skip to main content
Called to Coach
Achiever®: Developing Your Leadership Skills
Called to Coach

Achiever®: Developing Your Leadership Skills

Webcast Details

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


Someone with Achiever high loves working hard.

Jaclynn Robinson, 2:05

[A leader with Achiever] can inspire others to action. So even if they're not doing this consciously, they can role-model the behaviors that help set the pace for the workday or for the quarter.

Jaclynn Robinson, 4:31

Jim Collison 0:00
I am Jim Collison, and this is The CliftonStrengths Podcast, Season 2, recorded on March 21, 2023.

Jim Collison 0:06
In this CliftonStrengths Podcast series, we'll look at the CliftonStrengths for Leaders Report one theme at a time, and today's theme is Achiever. If you're listening live, and you don't see the chat, there's a link to it right above me. Love to have your questions a little bit later in chat. Or if you're listening after the fact, on the podcast or on YouTube, you can send us an email with your questions. Send it to 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 which she contributed most of Appendix 1, maybe all of Appendix 1. Jaclynn, always great to be with you. Welcome back!

Jaclynn Robinson 0:59
Thank you.

Jim Collison 1:00
We are spending some time today talking about Achiever. We're gonna get some stuff done during this session we have.

Jaclynn Robinson 1:07
We're makin' moves!

Introducing Achiever

Jim Collison 1:07
Full disclosure: You have it No. 1. Let's talk about that. Give us a little intro on it.

Jaclynn Robinson 1:12
All right. So if you have Achiever high, you work hard and possess a great deal of stamina. You take immense satisfaction in being busy and productive.

What Is the Power of Achiever in a Leadership Role?

Jim Collison 1:21
Yeah, and the "working hard" mantra, not just reserved for Achiever; we all work hard, right, in doing the things that, that, that we're doing. But I think that's one of those, I like the idea of, of stamina, sticktuitiveness, getting things done, checking stuff off, right -- all those, kind of all those things that we say. We've been spending the season talking about it in the context of leadership. So we have the brand new CliftonStrengths for Leaders Report, helps and hinders, and some action items in it. But let's talk about the power of this theme in a leadership role. What would you say?

Jaclynn Robinson 1:58
I think you kind of teased it out. It was, it was great that you, you know, even prefaced it to say, a lot of people work hard. Someone with Achiever high loves working hard. There's a lot of joy that comes from that, versus like, OK, I want this goal. I'm going to, going to, you know, tackle it, but might not be fun on the journey. This person's like, Yes, let's go! Let's, let's check some boxes. So this leader is energized by setting professional goals, if we're thinking about the workplace. So as a leader of an organization, it can keep the company moving towards organizational performance and industry success, through that energy that they have. It's like, Oh, we've got this! They can bring a lot of excitement or maybe hope for those goals that they can achieve, and keep people moving.

Jim Collison 2:46
I love that clarification, by the way, just as you, as you say that, because they, they're successful in long, you know, working hard at this thing, checking things off. Like, they enjoy it, they'll do it longer. But I love, I get the sense, when we talk about of, of, you know, in leadership role of creating like a vacuum, a vortex behind them as they're moving forward. They're pulling, kind of pulling people along, right, that energy and that, that, that drive, those things that -- and again, lots of themes have this, right, but it's this, this in, in getting tasks done, but not just for themselves. Maybe this is where we think of that me to we -- the jump, the maturity jump is not just getting my own task list done, but how am I using this theme to pull others along in the process and help them get things done? Would you, would you add anything to that?

Jaclynn Robinson 3:42
That's a great way of putting it, because the joy is in the work itself. And other people might work really hard, and the joy is being motivated by something different -- the purpose, the consumer, whatever, whatever that might be. And so I love that vortex metaphor that you use, because they can pull people in and help them find maybe some joy or energy in the work itself, as they're moving towards that goal. And sometimes they'll need that gentle nudge to celebrate, once they hit the goal, because they might already be moving ahead. But yeah, they can help them find joy in the work.

How Can Those With Achiever Lead Others?

Jim Collison 4:19
Yeah. We, we're spending some time thinking about how these, this theme can lead others and help, be helpful in that. What else? What else? How else can it fit in and, and really pull people forward?

Jaclynn Robinson 4:31
Well, they can inspire others to action. So even if they're not doing this consciously, they can role-model the behaviors that help set the pace for the workday or for the quarter. And when that's coupled with just their innate enthusiasm for getting things done, then it can drive others to naturally start to maybe match their pace or amplify their pace and potentially get just as excited about the goals and tasks. So just a moment ago, we talked about how they might do this with more intention. But unintentionally, just being around the workplace hustling and bustling, they might be that role model because they're role-modeling the behavior. And when they have that joy and energy that they're getting from it, other people go, Ooh -- I want a taste of that! I want to get on board.

