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Called to Coach
Futuristic®: Developing Your Leadership Skills
Called to Coach

Futuristic®: Developing Your Leadership Skills

Webcast Details

  • Gallup CliftonStrengths Podcast, Season 2: Futuristic
  • What is the power of Futuristic in a leadership role?
  • How could Futuristic help or hinder you in leading others?

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


Explore Gallup's CliftonStrengths® for Leaders Report and discover its ability to help you maximize the impact of your -- and others' -- unique leadership talents and strengths, in this Season 2 episode of The CliftonStrengths Podcast. Join Jim Collison and Dr. Jaclynn Robinson as they discuss the Futuristic® theme, its power in a leadership role, how it can help or hinder you as you lead others, and how you can leverage it with the CliftonStrengths for Managers and CliftonStrengths for Sales Reports. Unlock the leadership potential of your Futuristic talent -- because everyone leads something.


I think that communication is really key when it comes to someone with Futuristic. How do I get this vision out of my head and help others truly see it?

Jaclynn Robinson, 2:58

[Those with Futuristic] tend to understand what the market needs are before the market maybe even realizes what those needs are. ... they're always staying one step ahead. And that can help build, grow or sustain a business.

Jaclynn Robinson, 11:45

Jim Collison 0:00
I am Jim Collison, and this is The CliftonStrengths Podcast, Season 2, recorded on December 20, 2022.

Jim Collison 0:06
In this CliftonStrengths Podcast series, we look at the CliftonStrengths for Leaders Report one theme at a time, and today's theme is Futuristic. If you're listening live, we'd love to have you join us in chat or you can email us your questions after the fact: Dr. Jaclynn Robinson is our host today. She works as a Gallup Learning and Development Consultant and joined me for Season 1 of The CliftonStrengths Podcast, where we looked at Wellbeing at Work for each of the themes. And Jaclynn, always great to see you, and welcome back!

Jaclynn Robinson 0:48
Thank you. Good to be here.

Introducing Futuristic

Jim Collison 0:50
We are spending some time looking at Futuristic today. Get us started with kind of that definition.

Jaclynn Robinson 0:55
Yes. So someone with Futuristic is inspired by the future and what could be, and they're energized by visions of the future.

What Is the Power of Futuristic in a Leadership Role?

Jim Collison 1:05
Yeah, I love that -- this idea of energizing either themselves or others with this vision. I think this is going to be a really important point in what we're talking about with leaders, though. So let's, let's dive into that. What is the power of this theme in a leadership role?

Jaclynn Robinson 1:23
Well, the way I see it, a leader with Futuristic can help the organization see what they're aspiring to and driving towards. So the strategic vision for the year ahead, customer impact, employee growth, industry changes, all those topics that employees often want to know about tends to be top of mind for a Futuristic leader. And then this can create Hope and Stability and Trust in their employee and customer base. Because they see what that they see where the leader wants to head to go. OK, they do have a clear vision for where we're heading.

Jim Collison 1:55
Let's, let's do a little myth busting on this. To be a leader, do I have to have Futuristic? I think sometimes we think there are themes, right, that are required? Is it required to be a leader and have Futuristic?

Jaclynn Robinson 2:07
No. I go back to powerful partnerships, or you're probably using something else to get there if you do this really well.

How Can Those With Futuristic Lead Others?

Jim Collison 2:14
Yeah. And, and I don't, I don't have high Futuristic, but I think about the future often because of some Ideation-Maximizer that I have, always thinking about what could be that lends itself naturally to that, in some ways. It doesn't go all the way, maybe, as Futuristic does on some things. We're gonna spend some time talking about that. So how, let's talk about it with leading others. How could this theme lead others?

Jaclynn Robinson 2:40
Well, with the North Star that's just ever present in this leader's mind, if they cultivate the skills to communicate their vision effectively -- meaning they help people see, touch, taste what it, what that vision is, then they can help each team and team member understand what they're aiming towards and how to get there. I think that communication is really key when it comes to someone with Futuristic. How do I get this vision out of my head and help others truly see it, and not just see this cloud that's in my head?

