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Called to Coach
All About the New CliftonStrengths® for Leaders Report
Called to Coach

All About the New CliftonStrengths® for Leaders Report

Webcast Details

  • What is the structure of the new CliftonStrengths for Leaders Report?
  • How is the report designed to benefit you as a leader or the leaders you coach?
  • How does the report build on strengths basics to give leaders' lives and work greater impact?

Below are audio and video plus a transcript of the conversation, including time stamps.


The new CliftonStrengths for Leaders Report is now available. What does the report contain, and how is it uniquely designed to benefit leaders and their coaches? How can leaders use its strengths insights in their roles to increase their impact? Therese Nisbet -- who has been coaching for 30 years and coaching leaders for the past 15 -- joins the webcast. As a primary contributor to the report, Therese knows it inside and out, and she will introduce you to the report and will answer these questions and more. Join us for a first look at this new tool.


I am a firm believer that you always start with where you're great. So start there; it's why we put it first in the report.

Therese Nisbet, 12:43

The beauty of the Leadership Report is it really does give you some really strong clarity about, What does this mean as a leader? ... [And] how does it matter, in terms of your leadership style?

Therese Nisbet, 18:42

Jim Collison 0:00
I am Jim Collison, and welcome to the CliftonStrengths podcast. On this podcast, we'll be covering topics such as wellbeing, teamwork, professional development and more. Now enjoy this episode. This episode was previously recorded on LinkedIn® Live.

Meet Our Guest on This Episode

Jim Collison 0:19
I'm here with Therese Nisbet, and we are excited for today as we look at the new CliftonStrengths for Leaders Report. Therese, welcome back! And thanks for coming on today.

Therese Nisbet 0:29
Thank you for having me. I'm excited to be here!

Jim Collison 0:31
Therese, let's get to know you a little bit. I know you're a Senior Workplace Consultant for Gallup. Now, what does that really mean? And then maybe tell us your Top 5 as well.

Therese Nisbet 0:40
So it means that Senior, because I think I've been here a long time and honestly have spent so much time thinking about strengths and thinking about leadership, that this is just one of those culminating kind of exciting things where we really get to share a lot of where we've been and what we know about leadership. So I'm so excited to be part of it. My Top 5 are Individualization, Woo, Maximizer, Relator and Achiever. So lots of Relationship talents, actually.

Jim Collison 1:14
How long have you been coaching -- how long have you been coaching? And how long have you been coaching leaders and managers?

Therese Nisbet 1:20
I have been coaching for over 30 years and really have spent probably the last 15 years just really focused on leadership and coaching leaders.

Jim Collison 1:35
And what do you, what drew you to that initially? I mean, what was it about that -- obviously, you enjoy it, because you've done it so long, but what is it that you like the most about that kind of work?

Therese Nisbet 1:47
You know, it's been interesting when -- I've worked at Gallup for over 35 years. And so you, many, many years ago, I started coaching, individualize -- individuals who became managers, who then became leaders. And so it was almost a progression in my journey, as well as theirs, as I almost grew up with a lot of the leaders that I've sustained coaching for years. As they have grown in their career, it's been fun to go with them and watch their strengths in action as they've really taken on bigger and bigger roles.

Introducing the CliftonStrengths for Leaders Report

Jim Collison 2:22
That's great, great satisfaction over time being a part of them, maybe from a longtime relationship standpoint. That probably works to your Relator pretty well in that, right? Why, why did we create this, this Leaders Report? I mean, we have a Managers Report already. But as we think about leaders, why did we create this report?

Therese Nisbet 2:44
I think, as I have spent so much time with leaders, that they really do live in a unique space. So I mean, I think, I think a lot of people say, Well, we're all leaders of some form or another. But I think true leadership is a lonely place for a lot of people. And so I think it's helping, as I've done so much coaching that they are always coming to me with what, what they don't believe they bring. So there's a little bit of hesitation as they grow into leadership, where, am, am I doing it right? What does it mean? Because the impact is so great. They've just gone from being just me to such a broader "we" at that leadership level, where they're really thinking about, the decisions I make have a major impact. I mean, they matter. And so I think, as we help them really explore what they bring naturally and, and start with where they're great, and then really sometimes where can their strengths get them into a little bit of mischief as leaders? And how to really manage that and be thoughtful and intentional about not only what do they think they bring, but what do people see, as those strengths really show up at that leader level? So, fun to talk about.

