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2020 Theme Thursday Challenges Wrap and 2021 Webcast Preview

2020 Theme Thursday Challenges Wrap and 2021 Webcast Preview

Webcast Details

  • Gallup Theme Thursday Webcast Series
  • Season 6, 2020 Theme Thursday Challenges Wrap and 2021 Webcast Preview
  • Learn how coaches have used their CliftonStrengths to navigate the challenges of 2020, and find out what's ahead in 2021 for the Theme Thursday webcast.
  • Interested in learning more on this topic? Read more about how to improve teamwork in the workplace.

We wrap 2020 and the 2020 Theme Thursday Challenges by listening to how coaches have used their CliftonStrengths to overcome the difficulties of this unique year. We also celebrate a Theme Thursday podcast milestone and discover what Theme Thursday will look like in 2021. 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 this 2020 Theme Thursday Challenges Wrap and 2021 Webcast Preview, as we focus on teams and managers. Strong themes, stronger teams.

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

I've definitely relied on Positivity a lot lately. ... Particularly when friends and family are down, it's energizing to help reframe things to support them and lift their spirits. I think we can all use more of that energy.

Jon Sexton, 13:29

Folks, making a difference and leading through change and being brave doesn't require a certain CliftonStrengths theme. It's accessible to you.

Maika Leibbrandt, 19:38

One of the things I've thought a lot about during these times is those folks that I've heard from that are thriving are giving. They're not letting this be a time of take, but they're letting it be a time of give.

Jim Collison, 17:30

Jim Collison 0:00

I am Jim Collison, and live from our virtual studios around the world -- or at least here in the state of Nebraska -- this is Gallup's Theme Thursday, Season 6, recorded on November 5, 2020.

Jim Collison 0:22

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, and man, it was a good one! Today we're wrapping up the year and looking at the 2020 Theme Challenges. If you're listening live, love to have you join us our chat room. There's actually a link right above me up there to do that. It'll take you to YouTube. Video will restart. Join us in the chat room and we'll be taking your questions live. There's a big chat room today; we're at like 95. We wanted 100; we're getting there. If you have any questions after the fact, of course, you can send us an email: Don't forget to subscribe on your favorite podcast app. Just open that up and search "Gallup Webcasts." You can see all our webcasts there. It's going to become important a little bit later here in the show. And if you're on YouTube watching us, just subscribe right now down there. It'll -- if you're watching live, it'll subscribe to the live channel. If you're listening to the recorded version, it'll subscribe to the recorded channel. We have over 30,000, Maika, who have followed us and are subscribed on our YouTube channel.

Maika Leibbrandt 1:19

Hold on! 100! I'm watching the chat. John Sexton was the first one to claim it.

Jim Collison 1:25

There's 100 Woo-hoo! Nice job. All right. You heard her already. Maika Leibbrandt is our host today. She's a Senior Workplace Consultant in Gallup with me. Maika, welcome back to Theme Thursday!

Maika Leibbrandt 1:36

Thanks, Jim. It's great to be here with 100 of my closest friends!

Jim Collison 1:39

Yeah, no, it's great. I think that number, now that we hit 100, it's going to just climb ridiculously.

Maika Leibbrandt 1:43

Best chat room on the internet! Let's get it going.

Jim Collison 1:44

It'll just take off. Thanks for doing that. Maika. I mentioned some -- this subscriber number. So our YouTube channel, CliftonStrengths, crossed over 30,000 subscribers back in the beginning of the year, or about 30,005, which is significant in the fact that every time we post to that channel, you get notified -- you get an email or you get, however you choose to be notified. And it's just a great way of keeping up. We have another significant number that we reached. This, like this -- I almost shed a tear on this one. We hit a million total downloads for the podcast. So audio only, Theme Thursday, all time. This weekend, a million. Congratulations!

Maika Leibbrandt 2:27

Congratulations to you, Jim, and congratulations to everybody who's ever touched Theme Thursday, whether you're listening, sharing it with people. A million of anything, Jim, I have a feeling, is a big deal.

Jim Collison 2:39

It is.

Maika Leibbrandt 2:39

But you've taught me everything I know about podcasting. So how does that play out in the podcast space that -- to have a million downloads?

Jim Collison 2:45

Yeah, it's, it's not a number that many hit. And, to be honest, I wasn't sure we were ever going to hit it here. I think, as I went back a couple years ago, we were in the quarter of a million range. You just kind of think, Wow, could we hit a million? Could this happen? And, and so in the podcasting space, a million's a big deal. There are podcasters, there are other podcasters and other media folks who are doing -- they have some episodes that have a million. But for what we do, and for the niche we're in and for the community that we have, hey, a million is a big deal.