Jim Collison 3:11
Yeah, I often, I often think those leaders with high Futuristic are great storytellers or can be great storytellers. It is one method, right, of, of communicating those things, of being able to say, you know, hey, picture this -- the old, what was that? There was a, used to be a TV series from the '60s. Imagine this or picture this, and then they would tell the story, right. And I think as you talk about that North Star in the leader's mind, this idea of driving towards a direction. And maybe a little different than that same direction we see from the manager side of things is from the day to day operational; this is definitely looking forward to results or actions or outcomes or, right, whatever those kinds of things can be. Anything else, as you think about leading others, where, where Futuristic, really sets them apart?

Jaclynn Robinson 4:06
I think you just highlighted the, what some people with Futuristic might get caught up with is, Ooh, this is a Strategic Thinking theme. But how do I Influence or Build Relationships or drive people towards results with this theme? And I think you just nailed it: If they really know how to communicate clearly what that vision is, it's inspiring. It sparks that type of emotion in people which helps to build relationships, creates a sense of hope. It can drive people towards action. So those with Executing hear it and go, Ooh. Yep, let's, let's move forward. And it influences people, because they go Ooh, I like where you're going, and I want to be a part of that.

How Could Futuristic Hinder Your Leadership of Others?

Jim Collison 4:46
Second part of the report, the CliftonStrengths for Leaders Report, talks about hinders. And so how could this theme hinder the leadership of others?

Jaclynn Robinson 4:55
If a leader hasn't mastered how to communicate their vision -- that, that came to mind first and foremost -- it can leave people feeling confused and unclear on how to, how to get there. So when the message is too abstract or broad, people might become worried or anxious or scatterbrained, and I would say mentally and literally, where different teams start moving in different directions, based on how they think they should be achieving the vision.

Jim Collison 5:18
I think I had to learn at one point that my message wasn't always the most effective message, and then I had to work through others or with others. There are some, yeah, I have Communication 4. It doesn't always mean that I communicate perfectly. But it's a skill I've learned to hone. I mean, certainly 10 years of doing this has helped me in that, although I do think -- and we're not talking about Communication, but I'll vary for just a second, because I think communication's what you're saying is an important aspect of, of really describing or Influencing through Futuristic. And we know that Futuristic's not necessarily Influencing, but it needs to be, and it can be in that, in that sense. But I've had to kind of learn, all communication doesn't have to come from me; it can be done through others, and there's others who are way more effective at it. Right? This may be one of those partnering things. You want to add, you want to add to that?

Jaclynn Robinson 6:13
No, that's a great callout is -- and as we're talking "communication" too, just as a disclaimer for folks listening in. it's separate from our CliftonStrengths theme Communication. It's more the Webster's dictionary or Oxford's dictionary version of communication. But that's a great point. There might be someone else that sees that vision and is just as excited for it and just has a better way of simplifying it or creating those key milestones to get there and can drive that message forward with the group.

Jim Collison 6:44
For, for someone who doesn't have Futuristic but that's in a leadership role -- we're not doing this for all of them. I feel like this is an important one to do that. As you think in your experiences, what are some other themes that can kind of play, that you see can kind of play in this space or, or work with this? What, what comes to mind for you with that?

Jaclynn Robinson 7:08
I've frequently seen Strategic play in this space, just kind of looking over that chessboard, so to speak, of the organization or what's happening in the world right now, and what's going to be our most effective path forward? How should I move this organization forward? I've seen it with Connectedness, really being able to think about the past, the present and the future of what work looks like, and driving those results forward. I think it can come from Relationship Building too. What are the people saying? What are we hearing in the workforce? What do people want? How do we make sure we're supporting the employees and bringing that forward? And in that case, I'm thinking of even just flexibility in the workplace. So someone high in Relationship Building might see that's where we're moving in the world, because that's what people want is flexibility. OK, how do we create a more flexible and dynamic workforce? How do we create a hybrid environment? So I think it can be driven by a number of different talent themes.

Jim Collison 8:08
Yeah and certainly ways to make that work. As we think about, you know, in our Strengths Based Leadership work, when we think about these 4 Needs of Followers, and as we bring those in, and we think about Futuristic, where -- certainly, the theme can cover all of them. But, and I think I heard you allude to this word in the very beginning. But what comes to mind with that? What, what does Futuristic bring to that level of leadership in providing that for those that they're leading?

