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

Maximizer®: Developing Your Leadership Skills

Webcast Details

  • Gallup CliftonStrengths Podcast, Season 2: Maximizer
  • What is the power of Maximizer in a leadership role?
  • How could Maximizer 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 Maximizer® 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 Maximizer talent -- because everyone leads something.


This leader naturally knows that when you focus on what you love and do well, you thrive. So as a result, they tend to develop their own people based on what they do with ease, excellence and enjoyment.

Jaclynn Robinson, 13:40

[Leaders with Maximizer] can help their employees sort between what is the most efficient use of your time and your energy and what isn't, and make sure that they're not spending too much time where the opportunity is so small.

Jaclynn Robinson, 12:18

Jim Collison 0:00
I am Jim Collison, and this is The CliftonStrengths Podcast, Season 2, recorded on February 8, 2023.

Jim Collison 0:19
In this CliftonStrengths Podcast series, we look at the CliftonStrengths for Leaders Report one theme at a time, and today's theme is Maximizer. If you're listening live, we'd love to have you join us in the chat. If you don't see the chat, there's a link to it right above me. Or if you have questions after the fact, you can send us an email: Dr. Jaclynn Robinson is our host today. She works as a Senior Learning and Development Consultant and joined me for Season 1 of The CliftonStrengths Podcast, where we looked at Wellbeing at Work for each theme. And Jaclynn, always great to see you, and welcome back!

Jaclynn Robinson 0:48
Good morning, or good afternoon or good evening, depending.

Introducing Maximizer

Jim Collison 0:51
Wherever you are. Yeah, you might even have your earbuds in as you're going, going to bed. We are looking at Maximizer today. Why don't you give us that intro?

Jaclynn Robinson 1:01
All right, good old Maximizer. If you have this theme, you focus on strengths as a way to stimulate personal and group excellence. You seek to transform something strong into something superb.

What Is the Power of Maximizer in a Leadership Role?

Jim Collison 1:14
Man, that, it's like you were thinking of me when you, when you pulled that. I have spent a lot of years at Gallup, I'm kind of known for getting fitness groups together. Now I don't know if I actually benefit from the fitness -- doesn't look like it. But, but it really, striving them and it wasn't necessarily always about winning. But it was always about doing their best. Could they do better than they've done before? And that's, that's the context I kind of think of it in. With this, with this, what is the power of this theme, when we think about it in the, and I talked a little bit about it, but in the context of a leader?

Jaclynn Robinson 1:53
Yeah, this leader's focus on excellence and their use of strengths and a, and efficient systems to achieve it. I think that means that they tend to leave teams well equipped with the right people and the right processes to be effective. It's just more top-of-mind for them. And this is how quality products or services are delivered in the eyes of a Maximizer.

How Can Those With Maximizer Lead Others?

Jim Collison 2:15
Yeah, and we, we've also, I've spent a lot of time, as we've talked about this in other seasons, where Maximizer, I think, can also have that component, not just of excellence, but of more. So like, you know, Hey, we did 10; how can we do things better to do 12? And maybe those two are mutually, not mutually exclusive? Right? In other words, when we get better at something, maybe we do more of it -- maybe we do less. I don't know, that's an interesting conversation, a kind of a way to think about it. This, this season, we're spending time thinking about these themes in the context of this new CliftonStrengths for Leaders role-based Report. How could this theme then, and there's some, there's some helpful hints in there as we think about helps, and we'll talk about hinders here in just a second. But how could this theme be used to lead others?

Jaclynn Robinson 3:05
Well, a leader with this theme sees the innate potential of the company and the people within it. So as a result, they seek to cultivate the potential in others through development and mentoring, while also having an eye on just organizationwide processes, systems and materials to ensure that inefficiencies to create obstacles, and human potential or product potential are really seen through. So I, I love Maximizer as a leader. And I see so many in the room, that have it. Because they're, you're just thinking about people and processes. What's going to be efficient? Do I have people in the right role? Because once we do that, we can deliver with, with quality.

Jim Collison 3:46
Yeah, it's, it sounds right to me, although I add in, you know, there's, I hear in that some of some Developer, Individualization, maybe even a little Relator. Those are three triplets at the end of my Top 10. For those who, you know, we use a word like develop and mentoring, but how does that -- talk a little bit about, a little bit more about that, how that fits into the Maximizer theme.

