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

Command®: Developing Your Leadership Skills

Webcast Details

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


If you have Command, you have presence. You can take control of a situation and make decisions.

Jaclynn Robinson, 1:09

[Leaders with Command] can respect the differences that people might bring to the table. ... They're comfortable with what might feel like conflict to other people.

Jaclyn Robinson, 3:33

Jim Collison 0:00
I am Jim Collison, and this is The CliftonStrengths Podcast, Season 2, recorded on February 14, 2023.

Jim Collison 0:20
In this CliftonStrengths Podcast series, we look at the CliftonStrengths for Leaders Report one theme at a time, and today's theme is Command. If you're listening live, we'd love to have you join us in our chat. There's just, if you don't see it, there's a link to it right above me. Or if you have questions after the fact -- maybe you're listening to this as a podcast or on YouTube -- 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 the book Wellbeing at Work for each theme, and Jaclynn, always great to be with you, and welcome back!

Jaclynn Robinson 0:54
Hello, sir. My partner in crime.

Introducing Command

Jim Collison 0:57
We, it's always great. I always look forward to spending this time with you. We've got, we've got another one today. Let's talk about Command. Give us a little intro to this, to the topic today.

Jaclynn Robinson 1:08
Yes. So if you have Command, you have presence. You can take control of a situation and make decisions.

What Is the Power of Command in a Leadership Role?

Jim Collison 1:14
I love this theme -- I love this theme. And I love being with people who have this theme, because I, I am best in the second-in-command kind of guy; that's what I've learned as I've, as I've got older. And there's something comforting -- we'll talk about this as we talk about Needs of Followers here in a little bit, but there's something for me super comforting about being around someone who's in charge. But to me, that makes me feel great. So I'm kind of attracted to that, to that theme. What's the power? We're spending some time thinking about the CliftonStrengths for Leaders Report. And so what is the power of theme in a leadership role?

Jaclynn Robinson 1:53
Yes. Well, they've got a natural leadership presence. And in the interest of clarity and order, they can step into a situation when an issue needs to be solved or a crisis occurs, and they can resolve it. Again, they can cut through that emotional discord. So this leader's ability to take ownership and calm a crowd, so to speak, really creates stability and trust for people.

Jim Collison 2:18
I think this is one of those that gets maligned a little bit, maybe we heard, we hear terms like "bossy"; remember, these themes are neutral, right? But we hear terms like "bossy," "aggressive," "overaggressive." I actually, I actually love this, the way you're talking about it, where this leader steps in when issues arise. Or I always used to say, would take leadership in the absence of leadership. And I think there's situations where it, that's needed; we actually need, you know, we can't just look at each other. "All right, well, who wants to do this? Well, how about you do it?"

Jaclynn Robinson 2:57
Really, eenie, meenie, miney, moe, adult style.

How Can Those With Command Lead Others?

Jim Collison 2:59
"Do you want to do it? Who's gonna do it now?" right? kind of thing. And so really, really valuable to have someone step in, step up, right, and lead in these, in these situations. Let's talk about that. So how could this theme lead others? Let's dig into that a little bit more.

Jaclynn Robinson 3:17
They invite in different perspectives. And that can bring further clarity and accountability to everybody that's involved. And getting clear on the issues brings credibility when the initiative or measure is rolled out as well, because you've got all that buy-in. So, you know, I love this theme, because they can respect the differences that people might bring to the table. Or if someone says, "I agree to disagree," they don't take offense to it. It's like, "Tell me more. What about that is, is bringing disagreement?" And so they are comfortable in, in the differences of opinion; they're comfortable with what might feel like conflict to other people.

Jim Collison 3:57
I think another unintended bias, and this is we think they just do it. And, and we know from, we know from the research, we know from the work in this, that, like you said, they often ask. They get intel; they figure some things out, and move people forward, right. They, or get things rolling or get things moving, adding accountability to it. I think those are all positive. Again, I think this is one of those that, oftentimes, we make assumptions about -- and listen, I'll encourage our coaches and those studying Command to really dig in a little bit more to find those positive things that are in it, because I think those, again, we need to have those in situations; those things need to be working. Any, any, do you have any thought, any other thoughts on that, as you think about gaining awareness or, or getting more information before a decision is made?

Jaclynn Robinson 4:53
I love the term you used: intel, gathering intel. I always think about this person with Command as the leader that's in the trenches, and they're moving alongside with the troops. They're not pointing fingers, saying, "Go out there and take care of business"; they're right there alongside them. So that gathering intel, it's, Let's talk about this together. Let's make sure we're all in it. You'd mentioned accountability. I've got everyone's buy-in; we're in this; let's roll!