Jim Collison 4:07
You're a gigantic contributor to the report and wrote a lot of the, most all of the statements that are out there were authored by you. What -- how was that experience, you know, the, these 25+ years of experience working with coaches, or with, with leaders? Was that top of mind for you then, as you were writing, thinking about these, these, here's what's great about you. Here's some things to watch out for. And here's some action items. Was that kind of just spilling from some overflow based on all the work that you've done?

Therese Nisbet 4:41
It was so interesting. When they first asked me to do it, I thought, OK, how will I do that? And I really, as I started, I thought, I need to sit in their chairs. Because I've sat in their chairs with them for so long, that I really tried to imagine myself sitting in a chair with Achiever or with Arranger or with Activator. And remember the conversations, remember the actions, remember how those strength -- that, those one by one by one strengths played out for them. So I really did visualize myself sitting in their chair, and then sitting across the table from them as someone that's receiving some of that strengths in action from these leaders, and really just tried to put a, put it into a story, to be honest. What did it look like from their lens? And then where was it value add? And where did it sometimes need, where did they need to have the conversation about, How do I manage that in those moments where it feels, it doesn't feel like a strength to me? How do I manage that differently? It was, it was really interesting and fun to write. I must admit, some of them are harder than others for me, because it's, it's just a unique talent, I think, for all of us to think about strengths. You know, some of those just make sense. And some of them I had to give more intentional thought to, What have I, what have I learned over these years from specific leaders with certain strengths?

Jim Collison 6:11
Did you find them easier to write that were closer to your Top 5 or Top 10? Or were there just some that naturally came easier to you?

Therese Nisbet 6:21
I think I found the ones easier to write because I had worked with so many leaders that had those themes. And I could, I remember so many of the unique nuances with those particular themes, where you're seeing a lot of that more Self-Assurance, Significance, Command, [Competition], you know, Belief, you know, strategy -- some of those where I heard over and over and over and over in the years, and all those subtle nuances. So it was kind of fun to tie them all together and make a, make a story out of those.

The Manager Role vs. the Leader Role

Jim Collison 6:56
That's great. Eduardo in the chat is asking a question about, as we think about the manager role, and then as we think about the leader role, and they, there are circles -- I like to think of them sometimes as circles that mesh together, and sometimes they become one. And then sometimes they break out and are separate. And sometimes there's a lot of overlap in it. But Therese, in your experience, when you think of, about a manager role versus a leader role, what's the what's the primary differences between the two, you think, on those two roles?

Therese Nisbet 7:30
I think for a lot of managers, they have, they really have a specific direction that has really been mandated from a leader. So they, they may not always be that kind of directional, conceptual thought leader. But they have been given the mandate as managers to figure out how to make that vision a reality. And so I think that's kind of the nuance. And a lot of times, the managers might be working managers, where they're really, you know, kind of in alignment with the, those individual contributors, and they're kind of that spoke in the middle of the wheel, and all of these people are reporting, but they've got a lot of those hands-on kind of energy around, What, what are the milestones? What are the objectives? What needs to happen? I think as you move into leadership, it gets broader, it gets more conceptual. It gets broader strategies. And I think that the weight of the decisions feels heavier, once you hit that leadership level, because if the impact is so much greater typically,

Jim Collison 8:36
At the end of the day, we're putting definitions on some live, active, changing, sometimes spontaneous, sometimes -- they're the same thing, right? They, the same -- a person can be both a manager and a leader, right, at the same time. Think about my own role. It's my job to manage the 13,000 Certified Coaches around the world, from a community standpoint. It's my job to manage our webcast infrastructure. And then there's moments where they're going to ask me, Hey, we need you to lead this initiative forward in some of the things and think about, How does this work with the overall vision or with the, the overall? I want to, I guess I want to encourage people, don't get too boxed in on some of these definitions. Because there are times when we need to manage and there's times when we need to lead. I'd encourage individuals, if you're in that kind of role, to have both reports available to you, because they both come out at from, from different angles. Manager report, that management function, can sometimes be a little more tactical, right, a little more day-to-day with people in the moment; where the leadership, like you said, kind of looks forward. I, I heard in your voice, as you're thinking, when you say "leader," I heard "thinking forward; planning, planning bigger and broader for the future." Would you agree with that?