Jaclynn Robinson 4:13
Yes, because we do -- to your point, some people will have Developer and not Maximizer. I can't talk today. Maximizer, not Developer. Maximizers are focused on the potential. It's going back to that ROI or that return on investment. What's the best use of my time? When am I thriving? When am I leaning into my strengths? Because through strengths I can present with excellence. And so they're looking for that in others oftentimes, too, and they'll take that potential they see, and they want to develop it. The difference is they'll spend a lot of time on those high performers or those high-potential people or those people that want to invest in their potential. Those that don't, they'll say, OK, well, I'm not going to devote a lot of time here; it's a poor return on investment to spend my time and energy on somebody that might not want to develop themselves or this potential that I see. Developers can spend that time -- come one, come all, I want to develop you; I see the potential and everyone. And, you know, to their hindrance at times, they might spend too much time on people that don't want to invest in themselves. So we do see some of those common threads. But they're, they're slightly different in the way that they approach development of others.

Jim Collison 5:27
Yeah, one, one more question on that. When we think about Maximizer quality or quantity, as we think about team outcomes, what, how, what should a leader be looking for? And this would be very generic and very high level. But what could a leader be looking for, as we think about the measuring or the, the use of those outcomes?

Jaclynn Robinson 5:49
Ooh, quality versus quantity?

Jim Collison 5:51
No, and maybe even together. I don't always, I don't always think that has to be, those have to be mutually exclusive. I think we can have both high quality with high quantity, right? I mean, that's efficiency, right? You can have high quality and less quantity, right? That's sorting, right, doing that. So I don't know if it always has to be that way. But I just kind of want to get your thoughts on this idea of Maximizer with quality and quantity, from a leadership role of team outcomes. Any, does that, does that bring any thoughts to mind?

Jaclynn Robinson 6:24
It does, and that's so well said too, because they, I think they recognize that you're gonna get more output and productivity if you focus on the excellence in each person, because they will deliver more efficiently, they will deliver with higher quality, if we're focused on their innate talents and strengths that they have. Versus saying, you know, we've got 10 things to do, just get on it. I'm not going to sort based on what you do well; just get it done. People are going to struggle -- that's not a very, very effective return on investment. It's not very efficient with people's time, they're not going to produce as, as quickly. The results might not be with quality. So to your point, I think Maximizers do a pretty adept job at being able to sort -- to say, what does this person do well, or what is this team doing well? Let's put them in that area of strength, because through that, they'll be able to produce not only with quality, but likely with more quantity too -- more output, more productivity.

How Could Maximizer Hinder Your Leadership of Others?

Jim Collison 7:27
Yeah, and let's remember, output doesn't always necessarily mean more. It could be better and less or less could be better. Right? I mean, we, just kind of, what are we trying to achieve? What's the outcome we're trying to get here? And then, from a Maximizer standpoint -- this is a mistake maybe I've made -- we're gonna talk about hinders here in just a second -- is thinking it's always about more. Like, you know, it's always like, no, if I did 5, I need to do 6. Well, maybe that's not, maybe 6 isn't warranted. Maybe 5 wasn't even warranted. Right. So yeah. Well, in the report we talk about, these are helpful hints that are in the report around Maximizer. But as we think about, we also have a section on hinder. How could this theme hinder the leadership of others?

Jaclynn Robinson 8:11
They can tire out others with the constant drive towards quality and excellence. It's that "never enough" mentality, or "there's always a way to get better" mentality. And there also might be times when good and complete is better than great and late. Just a couple of things to remember as a Maximizer.

Jim Collison 8:30
I love that: great and late. I don't have any trouble with that. Usually, it's early and incomplete. That is usually in my, in my leadership role. We were talking about that a little bit. I lean so highly on Adaptability all the time. That's OK. Like, but not everybody --

Jaclynn Robinson 8:49
It is; we need people with Adaptability.

Jim Collison 8:51
Where do you think, as we think about these 4 Needs of Followers, and we think about Hope, Stability, Compassion and Trust? Where do you think Maximizer lands? I haven't, I haven't prethought this one. But where do you think that, in that in that scheme of things, and of course, it goes across all 4. But just as we're thinking about it, where do you think it fits in that model?