How Could Command Hinder Your Leadership of Others?

Jim Collison 5:20
Yeah, it is that, it is the epitome of the me versus we in this conversation. And, and I think oftentimes, we, when we're thinking about the theme, we only see the me in it; and those, those things exist. But the transition, the more mature we is what I hear you saying as we're speak -- bringing people along, gathering or gaining ideas, concepts, intel. Like, Hey, what's going on here? What do we, what do we need to know? And maybe I'd avoid the word consensus in some cases, because I think Command has to make decisions sometimes, and we're going to move forward. But, but, but oftentimes, pulling people with them, not out on, not out there by themselves. Remember, if you're leading, and no one's following, you're not really leading. Let's just really be really clear about that one. So also, in the report we talk about, there's some, the first section, some helps, some things that you can think about. We also talk about some, what can hinder you. So how could this theme hinder your leadership of others?

Jaclynn Robinson 6:23
Well, depending on the talents and strengths of the other folks or your direct reports, this leader's presence and candor can be too overwhelming or intimidating for some people. So they might prefer a more relationship-driven approach, or they might prefer time to consider the emotions that are present in the room before, you know, working on those next steps. So as a result, this person might have some individuals that shut down and remain quiet because of the way they're showing up in the room.

Jim Collison 6:54
We, I've noticed, when I've been in this situation, and I maybe exercised a little bit of Command -- and maybe it's a small c -- 17 for me, so it's not, I'm not the greatest at this, but the small c of command -- and I watch people's faces as we're doing things. And you can, the body language is so important, because you know you got them or you know you've lost them at that point, right. And I think, for some, one of those hindrances in this can be not reading the room, right? Not having some awareness around this, to be like, Hey, do I have everybody here? Like, are we gonna, are we going to move forward -- or at least have them partially? We may not have a full buy-in, right? Get some partial buy-in on this. A lot of the things, the hindrances, a lot of things we talk about on the positive side that, that maybe go astray -- not paying attention, so to speak, or reading the room. Any other thoughts, Jaclynn, on that, or anything come to light as you, as you think about that?

Jaclynn Robinson 7:55
I love what you mentioned. And I think you're, you also bring up just a point of interest for a lot of folks right now that have remote workers. And if they're "camera off," how do you know what, what intel you're receiving, in terms of their emotions or how they're feeling? You don't have those, those cues you can pick up on. So yeah, it's been interesting, which -- we love a cameras-on environment. And I think it highlights the power of it, because you can see those facial expressions, you can read the virtual room, and that might help somebody with Command as well go, Ooh, OK. This looks like it's not going the right direction.

Jim Collison 8:33
Yeah, it can't be just a single focus. It can't be just a single direction. I think those who are really good at this understand all the, you know -- now, again, where Command sits and what is around it influences the way this happens. But I think it's a key component. They're really good at reading, saying, I'm getting consensus in this area. And it may not even be their own ideas that they're moving forward on. "We just need to move forward as a group. Here's how we're going to do this," right, as we think of that in context of leadership. We're also spending some time -- whoa, hold on, before I get to that point -- when we think about the 4 (I almost forgot) the 4 Needs of Followers section -- Hope, Stability, Compassion and Trust are those 4 -- where's Command -- and again, it goes across all 4, but as you think about that, where's Command fit into those needs, do you think?

Jaclynn Robinson 9:25
I, when I was thinking about this earlier, I put this under Stability and Trust because they can take ownership and they can move a crowd forward and calm them down. So they're creating, you know, a stable environment and this trustworthy environment of Oh, OK, they've got this. Let's go along. They're very comfortable with where we're heading. And they're quieting those emotions, in a sense, so people aren't continuously just frazzled. It's like, OK. We're cool, calm and collect. Let's go. This person's taking us.

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

Jim Collison 9:57
Yeah, yeah. I love that. Love that -- it makes me feel stable, that's the Stability in there. And I think the Hope comes with Stability. When you know, like, OK, this is predictable or I can, in my early days of leading, even though I wanted higher Command in those days, I didn't provide a stable environment for those that, where I was kind of all over the place. And my, my leading was not consistent. And in 360s, I got feedback about that. Like, I, you know, actually had a manager tell me, I need a little more consistency out of you if you're going to do this. So I know that, I know that Stability, this Command can provide that Stability -- among other things. We're spending some time thinking about this, this idea in the context of how we can combine these together with the other role-based reports. CliftonStrengths for Leaders, CliftonStrengths for Sales Reports, put them together, we have these report dynamics. What do you think? As we look at those two reports together, what are some things that can lead us to success?