Jim Collison 3:18

I had some questions on that in social this week. So people were like, OK, that's the downloads but what about the other stuff? What about YouTube and some of those other pieces? I kind of punted. They're there, they're just harder to get. And I just was, I just have not had the time to go dig them out. Each YouTube on video, or each video on YouTube, does a variety. We have some that have 10 or 15 or 20,000 views; we have some that have a couple hundred views. And so it just -- putting that together, if I were to go back and do it again, I would have made Theme Thursday its own YouTube channel. It would have been out by itself so to speak. I didn't; we included it with CliftonStrengths, Called to Coach. They all kind of come together, and depending on how you do social -- coaches, this is an important lesson in thinking about how you do your media. Depending on what you want to do, you just have to make some decisions.

Jim Collison 4:06

So, Maika, let me, let me say this though: couldn't have done this, I mean, you took over from Curt when Curt passed away early in this, 24 episodes in. For folks who are new, very first season of Theme Thursday, Curt Liesveld led those with me. We did 24 episodes and Curt passed away. We had 10 to finish, and we got those finished with Maika and some of her team. Benjamin helped me get those, get those coaches together. Maika didn't know, but she was interviewing for the, for the host job while she was doing that. And we started Season 2 kind of focusing on Curt's work, right, as we talked about Theme Dynamics. Season 3, we talked about Strengths Based Leadership. We talked about, in Season 4, we talked about the success. In Season 5, we focused on the All 34 report. Season 6, we've been looking at teams and managers.

Jim Collison 4:56

That's been a lot of you. Like as we think about all the prep, all the work, you wrote all the show notes. You did all the work associated with this. So yesterday, you and I were talking, and I was just saying, you know, Maika, you've really carried the kind of the intellectual -- I almost said, like the intellectual property of this. And you have; you've written so much of it, based on the great work that we do at Gallup. So thank you for all that hard work. And thank you for getting us to a million; it's, it's pretty great.

Maika Leibbrandt 5:23

Oh, well, you, you certainly had a vision that we got to just bring to life. And I, I remember when we first realized everybody was going home, and that virtual was going to be a big thing here in 2020, a conversation that I had with you where I was even a little bit iffy on, could we teach people virtually? Could we still, you know, transform people's lives and teach them what we needed to teach outside of Theme Thursday, thinking about even our Gallup courses? How would we get this, this educational experience to managers and leaders across organizations who need it? And without missing a beat, you said, "Maika, we've been doing this for years. This is, this is more than just podcasting. This is how do you meet people where they are and leave them different for it?" So that's you, over and over again. Thanks, Jim. What -- I want to ask, Why does this matter beyond just the numbers? Like, what do you think is significant about the content of Theme Thursday, hitting a million?

Jim Collison 6:18

Yeah, I think it's the fact that people have engaged with it, and they're coming back to it. That doesn't mean a million people, by the way, right? That's a million downloads. So that means the audio content has been download -- downloaded a million times. And I think that kind of speaks to the impact of what it's doing. It's really, really important, when people talk about or mention ROI on this, how do we, how do we kind of justify our return on the investment in the time that we give? I think about that in that way. And that is a measurement. But we also then kind of think through, like, when folks join the YouTube or when folks join the Facebook group, I ask them how they hear about it, and overwhelmingly now it's through, it says, "Through the podcast," or "Through YouTube, right? The, the channels we do it on.

Jim Collison 7:01

To me, that is a mark of engagement. That means people are using it. People are listening to it. People's lives are transformed. We're going to talk about this at the end of the show, but talent-mindfulness came out of Theme Thursday. And there's -- that's been an -- I've had an overwhelming response on, on how people want to use that. So Maika, for me, being an influencer in this way, it really, to me, it shows a mark of engagement. And that engagement can't have -- or it has to have -- positive effects on what people are doing. And you and I both hear these stories.

Jim Collison 7:33

Here in a minute, we're going to go into some voicemails of some folks who left us some voicemails over the week about how these Theme Thursday Challenges have done this for them. But each one of those, Maika, is a representation of the impact that it's making in the world. And that's really what we want, right? That's really what we long for as humans is to have some kind of impact, that we can walk away from this planet and say, "I made a difference." And so for me, the million, in this case, is a great, a great indication, because it's hard to do. Like we're making an impact. And that's exciting to me.

Maika Leibbrandt 8:07

Yeah, and I think that if you're listening as a coach or as somebody who wants to help other people through strengths, you can take that as a sign that the energy's out there, right, the enthusiasm and, and hunger for understanding strengths, whether it's CliftonStrengths specifically -- which this podcast is -- or even just having somebody listen to you from that place of searching for potential, you know, turning, tuning in your ear toward What kind of talent here can I inspire? Know that you're not alone in pioneering that idea; there is already people who are out there searching for it.