Jaclynn Robinson 9:11
That's a good question! I think they can bring Stability to people, perhaps through the way that they see the potential in others, and that, that allows somebody to thrive, when you're able to be at your best every day, and people see that within you, you're thriving. And you're like, Ooh, this feels good. I feel stable in this, in this place that I'm at right now. Because people see me for me. And there's that Hope piece, and it could be the product or the service that we're offering is delivering, you know, to, X amount to somebody. I don't know, it's that, it's that, that piece of whenever we are doing something with quality and with efficiency, we're churning that product or service out to people, and it's the best of the best for them.

Jim Collison 10:05
Love, love that.

Jaclynn Robinson 10:07
That's such an interesting one. Because sometimes, I think since we've gone through this process so far with the themes, it's been so easy just automatically to know what comes to mind. And I've never really -- Maximizer's one I think I really have to think about. And we both have it, which is interesting. So it just shows there's always something to discover in yourself.

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

Jim Collison 10:26
Yeah, it's not, it's not clear to me. As I was, as this came up, I was like, Oh, I really kind of need to spend, I would have said Hope in some ways. And, you know, for me personally, I ran a marathon one time, and I was, there was a bunch of stragglers at about mile 10, who were trying to finish the half. And I, listen, I had 20, I had 16 more miles to go. But I kept encouraging them -- "Run, run in with me. Like you can do this! Run in with me, you can do this!" Right? Bring them in. There's a whole bunch of other themes in there, right, but, but the Maximizer of like, finish and finish well; we can do this, how, for me is how many people could I gather? And so, as we made the turn -- if you ever run the Lincoln Marathon -- as you make the turn to the stadium, all the half-marathoners go to the right, and the full marathoners go to the left. And it goes from a lot of people to not very many people. But as we made the turn, there was about 15 people, "Thanks!" Like thanks for getting me in! You know, and I kept going, and they, they made the right, to go into the half. And I think there's, there's an element of, right, of that Hope. No, I can do this! My Maximizer is like, we -- not you can do this; we all can do this! As we're talking about leaders, and we're talking about teams, I think that Maximizer plays out in that kind of role. OK, as we think, in the, you know, we have two other role-based reports, right? We have a Sales Report and a, and a, and a Manager Report. As we think about using this report, in report dynamics TM, how can we use this with the Sales Report?

Jaclynn Robinson 11:53
Well, this leader knows where to invest their time and energy in the sales process. So their pipeline is based on who offers the biggest return on investment. That could be who's likely to purchase; who's likely to remain a long-term customer; who is the creme de la creme of customers; who's likely to help me achieve my sales goals. So when it comes to leading a team, then, they already have this on their mind. And when it comes to leading a team, they can help their employees sort between what is the most efficient use of your time and your energy and what isn't, and make sure that they're not spending too much time where the opportunity is so small, it's not really going to hit their number, or it doesn't look like that stakeholder is that committed.

Jim Collison 12:38
You almost said this -- you didn't mean to, but it reminded me of the word "GOAT." And this is a word we've used in English a lot, you know, standing for Greatest Of All Time. And that just seems to fit, like, in this sales, leading in sales together. And, you know, wanting to be the GOAT -- the Greatest Of All Time -- in sales numbers or whatever. Or, in this case, leading a team to be the best they they've ever been, right. We've got, we have someone in our organization that does this really, really well. And they'll throw out numbers, and you go, That's impossible! And you know what, they end up hitting them sometimes. And you're like, you know, that's a, and it's sales-related. Yeah, well, people don't think they can. But when they're pushed a little bit harder, right, they, sometimes they find they, they can get it done. OK, what about the Manager Report? So we have this role-based Manager Report, thinking about leaders and managers using these two reports together?

Jaclynn Robinson 13:39
Yes. Well, this leader naturally knows that when you focus on what you love and do well, you thrive. So as a result, they tend to develop their own people based on what they do with ease, excellence and enjoyment. So talk about that thriving environment where people are just high on life and happy to be there. Because they're getting to be on that right seat on the bus, and they're being continuously developed through that lens.