Jaclynn Robinson 8:37
Oh, they can invoke Hope in people, because they're helping show what this future could be, and how we could get there as an organization, the impact we can create on our customers. They can create Stability as well, because a lot of employees right now, and you've probably heard me mention this on past podcast episodes that we've done, but they're, they're really seeking where leadership is taking them in the future. We're seeing that a lot in the engagement results that have come out this past year. People are saying, Do I know where leadership's taking us? Do I trust that they're going to be able to navigate through any obstacles that come up along the way? Because we haven't heard anything. Futurists are going to be those folks that, you know, as a visionary, you're going to share that out. This is where we're moving. So I think that creates Stability.

Jim Collison 9:30
Sorry to interrupt you there. I think Futurists lead from the front oftentimes, too. And that's a, it's a pretty brutal place to be. And, and you kind of need to be ready, I think, to, and they know this. They've said things that have come true or that have actually happened, and they're like, I've said, I said this 10 years ago! How do you think -- and last question before we look at the other, how we, how we dynamically put this together with the other reports, but how do you think of someone with high Futuristic measures that success? What is that component? I'm actually, I'm, this is, I don't know the answer to this. So I'm kind of asking you. Because oftentimes we, it's easy to measure some of these, right? How do we measure this one? What are your thoughts on that?

Jaclynn Robinson 10:14
This is an interesting dance. Most Futuristic folks, you might agree, it's measured by what comes true on the vision board you might have created or the performance metrics that you've put out there and planned for so you hit the performance metric. But oftentimes, it always feels like that dangling carrot is still in front of you. Because once you've hit it, you've already set a new vision for yourself, and you're already striving towards it. So it's, it's almost like, it feels like ever-present anxiety in a sense, because there's always that next target that you want to reach. So by the time you've reached the one that you can just check the box on, you're already on to the next one.

How Can You Use Futuristic as You Lead, Together With the Managers and Sales Reports?

Jim Collison 10:57
Yeah, I think it's a hard one to measure. Like, I don't, I don't know if I've got that nailed down in my head. Yeah. You've moved on already. And now you can come back and say, Well, yeah, OK, whatever. But, but interesting. I think, if you've got some ideas, of course, and you're watching this on YouTube, you can throw those in the, in the comments below. I'd love to have some, some feedback, maybe some of those who are listening live would throw some of those comments in chat, and we'll cover those during, we'll cover those right after the live program's wrapped up here. But let's ask, let's look at this idea of report dynamics. As we think about our CliftonStrengths for Sales Report, as we, using this together with this Leaders Report, How could we how could we see the two of those being used together?

Jaclynn Robinson 11:45
Because they take a keen interest in what the future holds, they can help -- well, they tend to understand what the market needs are before the market maybe even realizes what those needs are. And so this serves prospects, clients or their organization well, because they're always staying one step ahead. And that can help build, grow or sustain a business.

Jim Collison 12:06
Yeah, and it's, it's, it is, it is one of those areas that, as you think about coming together, I think there's some clues in there. And, and I don't have this in my Top 10. So I have to look at somebody else's when I go in there. But this idea in sales of looking ahead to the future -- that doesn't mean you predict the future, by the way. Like, let's, let's, let's be clear about this: You have high Futuristic, doesn't make you a fortune teller. There's lots of things that go into that. But in the sales cycle, I could see where that could really work out. What about, as we tie these two together, the Manager Report and the Leader Report?

Jaclynn Robinson 12:41
Ooh, yes. So at a time when employees are really seeking to reassess and realign their workload and their development, a leader with this theme can help each of their team members consider their short- and long-term career goals and help them, you know, outline a path to get there. I think that's going to give them a lot of excitement and energy, being able to help someone else plan out what their future could look like or what their future could be.

Jim Collison 13:07
Do you think the magic of this theme at times is the inspiration of the future, or what the future actually holds? Do you see the difference between the two? Like, one is the act of driving people to a future outcome based on inspiration, of knowing what it could be, versus, I know this is going to happen. So these are the things we're going to react to. And maybe that's the difference between a leader and a manager. I don't know. Any, any, any thoughts on that?