Jim Collison 5:20
I love that maturity model, though, of thinking. When you talk about setting a pace, that doesn't mean their pace is the best pace, right, when you think about leaders of, of understanding who's around them, what their natural pace is, but to continue to set a pace. I was running a half-, or I was running a full marathon one time, and a bunch of half-marathoners caught up, or I caught up with them. And they were really struggling. I'm like, come and finish with me, like, come and finish with me. And I was like, Hey, I'll, I'll help set this pace that we can all achieve. Right. And it slowed me down just a little bit, but it brought them in. And so I think we have to, we have to think through that sometimes for us Achievers that, again, that me to we, right, how am I, how am I pulling that in? Would, would you add, before we move on to hinders, anything else you want to add to that?

Jaclynn Robinson 6:11
I think that was so well said. Being really cognizant of the pace of other people is the best way to achieve team goals versus trying to, to make everyone live up to your pace, which isn't --

Jim Collison 6:24
It might not be attainable. For most people.

Jaclynn Robinson 6:27
Now you've just burned them out. Good job.

Jim Collison 6:30
Congratulations, now you have no one. It's just you again, which maybe you like. But that, if you're going to bring people, I think, successfully along, you've got to maybe figure out what that is. Spend some time saying, OK, what's the right pace for this team? Or what's the right pace for individuals on this team? How do I, how do we set things up in a way that takes advantage of the natural pace of individuals?

Jaclynn Robinson 6:56
To your point, when we think about Achiever being an Executing Domain, under the Executing Domain, I think you just did a great job of showing how it can use, how you can use Achiever for Strategic Thinking and Relationship Building. Thinking about how the people are best suited to get something done. So --

Jim Collison 7:17
Yeah, no, I like it.

Jaclynn Robinson 7:18
And then how do you want to influence them towards action? What, where are they finding joy? What is the motivation behind them getting the work done, so that they can, they can achieve alongside you?

Jim Collison 7:30
Getting the people done through work, you know --

Jaclynn Robinson 7:32
That's right.

How Could Achiever Hinder Your Leadership of Others?

Jim Collison 7:33
Kind of thing. Yeah. Yeah. I like it. Let's talk a little bit about it hindering. How could this theme hinder the leadership of others?

Jaclynn Robinson 7:39
Focusing more on work than workplace relationships -- I think that's a big one. So when, when you do that, it makes it more difficult to get a pulse on employee engagement and wellbeing. Plus, you might have employees that are starting to question whether they're just working for work's sake, and it's busy work, or it's purpose driven. And if they're not having conversations with that leader to highlight what it is that they're doing and why, then that becomes questionable too. So now they might be burned out, their wellbeing might be suffering, and they're confused, or maybe questioning what the, what it is that they're doing and why.

Jim Collison 8:16
This week, we're publishing -- so this week, it's March 21, 2023. So this week --

Jaclynn Robinson 8:23

Jim Collison 8:23
I know, isn't it crazy? We're producing some, a paper on burnout -- some things we've been talking about. Twenty years ago, we talked about work -- being a workaholic. Again, an English kind of definition on this of thinking through the, working too much, right. And, and, and yet, I think that's, that that concept has shifted to this idea of the outcome. One was the, was the action; now we're thinking about the outcome of that into burnout. And so I think it's important for leaders, not only their own wellbeing, right, thinking through, Hey, how is -- back to that idea of pace -- how is my pace, and is it sustainable? And then am I pulling others along in a way that's sustainable? And then how can I, how can I create an atmosphere where they can all be successful for whatever that, whatever those outcomes are for them? And then realizing, I think there's specialized times, like I'm probably in one of those right now, this is not gonna last forever. I need to create a pace that's a little bit faster than it normally would be, knowing that at some point, it's going to pull back, right, even for myself and for those teams. And when it is done -- you said this a second ago -- to make sure we stop and spend some time to celebrate, to recognize, right, those, put some energy back into the team. I don't know, anything else?

Jaclynn Robinson 9:43
That's right.

Jim Collison 9:44
Anything -- oh, hold on. Let me, before we forget, when we think about the 4 Needs of Followers in this, right -- Hope, Stability, Compassion and Trust. Where does, where does Achiever fit into that, do you think, into that model?

Jaclynn Robinson 9:57
I could see Trust. They trust that the leader is going to help them hit performance goals, or they trust that the leader is going to drive them towards completion of strategic initiatives or whatever that outcome might be. Because that's going to be top-of-mind for an Achiever. And I think it can be Compassionate as well. When you've got a leader that is using Achiever in a way that is outward -- it's not about me, but it's about we -- and they're lending that sense of support, and they're championing other folks that have goals for themselves, and inspiring them and giving them those nudges. And that kind of teases out what we'll get into shortly, too, but I think that is, that is, those two certainly come top-of-mind for me.