Maika Leibbrandt 8:39

And I think sometimes we don't even know what it is that we're looking for. But that's definitely something that stuck with me, in 2020, especially, is just this, I would say, super increase in the desire to have conversations that focus on what's right with people. And this is giving them the skill to do that. So you can feel like you're not alone. You're not pioneering this. You're, you're with friends now who also want to have these conversations.

Jim Collison 9:07

Well, and let's be really, really clear, there's a big team at Gallup. Austin, who's in the chat room, I think of Mark and Roy who make sure the videos get done, the audio is great, that transcripts get done, and those pieces. Rocio behind the scenes who's probably -- does more work than anybody, and nobody knows who she is. Maika, the work that you do, the teams that are around us and all the folks that we've had on, the coaches in the past.

Jim Collison 9:31

So thanks to the community, who I could, we couldn't have done a million ourselves, although I could have probably written a bot that would have done it a million times. Big thanks to the community who spent the hours downloading, listening and then sharing. And we're excited. The good news is, there's tons of material that not everybody's listened to yet. So we could easily turn that a million into two, as you share this, and a great opportunity to embed this. Here after the voicemails, we'll talk a little bit about how to do that here, starting next year. But Maika, before I get to the voicemails, anything else you'd add?

Maika Leibbrandt 10:05

Just Congratulations! Not just to, to Jim and I and the Gallup team, but congratulations to the greatest chat room here on the internet for being involved.

Jim Collison 10:12

Yeah, no, I do look forward to spending this time during the week with them every single week. And it's great to have them as a part of the show. We, we asked you to call in if you're part of the Facebook group -- by the way, -- and said, Hey, we'd love to hear how these, this, this 2020 Theme Challenge. It really, it was a, it was, these Theme Challenges were really just us forcing you to use more of the Theme Thursday content --

Maika Leibbrandt 10:38

Well, people ask, like, "How do I get strengths to 'stick'? How do I really make a difference with strengths?" How many times, Jim, on our Facebook, do you get asked, "Could somebody give me a list of organizations that use strengths?" And really what they want to look for is maybe a little credibility, or maybe just other ideas. Here, we've got entire shelves of books worth of ideas, it's just on a podcast instead of written on a page. So this was our opportunity to say, Let's go back and force ourselves to consume some of this.

Jim Collison 11:06

Yeah, and we have a new service we're using through Podpage, which allows you to leave a 30-second voicemail. We'll be doing this again, so listen up, people! When I ask for these voicemails, I want them! I'm not just talking into the air. I want you to do them. Several of you did, and, and so we appreciate that. Charlotte Blair sent this message in. Have a listen to this.

Charlotte Blair 11:27

Hi, Charlotte from Australia here. If I think about which talent things I've used during these crazy times, for sure it's been Positivity and Futuristic. I know that things are going to get better, and we just need to see what they are. And then definitely my Activator, Arranger, Maximizer, Significance to connect the community together, help learn from each other, put on sessions where people get to see each other. That's been so great for my Woo. And it's really fed my Significance.

Jim Collison 11:57

So pretty, yeah, pretty great to hear. Right? As we think about, you know, Positivity and Significance. Maika, would you add anything?

Maika Leibbrandt 12:06

That was like a podcast in itself. And I just think, I mean, Charlotte is phenomenal and definitely a influencer of strengths around the globe. And I say that in an inclusive way, not like, Oh, international is something different, but phenomenal work. And I'm, I can't wait to hear more!

Jim Collison 12:24

What I appreciate about Charlotte, especially lately, over the last 6 months, year, she's really been helpful to me in getting coaches engaged in things. Like when I put this call out, she said, "I'll do one." And then she, she hammered a bunch of people on Facebook to get them to do it as well. And I appreciate that, because I can't carry it, you know, alone all the time. So Charlotte, thank you. You've been, she's been a great friend, and has been very, very helpful in the community. And Charlotte, thanks for --

Maika Leibbrandt 12:52

She led with Positivity. But I think what she left out -- and I don't know which of the strengths she would say it is, but -- Charlotte has not been deterred by any challenge. And she's had her fair share of them -- probably, you know, even more than 2020 has offered. And she's just adapted, and she's been hosting these sessions around how do you show up virtually, and really used, I think, every challenge as a, as a stepping stone. So it's been beautiful to watch!

Jim Collison 13:18

About this time last year, I was interviewing our next, our next guest, we'll put it that way, Jon Sexton, as Vibrant came in and kind of told their story on Called to Coach. But here's John.

Jon Sexton 13:29

I've definitely relied on Positivity a lot lately. It's easy to think of the challenges 2020 has presented, but there's been a lot of opportunity as well. Perhaps it's no daily commute, more time with family or the opportunity to slow down and reflect a bit. Particularly when friends and family are down, it's energizing to help reframe things to support them and lift their spirits. I think we can all use more of that energy, given the unique obstacles this year has presented.