Jaclynn Robinson 13:40
I think about theme dynamics there. Because Futurists so far, you might have seen this too, it varies. I've seen some that catastrophize what the future is, based on some things that are happening now. And it's like, Ooh, this, this is what our future could be. And then there's others that still remain hopeful. And so even if something feels like it's set in stone, it's, Well, there's still opportunities for change. There's still opportunities to do something different. So it might be as much of what you're saying as much as it is, you know, just our inherent personality as much as it is theme dynamics too.

Jim Collison 14:17
Yeah, yeah. Yeah, no.

Jaclynn Robinson 14:20
I've seen it's different with Futurists.

Jim Collison 14:22
It, I think it lends itself to a lot of conversation. And I think this is, this is not the end of the story. I think there's a lot to -- you got me kind of thinking maybe I don't know Futuristic as well as I thought.

Jaclynn Robinson 14:37
There's never an end to the story.

Jim Collison 14:39
No, it's a never, It's a never-ending story. And I think sometimes we always, you know, to go back to your original definition, you know, Inspired by the future, what it could be, they energize others with the vision of the future. And yet the future isn't always positive. Right. Sometimes there's energizing when, when things are going wrong, to say, All right, we got to band together here, because the future isn't looking great. But here's how we're going to make the best of it. Here's how we're going to -- it's going down, but we have plenty of lifeboats. Right. It's, like, yes, we're in financial trouble. But we've got this, we planned for this. And we know we've got, you know, capital in reserve, right, or some of those kinds of things. Right. Seeing that. Yeah. So it's, it's a good, good subject. We, I saw a lot of good stuff in chat. So we'll come back around to that as well. Jaclynn, any other final thoughts on this, as we wrap up Futuristic?

Jaclynn Robinson 15:37
I could talk about this one all day. It is probably one of my favorite Top 10 themes. So it's, it's, I'm gonna be so interested to see what, what other folks have to say that, that also have this one. But it is a really good time, going back to the comment I'd made earlier about how folks are, folks in the workplace are saying, you know, Where are we heading? Where's our company taking us? It's a great opportunity for those that do lead with Futuristic to help people get that clear vision on where they're going, to help their fellow senior leaders understand where they're going, so that can be you know, cascaded down to their employee base. So "lean in" is what I would say for those that have this high.

Jim Collison 16:23
Yeah, and just remember, inspire others in this. Like we do this for other people, right? We do is for ourselves and others, and inspiring in a way that creates productivity. So, you know, continue to look for those ways to provide that inspiration. Yeah. Well, with that, we'll remind everyone to take full advantage of all the resources we do have available in Gallup Access. And by the way, a ton of resources available. If you log into Gallup Access, go to the menu, upper left, and choose resources. Type in "Futuristic." Hit Enter. Though -- it's a whole bunch of things: 6 seasons of Theme Thursday, last season of The CliftonStrengths Podcast, plus everything we know on Futuristic is available out there. Great way to dive in, especially for those who have Futuristic and Input, great way to dive in and just collect it, collect it all, right. Stay up to date with all the webcasts -- anything in the future, well, Futuristic -- anything in the future coming up, follow us on Eventbrite:, and click the Follow button. You'll get notified whenever we do something new. Join us on any social platform by searching "CliftonStrengths," and we want to thank you for listening today. If you enjoyed this, share it -- whether you're on the podcast or on YouTube, just share it. May be helpful to somebody else as well. And then hit the Like or Subscribe button while you're there, so you never miss an episode. Thanks for joining us. If you're listening live, stay around for another midshow. With that, we'll say, Goodbye, everybody.

Jaclynn Robinson's Top 5 CliftonStrengths are Achiever, Strategic, Maximizer, Positivity and Relator.

Learn more about using CliftonStrengths to help yourself and others succeed:

Gallup®, CliftonStrengths® and each of the 34 CliftonStrengths theme names are trademarks of Gallup. Copyright © 2000 Gallup, Inc. All rights reserved.

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