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

Jim Collison 10:44
Yeah, yeah. Well, and I think, even from a Compassion angle, there are folks who struggle to get things done, for whatever reason, right? And coming alongside in a leadership role and saying, Let me help you. "Let me help you get some things done in a way that's best for you," I think, is Compassionate. I think that's, I mean, we just, folks struggle. If they didn't, we'd all, we wouldn't need any of this stuff. Right? If we didn't need to understand each other in the process. We're spending some time thinking about report dynamics and jamming these together with the two other reports we have -- CliftonStrengths for Sales and CliftonStrengths for Managers. Jaclynn, when we think about taking the Leaders Report and the Sales Report together, what could that look like, if we thought about those two ideas for success?

Jaclynn Robinson 11:32
I see this person, so as a sales leader, this individual has the stamina to manage the sales team and support or even participate in all aspects of the sales cycle. So they can ensure that the sales team is hitting their quarterly target. And as a sales leader, they're ensuring that they're hitting their, you know, annual goals that the company set for them. I feel like any time of day -- not saying it's healthy, but -- any time of day, a sales member can, you know, email this person or ask for advice, and they know they're gonna get it expeditiously, to support them in whatever sales cycle they're in.

Jim Collison 12:13
What -- it also speaks to this idea of objections, you know, when you go to, when you're selling something or influencing someone, and you're trying to convince them to go a direction or purchase something, and they say, "No." Like, that's an objection, right? So it's that, it can be too that sticktuitiveness -- I know it's not really a word, but -- sticktuitiveness of, No, we got to achieve, we've got sales goals. We need to do these things. We need to overcome some of those objections and, and push forward. That may have -- in some cultures, in some, in some areas, that may be seen, that, that may be a negative, like overselling, or, you know. But that's part of the sales cycle is influencing in a way to -- and again, we, we sell to help, right? So we sell into needs type thing -- we could have a long conversation just on that, but it does keep us moving to goals. Right? Keeps us moving to those sales goals. What about the Managers Report -- Managers and Leaders Report together?

Jaclynn Robinson 13:13
This kind of goes back to what I was thinking with the 4 Needs of Followers. When managing other people, they can be really good at finding maybe a natural and engaging way to expend energy championing others -- coaching them towards their personal and professional goals that that person has set out to achieve. Maybe helping them put many tasks under that overall goal, to help them hit it, where that person can then check the boxes and see the progress they're making. And I say "check the boxes" more as a metaphor, but they can really help them maybe put some milestones in place, so they're getting closer and closer to that goal, helping them think through what works best for them.

Jim Collison 13:53
Love that. Yeah. Just a reminder on these 4 action or 4 Helps, 4 Hinders on these reports, action items. Let me encourage you to do that. Like, these are just, we're just trying to whet your appetite for what could be. It depends on you and your themes and what are around it. Don't let us dictate; we're just trying to give you some ideas. Maybe some Aha! moments for you in these, but certainly we'd love to have you dig into the reports as well. They can be helpful for you, just as you spend some time talking. We'd love to have you have conversations with your manager or those that you manage, just like this, to see what kind of comes out. As we put a wrap on Achiever, Jaclynn, anything else that you'd add as we kind of wrap it up today?

Jaclynn Robinson 14:40
Well maybe an action for Achievers can be, you know, homework for yourself. Who do you need to connect with once more? We know relationships lead to long-term health and happiness. Who do you need to put on your own to-do list to check in with, so that you can nourish relationships, since work is typically what, what drives the energy the most? And are there ways that you can encourage folks on your team to reach out to somebody today or this week, and just check in with them as well? So it's one really good way that you can, you know, nourish your relationships, but also support the team with theirs and help them find that, that best friend at work.

Jim Collison 15:24
Yeah, love it. I, make leaders, if you have Achiever, make achieving be getting to know your people. Make that one of your --

Jaclynn Robinson 15:31
Hope you accept that challenge!

Jim Collison 15:32
Make that a box that you check; it's super important. I think, again, that maturity step of the me is what I get done; the we is what am I going to get done through people? Love that, love that idea. Well, with that, we'll remind everyone to take full advantage of all the resources we do have available in Gallup Access. Head out to Log in, upper left hand corner, choose Resources and then put "Achiever" in that box. Everything we've done around that, go achieve that today. Get it done. Check it off, if that's what it takes. Stay up to date with all the webcasts -- that's the task I give you, so go check that off. Stay up to date with all the webcasts by following us on Eventbrite: Create an account there, and then follow us. You'll get a notification whenever we post something new. Join us on any social platform just by searching "CliftonStrengths," and we're just about everywhere. So get out there, and get that done. If you enjoyed it, of course share it, hit Like, Subscribe, follow all that other stuff, leave some comments if it's on YouTube -- whatever, whatever you want to do. Any of those we appreciate. Thanks for listening today. If you're listening live, stay around for a little bit of postshow. 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.

Gallup World Headquarters, 901 F Street, Washington, D.C., 20001, U.S.A
+1 202.715.3030