Jim Collison 13:55

Second with Positivity.

Maika Leibbrandt 13:57

Another vote for Positivity! I'm, I'm starting to realize, gosh, we could make a big difference in the world if we just give people 30 seconds.

Jim Collison 14:05


Maika Leibbrandt 14:05

Just listen.

Jim Collison 14:07

Just, just listen in 30 seconds. Beverly chimed in as well. Let's play hers.

Beverly Griffeth-Bryant 14:13

This crazy year, I have used my Maximizer and Positivity to navigate, create and host Zoom hangouts for employees. These sessions are a time for employees to come together and socialize and catch up with coworkers. It is also a time for employees to focus on the good and the strengths of one another. And at the same time, create energy and hope that we can get through this crazy time together.

Jim Collison 14:41

Energy and hope!

Maika Leibbrandt 14:43

You know what I'm noticing? Sometimes we talk about Positivity as being inverse Empathy. Instead of feeling the temperature of the room, you're setting the thermostat. We've heard Positivity 3 times, and I know these people are leaders who are, who are doing hard work. And so I'm hearing Positivity as, "I can do this, and I know that I'm going to affect people around me, and I'm going to affect people for the better."

Jim Collison 15:06

Yeah. I love, you know, because the whole challenge in this -- the 2020 challenge -- was to really focus on these themes, and then really deploy them. And so it's great to hear, you know, Beverly says --

Maika Leibbrandt 15:18

Here's your chance!

Jim Collison 15:18

We did this internally, right? We did -- we used Zoom. We did this internally. We just got this thing done. One, one of my, and another guy who's been hanging out in our communities a lot, Justin Douglas, here's what Justin has to say.

Justin Douglas 15:32

Hello, it's Justin in the U.K. speaking. What has been fascinating for me this year is to understand the interplay of my strengths. On the one hand, Adaptability, ideal for difficult situations like we've faced this year. But alone, it was not enough. I needed to really dig deep on my Communication and Connectedness strengths to get through this year.

Maika Leibbrandt 16:01

Again, nobody has any one theme, right? Look at the power of, of the whole person showing up. And that's another thing I love about themes and strengths is the opportunity to truly individualize the power that you're describing, when you think about what is beautiful and consistent and true about what you can contribute. John, this is -- Justin's one of them in the chat with us every week. I first met Justin just through like reading his, his chats. And then I got to hear that beautiful voice, and it was like the whole thing just activated. Thank you, Justin!

Jim Collison 16:36

I got to spend time with Justin in December of 2019, which is like 1980. That's how long ago it feels. But Justin and I spent some time together when I was in London, and it was just a real treat. So Justin, thanks for calling that in. One of the other things, I love the diversity in voices that we're hearing and so --

Maika Leibbrandt 16:52

This is the world, literally!

Jim Collison 16:55

Let's hear from Bev.

Bev Shipley 16:58

Hi, it's Bev Shipley here. I've used Communication and Positivity to post, post daily inspirational quotes on my Instagram page. I've used Woo to stay in touch with family, friends and make lots of new ones. I've used my Activator to start helping a children's home. And I've used Maximizer and Learner to improve my coaching practice. What a year it has been!

Jim Collison 17:28

What a year it's been, indeed! I think one of the things I've thought a lot about during these times is those folks that I've heard from that are thriving are giving. They're, they're not letting this be a time of take, but they're letting it be a time of give. We've spent some time working through this idea of resiliency, you know, we had Jim Harter on, talking about social and community wellbeing, last Friday, which was super powerful. If you haven't gone back and watched that Called to Coach, you need to.

Jim Collison 17:56

But, but we find great significance in giving, and I am finding, Maika, as I talk to folks in the community, and Bev mentions it here, that she's giving. Like she's spending time giving, and I think it's just really important. Let's wrap it with Murry. And they call him "Muzz," and I should too. So Muzz, here you go.

Murry Guest 18:19

In 2020, it's been a tough year. But my Relator No. 1 strength has helped me maintain strong, authentic, deep relationships with my clients. My Futuristic has also helped me focus on what's possible and moving forward through the ups and downs. As I've pivoted to online learning from my clients, my Communication has certainly helped me in the way I've been able to articulate my messages and serve them. And Responsibility, No. 5, makes sure I keep serving everybody.