Therese Nisbet 9:59
I would totally agree with that. And I totally agree with what you're saying. I think some managers definitely have leadership, and some leaders just kind of sometimes get down in the muck of the day, honestly, and managing and kind of aligning objectives and timelines. So I'm with you. I think there's beauty in both. And I think for those of you who lead other human beings, you probably have moments where you're doing both.

Jim Collison 10:22
Yeah, and I always hate to put too many boxes around things, because at the end of the day, the leaders and managers you've coached are all individuals, right? They all come with different strengths and weaknesses and abilities and experience. And I just, I resist a little bit about boxing people in, right, on this. Would that could be a, would that -- could or would that or could that be a danger on a report like this? And how might you avoid that? Or how would you come across, what would you say to someone who might be tempted to try to box somebody in with it?

Therese Nisbet 10:58
I guess I feel like it's sort of like giving people a title. And most of us know, a title can have so many interesting dynamics and weirdnesses around them, because what does it even mean when I say, "I am a leader" or "I am a manager"? In the end, they're all around people. Let's be honest -- we're always managing humans. And then just depending on really where you're sitting, it's, it can be very complex or it can be very, to your point, very practical, tactical in the day we're going to be, we're operationalizing things. But then we may say to you, so Jim, we need you to get a little more strategic here. Conceptually, what do you see this long term? And all of a sudden, we have moved you off the ground, and we've moved you to a 5000-foot kind of visionary conversation. So I think embrace, embrace both, because really, that's the magic that you really can embrace both.

The Structure of the CliftonStrengths for Leaders Report

Jim Collison 11:54
We spent some time talking about how one report may be more Strategic, and the other may be more Futuristic. And yet, in the manager role, there's a lot of, there's a lot of both -- Strategic and Futuristic in that, as well as in the leader role. I love that it's not, it's not pinned in; that we've got a lot of room to move around, as far as thinking about our roles and how to have success. Speaking of success, let's talk a little bit about the, the structure of the report -- 3 items on what, how to be successful; 3 items of things to watch out for; and 4 action items on the report to kind of work with. As you were putting those together, and if you were to think -- if you were to give, if you were coaching a leader, and they had that report in front of them, what kind of recommendations would you make on how to use that to get started?

Therese Nisbet 12:43
So I am a firm believer that you always start with where you're great. So start there; it's why we put it first in the report. What is the, what is the power of that, that natural strength for you? Because I do think we're hard on ourselves as humans, where we're, we're going, What could I do better? What do I need to do different? So somehow it's gotten you, whether you're an individual contributor or a manager or a leader, it's got, gotten you to sit in the seat you're in right then. So what is, what do you do this magic, that's uniquely you? So think about that first.

Therese Nisbet 13:18
I appreciate, though, that sometimes the, the strength of our strengths can sometimes -- I, the way I did it is I looked and I thought, if I was sitting in front of a person with this strength, how would I feel about it when -- how would it, how would it present to me? And what is the beauty of that strength? And sometimes, What would I want that leader or manager to manage? So I think it's fine to go to that next section and think, Oh, yeah! I do see myself in that sometimes. But I think the beauty of those 4 statements where you're thinking about, What do I do with this? How do I, how do I really just make this real? There's beauty in those 4 statements and those 2 questions at the end that makes you, that makes each one of us go, Hmm, I should think about that. How do I answer those questions for myself around that strength?

Jim Collison 14:13
When we think about our customers interacting with our Insight Report, that's a customized report that we've put together based on All 34, but it shows it for the Top 5. We have this exercise we send folks through, to highlight, highlight, circle, cross out, right. In other words, highlight those things that they agree with. I have them circle single words that are powerful, like, that pop out, and then maybe cross out the things they don't agree with. On a report like this, is it, was it is it possible you've nailed everybody all the time? Or could there be a few things in here that don't apply to them?