Jaclynn Robinson 11:05
Thinking about this person as a sales leader, they might find comfort in hard selling. You know, they might have no issue closing on a deal with pricing and next steps. It's, again, let's, let's move forward. And they might lend that sense of confidence in this area of sales to their team members who struggle to close a deal. So, for example, they might help them see that there's comfort and kindness in clarity; it helps both sides move forward or take a step, once everyone knows what's on the table and the pricing involved, as opposed to kind of beating around the bush. So yeah, that was a, that, that was what came to mind for me as I think about this person as a sales leader.

Jim Collison 11:45
As you were saying that, words like consensus, I think often words we may not think about in the context of Command, but it can drive to consensus. Compromise, maybe another one to bring parties together. Again, some of that sounds a little bit, maybe some Harmony in there. But I think, you know, we're thinking about taking the reins to move people forward. And some of those things may require consensus, may require compromise in that. And then listening and hearing -- OK, what are, what are people thinking? -- with the intention of moving the group forward, right? Of taking the reins of moving, of moving people forward. I love that hard sell! It makes me super uncomfortable. But I love, I love that, I love that phrase in there. Love, I'd, it would be great to get some Command No. 1 individuals and see how they respond to that, especially sales leaders. OK, let's think about CliftonStrengths for Leaders and the CliftonStrengths for Managers Report together -- a little report dynamics. What do we see there?

Jaclynn Robinson 12:48
Yeah, this leader can use their voice to offer feedback, coaching and recognition that help shape the development of their team members. So in one-on-ones, they can help their team members sort through any confusion they have on next steps, or work in their development plan so that they feel confident in the direction they're moving in their role and at the company.

Jim Collison 13:09
Love this idea of a team that's maybe got some questions on where you're going, and a leader, manager high Command: Let me be really clear about where we're going here. Right. Because there are those moments, right, there are those moments where we need that -- things get a little uncertain in an organization or whatever. Maybe the management above them has created uncertainty, and the manager in the -- below says, "Let me be real clear about where we're going here." Right. And that, again, provides that Stability, not in a mean way and not in a dysfunctional way, where they're guiding them away from the values and purpose and meaning of an organization. But in a way to provide that leadership. Like in the absence, again, it's that definition, right? In the absence of leadership, to say, "Let me be real clear. You might be confused. Let me clarify that for you," as we, we're moving forward. I don't know, any, as we wrap this up, any, any other thoughts on that? Any final thoughts on Command?

Jaclynn Robinson 14:11
Yeah, I think you nailed -- it's that, that sense of clarity that they can offer to an audience that's in front of them. Clear, they can be direct. And that doesn't mean -- I'm not using direct in the terms of terse this time, but they can just create that sense of clarity and directness so people know where they're moving, and why, if they've really, you know, maturated Command. So they're all working together. They're all working towards that common goal or that individual goal, if it's just, if, if we're talking about individual development plans.

Jim Collison 14:49
Yeah, I did, I did something one time, and I had a manager pull me aside and said, "Hey, did you do that?" I went, "Yeah." He goes, "Yeah, don't do that!" Like, "Don't -- stop doing that!" And that takes, I mean, I think that in the leadership role, that takes some of that courage, right to, to just say to someone, "Yeah, don't do that. Like it's not, it's not in your best interest. Let's just be really clear. It's not in your best interest in the organization." And that's hard to do. It's hard to do for some people, right. So some great, some great reminders. Well, I think with that, we'll remind everyone to take full advantage of all the resources we do have available now in Gallup Access. Especially around this Command theme, if you're wanting all of our resources for it, head out to Sign in to Gallup Access. Upper left hand corner, hit the menu, choose the Resources tab, and then -- or the Resources on the menu, and then in the search box, type in "Command." Everything we have will come back on it, and a great learning opportunity for you. Learners, you should be racing out there -- or Input -- you should be racing out there right now, to get, to get that downloaded. Stay up to date with all the webcasts by following us at Create an account, follow us. You'll get notifications whenever we publish a new episode -- for live, for the live stuff like we're doing right now. And then join us on any social platform by searching "CliftonStrengths," and thanks for listening today. If you enjoyed it, share it. Certainly, hit the Like button, Subscribe, subscribe to it as a podcast, follow, whatever you, whatever the platform is, do it. We appreciate it. And there's a little bit of my Command: Just do it. So get out there, get it done. Do it! Thanks for listening. And if you're listening live, stay around for a little bit of a mid-show. 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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