Jim Collison 18:47

You know, maybe I need to cut these out and make something of them. Like maybe we do something like this, where we get these 30-second -- because the chat room is going nuts as they listen to it --

Maika Leibbrandt 18:58

I am blown away. I got to sort of preview these, but I didn't hear all of them. And I'm just marinating in the realization that this is so universal, and that -- it's, it's not just the variety of accents, which I also love. And it's not just that we had a melting pot in one place. These people came from time zones all around the globe. But it's also a variety of themes. You know, we started off thinking, Oh, well, this is just going to be the influencers who show up and actually leave a voicemail. But you heard that great awareness around some Strategic Thinking themes, some Executing themes.

Maika Leibbrandt 19:31

You heard Muzz talk about Futuristic, and you heard people reference Activator, of "I got out there and I did it." Folks, making a difference and leading through change and being brave doesn't require a certain CliftonStrengths theme. It's accessible to you. But you're not going to get there by following the way that somebody else did it; you're going to get there by understanding the tools that you have and then using them. And that's -- this episode is becoming I think the greatest one-pager for what do we really mean about strengths-based development that we could ever have?

Jim Collison 20:06

Yeah, no. And I think the 30-second limit keeps it concise and, and keeps it valuable, from, from a content perspective. Lisa asks, Can she still call in and do these? And I, and I think i'm going to do something with these, Maika. I hadn't. I hadn't planned it.

Maika Leibbrandt 20:23

Just say "Yes."

Jim Collison 20:24
Just like we hadn't planned Theme Thursday, just to be honest. We never put a plan in for Theme Thursday. Curt said, "What if we created a show that where we just talked about the themes, and the chat room lit up?" OK. So if you want to do this, go to -- -- and search "Called to Coach." You'll find our, it's not Theme Thursday, it's the Called to Coach, I haven't, they're working on multiple accounts yet. But in the bottom right-hand corner is a little microphone, and you can just leave a message there. And so if you've been inspired by this, and you want to come back with your 30-second How has, you know, how are you leaning into this with your strengths? We'd love to hear that as well. -- Search "Called to Coach." If you have any questions and you can't find it, send me an email: Jim@the -- not, that's the wrong one -- I almost used my -- I say that so much on the other show.

Maika Leibbrandt 21:17

When, when work and life just blend together beautifully.

Jim Collison 21:21

Or is probably the way to get that done. Leave a voicemail for us. We'd love to hear how -- you got 30 seconds. How are you leaning into this with your themes, or really anything in that 30 seconds.

Maika Leibbrandt 21:32

So we want it; we also want you just to ask people and listen.

Jim Collison 21:36

Yeah, yeah, great --

Maika Leibbrandt 21:38

You can give them even more than 30 seconds.

Jim Collison 21:40

But, Maika, maybe there's maybe I can roll these into 30-second tidbits of something. And if people want that kind of short, like, I don't know, maybe there's something in this.

Maika Leibbrandt 21:49

You could set it as your alarm in the morning; have a different voice every day telling you how they're using their strengths.

Jim Collison 21:55

Yeah, no, there's, there's something here. We'll kind of, we'll kind of work on it in 2021. Speaking of 2021, let's spend a little bit of time kind of walking through what's coming, because that's what I promised. So first off --

Maika Leibbrandt 22:08

Somebody in the chat asked for what we're going to do. I can't, I think it maybe was, was it Frank, Fred, shoot! Frank! He said, "Hey, talent-mindfulness is a book!" That's very similar to what we're doing.

Jim Collison 22:22

Let's talk about it. So talent-mindfulness, we've, we've actually spent about 6 months kind of working through all the iterations of it of what could we do? You asked, Hey, can you break this out into your own thing? And, and, and, I was a little resistant first, just to be honest. I was like, "No, I want you to listen to the Theme Thursdays! But I gave in, and we're going to produce talent-mindfulness as its own podcast and as its own channel, actually, learning from the lessons of Theme Thursday, it'll be its own channel on YouTube.

Jim Collison 22:51

So Maika and I sat down yesterday and actually recorded the intro and the outros for those. And then we'll be pulling Season 5 and Season 6, putting those together and releasing them weekly. That'll give us, you know, a year and a half of weekly updates for you on that new, on that brand-new podcast feed. We are gonna kind of leak them out one a week over time and allow new folks to come in and kind of see it that way. You can download the audio, if you want to, and use that, take it, take it with you, make it portable, give it away. Lots of great opportunities for you to pass these things along. So you'll want

Maika Leibbrandt 23:21

Can they play it in their classes or in their -- ?

Jim Collison 23:23


Maika Leibbrandt 23:24

Yeah. Take it. Do it.

Jim Collison 23:26

Just download it and take it with you. Right. That's one of those kinds of things, you don't have to be connected online or play it in any way. Lots of great opportunities for that. You'll want to stay connected with us either on our LinkedIn group, so search "CliftonStrengths Trained Coaches" on LinkedIn, or in the Facebook group, We'll be, in the next couple weeks, I'll be putting all of those things out. Maika and I recorded the trailer for it yesterday. So that's going to be all set, and in there, kind of introducing what we're doing, then we'll be releasing that going forward. Maika -- and that'll start early January -- anything you want to add to that?