Therese Nisbet 14:51
Of course I nailed things all the time! There will be nuance in each one of those. And so, as you read those statements, there will be some I'm where you're going, Oh, my gosh! You have been watching me. And others --

Jim Collison 15:05
Which I've said already, by the way; I've told you that already.

Therese Nisbet 15:08
And others where you're going, I can see that this, this might happen occasionally with me, but that one doesn't feel quite as strong as maybe the other two. I think this is one of those things where it gives you a place to start your thinking. It's really what all of these, these kind of wonderful thoughts around a strength give you is, Let me think about that. And, and sometimes even say, ask people who report to you or ask people who know you, "Do you see this more often than I see it?" It's so interesting when people are going, "I never do that." And then people in the room are going, "Are you kidding? Of course you do! You do that, you do that every day!" And I think sometimes because it's so much part of who we are, we may sometimes miss how often we might do that or not do that. But I think it's always good to start with, What do you believe to be truth? And where might you want to ask questions?

Theme Dynamics for Leaders

Jim Collison 16:09
Like the Sales Report, like the Manager Report, this is Top 10. So you get an opportunity to see 1 through 10 on there. How would you feel about thinking through the theme dynamics, using these? I think about the, this item, how this theme contributes to your success. If I looked at Arranger 1 for me -- you have Woo 2. So Woo No. 2. Could I take some of those statements and, and make an attempt at my own meshing those together, as I understand myself? Have you thought about that?

Therese Nisbet 16:40
I have thought about that. Because I think for most of us, as coaches, we don't think about things one by one by one by one. We know that strengths integrate. But the reality is, each one of those strengths has some dominance. And so I do think it's savvy to think, to your point, I have Arranger, but I also have Woo. And so while these, these may not be written like Arranger-Woo, when you look at the statements, though, you're going, you know what? That makes sense to me. Because that, kind of that Woo, that ability to pull people in, tied with that ability to arrange or juggle a lot of competing tasks, and really just figuring out how those fit together, I think people will start to think, I see how those integrate with each other. So I think anytime that you've got good information about each of your individual strengths, you're still going to see some overlap in how they play with each other, as you read all of the great information you're going to have on this report.

Jim Collison 17:45
The, there is a spot on the report, if you want to print it or have it online, you can take notes as well. Second, second half of each theme page has that available. So if you haven't purchased it yet, or you're interested in more details, you can head out to We have actually a brand new page that displays all these reports that we've been talking about -- 34, Top 5, the Manager, Leaders and, and Sales Report is available out there for you as well. Therese, I keep my 34 report at my desk at all times. I just grabbed it; it's actually underneath my laptop stand. It's a really cool place to keep it. Do you think, if I'm a, if I'm a leader, and I'm in that kind of leadership role, do you think it'd be smart for me to print this off or put the PDF on my phone and have it at my fingertips? Is it going to be that kind of report that I'm going to want to refer to often?

Therese Nisbet 18:37
I, I think it will be that kind of report, because I do think the beauty of the Leadership Report is it really does give you some really strong clarity about, What does this mean as a leader? And then what should I be thinking about? I think it just addresses it a little bit different than your 34 report, because it really is from the lens of a leader. And, and it's really just specific about, How does that show up for you? How do people interpret that? How does, how does it matter, in terms of your leadership style? What are some things I really need to intentionally, as a leader, need to think about? Which is different than, you know, How does my Woo show up, you know, when I'm at a party next door is different than how it shows up as I'm sitting in that leadership seat. And how does it manifest itself as I move others toward action?

For Leaders Who Know Their Strengths, Where Do They See the Biggest Impact?