Jim Collison 14:03
When you say, what did -- let's see, how did you say it? -- naturally know what they, they're good at or they focus on, right, and, and I got the feeling it was like, they want to impart that or teach that to others, where does that, where does that break down when they're, like, I have a certain set of themes. I'm successful as a leader in one way. Where does that break down a little bit, as I'm managing teams in this, to bring in both words, on not being too overprescriptive of, I was a good salesperson. This is how I, or I was a good whatever, fill in the blank. Now do it my way. How is that different from that?

Jaclynn Robinson 14:45
Ooh, I think they almost have, so the, I'm going to use little "i" individualization. They know that not everyone's going to get to the same outcome the same way, because they all have their own talents, potential, thought patterns. And they can see that, they can observe that in the way that they are completing their work with high quality here, a little bit more difficult over here. And so I think they lead with curiosity, when it comes to those developmental conversations, to say, "What is it that gives you a lot of energy and joy? I've seen you do this really well. Is this something that you want to continue to cultivate?" Or, "Hey, you might not have even recognized that you do this, but I see it. I see your potential, I see the talent, I see the, the type of success you could have. And I'm curious if this is something that you would be interested in, you know, further developing."

Jaclynn Robinson 15:40
So sometimes they might see the potential that other person doesn't even see in themselves, for whatever reason. They were never told they were great. Or, you know, they're just so in the weeds, they don't recognize what they're doing. They're just in the flow -- I'll use that word instead. And so they can, they, they tend to call attention to what's going well for somebody, and then, I think an effective manager would put it back in their lap, to say, but is this something that you want to continue to focus on and develop, because I'm here to support you every step of the way.

Jim Collison 16:11
Love that. You got me thinking a little bit about a Maximizer in a team of leaders, so managers of, you know, managers, teams of managers who, teams of leaders, and that, that, that leader with high Maximizer being able to push that team to achieve more, to think more, to plan more, to, to think more about those they manage more. Right, right. And not just more but better, right? And quality, adding quality into that. I think there's an important component in teams of managers that those with high Maximizers have a little bit of a responsibility to step up, to help those teams. Because I think sometimes we think of, we think of the important -- and it's not important (it is important), but the, we think of this relationship of a manager and the teams they manage. But the teams that the managers are on are just as important, and maybe in some cases more important. Because who's, they're not getting mentored from their team. They need to get -- and maybe they are, in some cases, but I think most of that mentoring comes from the team of managers, team leaders there. So I think that's an important role. Final thoughts on, final thoughts on Maximizer?

Jaclynn Robinson 17:26
Well, there's, as a Maximizer, there's a theme I've always -- or not a theme, but a quote I've always been drawn to. And I feel like it just gels with Maximizer. I heard it, and I was like, This is my Maximizer coming out all the way. So if, if you have Maximizer, we tend to think, "Good, better, best. Never let it rest until your good is better, and your better is best." So it just goes to show, our themes come out in all types of ways. Songs, quotes, books -- you just draw into something. And then you look at your talent to go, Oh, that's where it's coming from. But I automatically connected that to Maximizer and just that strive for excellence in life. But go easy on yourself too, sometimes, Maximizers. It's OK to take a break and not put too much pressure on yourself. You don't have to know how everything's gonna pan out right away. Just let the path unfold -- for yourself or others.

Jim Collison 18:22
Yeah, for yourself and others. Right? Yeah, sometimes, sometimes those around you need a break. They need to rest as well. Well, with that, we'll remind everyone to take full advantage of all the resources we do have available now in Gallup Access. Head out to Sign in with your Gallup Access ID. Go to the Resource tab, upper-lefthand corner. Drop that down, choose Resources and then put in this theme -- put in Maximizer. You'll see everything we've done on Maximizer that is out there, and a great resource available for you. People ask me all the time, "How can I find all these?" Well, there you go. That's how you find them all. Stay up to date with all the webcasts by following us on Eventbrite. Go to Join us on any social platform by searching "CliftonStrengths," and thanks for listening today. If you enjoyed it, share it. Love to have you, whether you're doing this here live or whether you're listening to the recording, the podcast on YouTube, the Like buttons, click Share -- all, do all that stuff. We appreciate it. Thanks for doing that. Thanks for coming out today. If you're listening live, we'll do a little bit of a 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:

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