Maika Leibbrandt 24:01

Well, Lisa asks if we're still going to do talent-mindfulness during Theme Thursday. Should we clarify?

Jim Collison 24:06

We'll talk about that here in just a second. So hold that thought for just one second. Anything else?

Maika Leibbrandt 24:11

Use it! Use it! And we, we also recorded a trailer yesterday. We're going to tell you a little bit more about it. So a little bit of a teaser of our talent-mindfulness channel. And go -- don't think about it as like consuming, like you just rush through all of it. That's why we're gonna "drip" them to you weekly. Think about it as a practice. Make it part of what you do every week.

Jim Collison 24:30

No, and won't be recording those live. These are going back and pulling out from [Seasons] 5 and 6. So

Maika Leibbrandt 24:35

That is was what I was saying we should clarify. Yeah, so these are not new ones that are just talent-mindfulness. These are pulling back what we already did, the like 100 or so of them that we did between Season 5 and Season 6; 100 is a stretch!

Jim Collison 24:48

We got a bunch. That'll get us -- Yeah, that'll get us, so I think I figured about a year and a half worth of those. So those would be there. So let's talk a little bit about Theme Thursday because we've been getting a lot of requests. What are we doing for Season 7? And don't freak out, we're not doing Season 7. So we're going back, lots of material, giving Maika the year off. And we are going back and pulling all these Shorts. So we created Theme Thursday Shorts for Season 1 and Season 2, way back when. And then we kind of ran out of time, and we've been creating Theme Thursdays, and we didn't do the Shorts for the other seasons. And so this gives us an opportunity to go back and pull valuable Shorts out of those programs.

Jim Collison 25:30

The other request I've been getting a ton from you on is, I need shorter content. Can we, can we make it any shorter? So the Theme Thursday feed, the, the feed that you get through the podcast app and some of those will contain those Shorts. So you need to do nothing new. If you just continue to subscribe to it, every week, I'm going to put one or two new Shorts available for you in that; can download those as well. Just saying, if you want to download those and use them, you can do them as well. And we'll have some great stuff coming on social.

Jim Collison 26:00

So we're going to be taking those Shorts and putting them on Instagram and putting them on LinkedIn and putting them in Facebook. You can grab them from there as well. So a lot of our time and effort will be going back on Theme Thursday and kind of rediscovering those things that you might have missed, making some Shorts out of them. That will, that will have the feed in it as well. So for, for 2021, no live Theme Thursdays coming out. And I know some of you are -- I've got some things to cover that, so don't freak out just yet. But Maika, what else? Anything else you want to add as we think about next year on Theme Thursday?

Maika Leibbrandt 26:06

You still have the same amount of time in next year as you had this year. So find a way to use it in a way that inspires you, just like a live podcast did. It, I think it gives us an opportunity to go back and really listen to the great content that we've created. This live channel, I think, has been part of the huge gift of, of bringing people together. It's about activating the idea of CliftonStrengths. And next year gives you the opportunity to just integrate that into the, the good work that you're already doing.

Jim Collison 27:05

Maika, Justin says, "So no live, no live shows between the two of us?" No, that's not what we said. We're just not doing Theme Thursday. So just hang tight. There's some things going on behind the scenes. And we needed to, we needed to mix, mix some things up a little bit to kind of make --

Maika Leibbrandt 27:20

We did. And I'm exhausted. I'll just say that. I fully appreciate all the love that we're hearing right now. I can't keep it up a week, every week anymore, at least not next year. We're not saying that this is a pause forever; we're just changing the game. And that's what you have to do when you're up against a challenge. You can't think that you aren't enough; you just have to change the game. So that's what we're doing.

Jim Collison 27:45

Yeah, mixing it up a little bit. And I'm excited for this. I really am. Because the conversations will now shift. As we think about what we did on Theme Thursday, the coaching conversations will now shift into these twice monthly we're going to do these Zoom coaching community calls. Great opportunity for you -- by the way, Certified Coaches, if you're a Certified Coach with us, I've asked you through the Facebook group to maybe lead and teach a 20-minute session during these. We're going to create 4 of them a month in different time zones, so 8 p.m. and 8 a.m. [U.S.] Central time -- that covers a good chunk of the world. You can join us live and interactive. So beyond just us talking to you, there's going to be some great opportunities for you to interact with each other as well.