Jim Collison 19:40
It's, it's also a good one to take, to take -- I'm looking forward to taking mine with me to my next, the next time I meet with my, my manager, have, have some of these conversations. There's already some things that I've kind of been thinking through, like, that I want to use in the, in the, in that conversation that we have. There's a question in the chat room about sharing this report. Here online, they don't share, they don't -- oh, there we go -- they don't share very well here. But you can see a copy of Don Clifton's report, if you want to do that. Head out to Head over to this new report. And then in that, the description of it, there's a sample, and you can download that sample and take a look. It's not a full sample, but it will give you an idea of what it looks like. And it's a little bit better experience that way. So Heather, thanks for that question. What, when, when we think of leaders and leading with their strengths, knowing this information going into certain, you know, leaders have certain roles and responsibilities a little bit different than everybody else. Where do you think it makes the most advantage -- if you were to say, the greatest impact in a leader's life on knowing their strengths is -- ? Therese, what would you say? Where does that really, where does that impact really settle in?

Therese Nisbet 21:03
That's such an interesting question. Because I, I think it's really understanding truly the impact their strengths actually have on who they are as a leader. So I do, I do leaders who actually are sitting with other leaders. And it's such an interesting conversation, when, when they're really impacting other just thought leaders, how they show up. And it's so interesting when they're mindful of, How do I present myself in front of a group of other thought leaders in the room so that I really do have an impact that's specifically based on me and how I use those to my advantage? I always say, you know what, this is really, how do I really do things that are, that are advantageous, not only for me as a leader, but then that broader implication for the people that are sitting at the table with me?

Therese Nisbet 22:09
And so I think the biggest dynamic around this is being very intentional about, How do I make the most positive impact I can, as I sit in that leadership chair? And when we can give you savvy information to just think about, just take a moment and think about what those, how those strengths show up, and start with where they just have so much power and influence. I mean, they're, how do you influence as a, as a leader? How do you stimulate thought and partnership and just, you know, energy around getting things done? And you do it in a way that you're going, you know what? This makes sense! This makes sense to me, because it's who I am.

Leaders Need to Build on the Basics of Their Strengths

Jim Collison 22:52
That's, that's some great advice. Heather asks another question in the chat that's similar to it. She says, Is it best to have the Insight Report first, coach around who the person is, and then get to the Manager or the Leader Report? And then let me rephrase it this way -- If I'm a new -- well, no, let me ask that question first, and then I'll ask the second question afterwards. Therese, what do you think on that?

Therese Nisbet 23:14
So I am a firm believer that they need to understand the basics of their strengths. So I really do. I always, when I'm starting with a new coaching relationship, I just, let's, let's start on the ground floor. What do we know around the basics of Achiever? You know, really just that determination, that drive to get things done. So it's almost I have to own it as an, as an individual. And then I think, as they start to kind of settle into, Yeah, that makes sense to me, now, I think it's, But how then do I really understand and polish what that means to me as I manage or lead? Because I do think you need to understand the basics. Then you're going, Aha! Now that I read that Leadership Report, now I can see how the impact of that is not only just as me as a person, but as me as a manager or a leader.

Jim Collison 24:12
So if a leader has never taken CliftonStrengths before, and they go purchase the Leader Report today, they'll -- and take the assessment -- they'll get that report, plus they'll get their Top 5 and our Insight Reports for them. And so your recommendation at this point is, Spend a little bit of time working through those insights, maybe working with a coach to get some of those basics down. Then come back to the Leadership Report, and those will pop out. What if I decide just to go right to the Leaders, the Leaders Report, though? Is that going to work OK, too?

Therese Nisbet 24:44
I think that'll work just fine. I really do. I mean, I think there's enough meat in that, that Leadership Report, where even if you're going in where, you know, it's like, I don't, I don't really know truly what this is, there is so much good information around each of those themes that you're going to walk away going, I understand. I really do think you'll walk away with, I understand.

Jim Collison 25:08
Yeah, I think they're written in a way that allows me to have immediate action regardless. But I do love, I mean, and in the chat room right now, and we have a bunch of our Certified Coaches out there listening to this right now. And even they come at it from different angles -- in the way they coach, in what they do and how they prefer to do it, their experience level from, from that standpoint. I guess the point I wanted to make is, there necessarily isn't the way -- the way that you're doing it might be the best way because you're doing it, as opposed to not doing it at all, right.

