. Then I'll cluster and discard, and your Arranger can say, "OK, here's everything we decided we should do; here's the order we should do them in. Here's how I can -- you know, here's who else we need to get involved. Here's how we're going to delegate. And here's really the way that we can turn this into a curated library."

Maika Leibbrandt 30:11

So, and we've talked about the difference between Strategic and Arranger being sorting through what's, what's actually in the room and sorting through those ideas of what could be. And I don't think I'd ever pointed that out about us before. But it's, it's one other facet that I love about our tiny little team.

Jim Collison 30:27

Well, it's what's taught me the, the, or -- the progression of how we get things done as a team. And this season, seeing it in the context of the domains as they exist. And then having these Domain Wraps, like I think these are probably the most valuable, we'll probably bring them back next year in another form of some kind. Because I think they've been so important in really understanding each one of these domains in the context of the domain, but also in context of, of all the other 34 themes. And so it's been, I think it's been really valuable in understanding how we operate. It's easy to talk about that here, because it's the two of us. But I also think it's helped individuals. I think we have a better grasp at looking at these themes and clusters.

Jim Collison 31:13

So, you know, themes are already clusters of talents, right? They're already these things clustered up and then those kind of clustered up and these, these ideas of what happens when we get them together on teams? So really, really exciting to see it. Maika, as we wrap up Strategic Thinking for 2020, we, you probably -- some people who are listening to this right now have listened to it out of order; they don't really necessarily care. So let's, let's wrap up the Strategic Thinking theme. Any final thoughts before we go into postshow?

Maika Leibbrandt 31:43

Strategic Thinking describes people who do their best work by studying it first. And you should honor that if that's you. Make time to to exercise your brain. Make sure that you're also making an effort to capture what's happening inside your head. Because the chances are, there's more happening than you ever let out, even to yourself. So look for habits that help you journal, or, or screen-shot, or give yourself time to warm up and cool down from the good brain work that you do over the course of a day. Do the, do those sorts of things on purpose, because it's a great way to serve the huge thinking and clustering and ideating and creating and innovating brain that you bring to your team.

Jim Collison 32:28

I think that's, I think that's super good advice. And a reminder, too, we'll do a Season Wrap in 2 weeks, so if you're listening live. If you're listening to the podcast, to the recorded version, we probably already have that ready for you. And it's available if you want to head out to the Season Wrap as we talk about all these, bringing all of this together for the final. Might be good, if you haven't listened to the Season Kickoff, this week, when we're off, right, in between, go back and listen to it. And --

Maika Leibbrandt 32:53

Context. People with high Context and Input should go backwards and find where we started this season!

Jim Collison 32:58

Go back and listen. With that we want to remind everyone to take full advantages of all the resources -- don't turn me off yet! I know you're, I know you have that, you're listening on the podcast, and you're like, "Jim's gonna end this thing. And there's no talent-mindfulness to" -- don't -- I got some important things, all right? So we'll remind you to take full advantages of all the resources we have available now on Gallup Access. We mentioned that. Easiest way in, by the way, if you've already taken your assessment and you want to get your results, go to Again, -- I'll say it slower -- available for you there. It will take you right to the Strengths Dashboard and plenty of great resources available. In the upper left-hand corner on that, on that site, when you get there, is the menu. Many people miss that. There's a whole bunch of other resources available for you there as well. So click on that menu. Check it out today. If you want to sign up for the CliftonStrengths Community Newsletter, and I don't know why you wouldn't, head down to the bottom of the page there and there's a sign-up for that. Just give us your email address, kind of a monthly update of everything that's going on in the strengths world. And, and we will faithfully send that to your email box each and every month. You can also find us on YouTube. If you're -- in fact, if you're on YouTube, just click the subscription button over there in the corner by Maika, or the Like button that's down there below. Let us know. Or leave a comment down below as well in the video. We'd love to hear from you. And I answer those personally when, when each of those comes in. Of course, you can always find us in podcast form. Just search "Gallup Webcasts" and you can see all of them that are there. If you have any questions about anything, or your organization's struggling this and you want to contact us, send us an email: If you want to follow us for the '20 -- the rest of 2020 and maybe 2021, podcasts that are coming up, go to By the way, all these are in the show notes on our, on the page where we post this. So if you're like, "Ah, you're going too fast!" we write it all down for you. So it's, it's available there as well. get you there. On Facebook: is where the big group is. And then if you want to join us on LinkedIn because you're not a Facebooker, and that's OK, head in, search "CliftonStrengths Trained Coaches" on LinkedIn. We want to thank you for joining us today. We'll have a little bit of a post -- well, a little bit. When I say maybe 10 or 15 minutes of a postshow, you only get the postshow if you come out and join us live. With that, we'll say, Goodbye, everybody.

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