Jim Collison 28:27

This is something Charlotte has started, has done very, very well. I felt like we kind of needed to do that in the coaching community. So in 2021, those will be kicking up, be available through Eventbrite, be open to the public, but Certified Coaches, I'm reserving the teaching spots for you. So if you want to do that, send me an email -- if you've got a topic you want to cover in 20 minutes and share with the coaching community, send me an email: Jim@the -- jim_collison, geez, it's like saying the Gallup Strengths Center; I can't, I can't stop saying the wrong email address. and, and let me know what you're thinking. We'd -- I'd love to get you included in those. Maika, I'm really -- by the way, Austin's gonna join us in those, so there's some opportunity for him to come in and give the Community Updates. You may show up every once in a while. I'm just saying, right?

Maika Leibbrandt 29:13

You're not gonna keep me away from live podcasting! Or, I mean, I have this ridiculous microphone. I, I've been, like, even when we were -- what'd we take, like a month off from the end of, ending this season until we went through our challenge. And like I woke up twitching, thinking, "I need to be live with Jim." I started to sneak this microphone into like regular Zoom meetings, just to feel it, so I'm not going anywhere! We're just doing at in a different space, different pace.

Jim Collison 29:40

So you'll want to follow -- well let me also say, Called to Coach is going to be amazing in 2021. So if you haven't, that's different than Theme Thursday; for some of you, you think that the same, but that's, that's a little bit different. We have some amazing learning. My partner on our Comms team, Andrew Bridger, and I have been working together to kind of come up with kind of some -- like what we did, we tested this out in 2020. We didn't intend to, but the pandemic kind of forced us into it. It was a happy accident in a lot of ways. And so we'll have some quarterly series coming up on that. We're still going to highlight what's going on in the community. We're still going to do a Called to Coach where we interview folks on what's going on around the world, and, and how lives are being changed through organizations and through coaching. All that's gonna happen through Called to Coach.

Jim Collison 30:26

So the volume, the number of those -- by the way, we did 50 of those all of last year; 50 Called to Coaches all last year. We did 50 by June of this year. And I think next year, we'll be probably not on the exact same pandemic pace, but, but pretty close. More than we did in 2019, maybe not as many as we did in 2020. But I'm excited for what's coming up on Called to Coach. So make sure you're following us on Eventbrite. Go to and follow us there. You have to sign in and create an account; that follow button won't populate until you create an account. So do that. And then you'll get notification of when anything is new. The first quarter of 2021, we're going to be really kind of focusing -- and we've been doing this, we've been focusing on the manager with wellbeing in mind. And so it's -- we have a new wellbeing book that's coming out in March. Very, very excited about that. So lots of great stuff around Called to Coach, and Maika might show up there as well. So, exciting. Maika, anything else you would -- Called to Coach schedule?

Maika Leibbrandt 31:29

Friends, this is when our job really begins, you know, when -- the world needs us too much to keep doing the same thing the same way. Everything that we have learned, all the really strong, I think, connections we've made to each other, we have to get out there and help other people see that too. So I'm spending a lot more time on the ground with, with a lot of our clients. I got off a really exciting call last week where we were thinking about how do we design, even just 90-minute interventions that help teach managers what wellbeing is and teach them how to listen to their people around it.

Maika Leibbrandt 32:03

We can go through all the 34 themes again. But the return on investment, I don't think, is going to be as big as if we get out there and we have those conversations. The real workshop, the real seminar is at your kitchen tables, with your roommates. It is in your board rooms, it is on your Zoom calls. And so if you feel like you're missing a live Theme Thursday, that's your cue to follow that feeling to go pick up the phone or text somebody or have a meaningful, future-focused conversation about talent with the people in your real world.

Jim Collison 32:38

Some great advice. You know, early, early in the year, got some good advice from a friend, who said, "If you're thinking of somebody, call them." And, like, it, it, that kind of changed the way -- you know, as the world kind of changed on us this year, that really kind of changed the way I approach people. And so if you're thinking of it, don't, don't --

Maika Leibbrandt 33:00

Just do it.

Jim Collison 33:01

Yeah. Don't let that thought go too far away. Just act on it. Because you just don't know. Like you don't know what that's going to mean to somebody, or you don't know how that --

Maika Leibbrandt 33:10

People want the connection. And if they don't, they just won't answer the phone.

Jim Collison 33:15

And we have plenty of resources for you to share with them. And so, take what we have given you and get out there and get that shared. I think we're gonna have a pretty great 2021 ahead. I'm, Maika, I'm kind of pumped. Like, now, we actually have a super strong finish to 2020. So if you haven't joined us on Eventbrite, you might want to go out there. We've got some dynamite, we got some dynamite webcasts coming from some coaches who reached out to me and said, Hey, we're doing this kind of work here. And I'd really like to get it on, get on Called to Coach and talk about it. Let me say, coaches, or anybody listening, if, if you've got that incredible story, and you want to pitch it to me, send me an email: I got it right the first time!