Therese Nisbet 25:40
Totally agree. And I think, honestly, as coaches, as, as you kind of settle into that coaching relationship, I think that's what their job is, is, Where is that person? What are they ready for? And if they're going, "Right now, I just need to get, get my arms around my leadership style. And I need to jump in the deep end of the pool and really understand this," let's start there.

Jim Collison 26:04
That's, that is great. I'll do a last call for questions for those, for our friends that are on, on LinkedIn, if you got any final questions, or I missed a question, throw it in the chat, and we'll identify that, and we'll do it last call here. Therese, I want to ask you kind of a last question. Knowing we've got 13,000 Certified Coaches around the world, we've probably got 50,000 strengths champions, enthusiasts, folks that are, are coaching. They may not call themselves a coach; maybe they're mentoring with it. What kind of advice would you have, just as we kind of wrap this up? What advice would you have about using this report that you so carefully authored over the last, you know, over the last year? What kind of advice would you have -- final advice would you have for the on using this?

Therese Nisbet 26:50
I think the beauty of true leadership coaching is this gives you one more, one more piece of really cool information, as you think about strengths. So I -- these coaches are really savvy about we, I understand strengths, I understand the dynamics of strengths. But this report pushes us into a different place. It really does stimulate coaching in a different way, because it really does help you see, this is really from a leader lens; from a leadership lens. What does it mean broadly for every strength? Where's the power? Where's my watch-outs? And then what are really some things that I can purposely take action to really just continue to expand my strengths as a leader? It's a powerful tool for coaches. It really is.

Jim Collison 27:46
Yeah, I'm anxious. I heard from a coach already in Australia. He's been using it. And he said, in fact, Therese, I need to send you this feedback, because I think you'll appreciate it. But he was just impressed about how, how individuals were using it right away. He was like, Well done, well written. They're using it right away. So, so good job, Gallup, on that, for, for getting that. So a little encouragement for you. Lisa asks a question -- and I'll take a few more questions if you got them -- but she says, Does the report discuss the 4 Needs of Followers? Which comes out of our Strengths Based Leadership book written decade or so ago. And we'll have some more information. Lisa, on this tomorrow, in tomorrow's Called to Coach, as we're talking about it, and how that relates to it. I'll say for now, this is, how it relates to that Strengths Based Leadership Report -- completely new content. We don't call out specifics to the 4 Needs of Followers; that continues to stay in that work on the strengths-based leadership side of things. But brand new, completely brand new content. Therese, do you want to add anything to that, as we think about the differences?

Therese Nisbet 28:53
I think it is completely brand new content. But that's not to say that, as coaches, we don't think about, Hmm, that feels like stability. You know, on some of those, those things that you're reading as leaders. But yes, it's completely new content. But I think if you understand followership and followers' needs, you will connect dots.

Jim Collison 29:13
Yeah, I don't think we call it out specifically. But I think what you're saying is, it's OK to layer that. It's OK to bring that in and layer that in. And we'll have some specific questions for Austin tomorrow. So there'll be some more information about that going forward. Well, Therese, thank you for taking the time today to be a part of this. Congratulations on, on this report and for, for all the work that you did! Thank you for doing all that work. Certainly, I couldn't even write one of these. So thank you for writing 34. They'd be waiting forever on me to write those things. Just not my gift, but certainly your gift. And thanks for taking all that you've learned in the 30+ years of coaching that you've been doing this, and applying it and really making a difference for leaders out there. Thank you for doing that.

Therese Nisbet 30:02
Thank you. It was fun.

Jim Collison 30:04
Appreciate it. If you're listening on LinkedIn Live, which you are, thanks for coming out, and we will see you next time. Join us tomorrow for our Called to Coach. If you head out to, you can get registered for that. More details, we'll have more questions for Therese. She'll be back with Austin. We'll spend a bunch more time talking about this tomorrow, when we do that. And, and you can get, still get registered for that today. If you do have any additional questions, check out Or you can send us an email: With that, we'll say, Goodbye, everybody.

Therese Nisbet's Top 5 CliftonStrengths are Individualization, Woo, Maximizer, Relator and Achiever.

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