Maika Leibbrandt 34:02

You got it right!

Jim Collison 34:03

That's because I've been thinking about it for like the last hour. And, and let's talk about it.

Maika Leibbrandt 34:08

I remember when Jo Ann Miller sent you an email saying, "I can't get it through to James Collison." Because it should be your formal name; Jo Ann thinks it should be your formal name.

Jim Collison 34:18

Maika, anything else you'd add as we kind of wrap this up? What else, what else would you want to say as we kind of bring Theme Thursday -- at least the live version of Theme Thursday (by the way, I think it's going to be just as powerful in 2021. The Theme Thursday channels will be just as powerful as we spend a bunch of time making it in chunks that will be consumable by you in different ways. And we'll have you, you know, we'll still have you on and do these kinds of things on a fairly regular basis). But what else would you add?

Maika Leibbrandt 34:48

I love you and working with you, Jim, but we're not the beating heart that made Theme Thursday great. You know, we are, we are not the magic. It is the people who listen, the people who share it, the people who have an Aha! moment in a, in an episode and use that Aha! to actually do something about it. In so many ways, this podcast is a lot like the same challenge that we face with CliftonStrengths development in general, of where we stop at taking the assessment and posting our Top 5, and we think that that's somehow going to change us.

Maika Leibbrandt 35:23

But strengths identification is not the same as strengths development; development where you get to that kind of world-class performance takes bravery. And, and that's what we have here in this chat community and people who forward episodes. It's been amazing to see how this experience has changed the understanding of strengths coaches around the world. They show up to our courses smarter than they've ever been about strengths and about how you can use a theme to customize your approach to a challenge -- not based on what the instruction book said, but based on what your own talents inside you are telling you you should do. So I just I hope everybody hears a very heartfelt "Thank you!" for being the living, breathing magic of what we've been able to do through this conversation.

Jim Collison 36:12

What you said reminded me of a story. A couple years ago, we were doing some training, back when we were able to get together and do training on the campus. And feels like 100 years ago, and a, and a lady came up to me with -- and I forget her name now, but she'll email me and remind me it was her -- she had a binder of all the Season 2 and Season 3 Companion Guides, and she'd listened to them all and filled them all out. And there were like notes everywhere.

Jim Collison 36:39

And it was pretty great to see, like, she's like, "I brought this to training!" Like that she had used Season 2 and Season 3 as a kind of a prerequisite, as kind of a -- and we might have even been in Season 3 while this happened -- as kind of pre, a prerequisite to learning that's available. By the way, many of you are like, "Wait! There were companion guides for Season 2 and Season 3? I'm working on getting those put in Gallup Access right now so that you can access them there. They have, they've been, you've had to, right now if you want to get, if you want to get them, you got to email me and I send them to you. I do ask you what you're going to do with them because I want to hear, like, I wanna hear the stories, like how are you going, how do you plan to use this? But we will be adding them into Gallup Access. So you'll be able to get that.

Jim Collison 37:23

In 2021, actually, Theme Thursday will be moving and available in Gallup Access. So you no longer have to leave the platform. So if you're in the platform, or you're working with individuals that are in the platform, and they want to -- they're in it and they want to search, they can find Called to Coach and Theme Thursday in Gallup Access. They're working on it on the schedule. I don't have it all, but it'll be coming in 2021. So we're kind of excited to have those there going forward. Final thoughts, Maika, before I wrap it?

Maika Leibbrandt 37:56

There is something -- if you're listening to this right now, and you made it this far, you're up for the challenge. So, so go out there and have a better conversation. Stop asking people what they do for a living and start asking them what they're doing when time disappears. You know, stop asking how your day was, and start asking, What was the best part of your day? Where can you not wait to do tomorrow? And you, you heard this for a reason. So allow it to resonate and do something with it. Thanks for being here.

Jim Collison 38:26

So with that, remind everyone to take full advantages of all -- advantage -- of all the resources we have available on Gallup Access. Visit While you're there, sign up for the CliftonStrengths Insight Newsletter. It's the link at the bottom of the page. Actually, every page at has that. Put your email address in, hit submit. We've got some opportunities to sign up for several of the Insight Newsletters. We have them available. We won't spam you but we'll send them. For the Certified Coaches, a brand new newsletter is out today. So that should be in your email box right now. And you can get signed up for those as well. If you're interested in coaching or master coaching or becoming a Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach, you can send us an email: And yeah, we do -- Certified Coaches, we do have master coaching for you. So if you're interested in doing something like that and kind of taking your coaching and get some individualized coaching from some of our best, send us an email: Join us on any social platform by searching "CliftonStrengths"; that'll get you there in most cases. And want to thank you for listening today. We'll do a little bit of a postshow. And with that, we'll say, Goodbye, everybody.

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