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Called to Coach
Achiever®: How to Feel More Energized at Work
Called to Coach

Achiever®: How to Feel More Energized at Work

Webcast Details

  • What do people with Achiever bring to their roles and workplaces?
  • How can you bring energy and motivation to work as you apply your Achiever talent?
  • How can managers with Achiever create more of an energized, thriving culture on their teams?

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


Productive employees want energy, motivation and drive to characterize their work life. Managers want their teams to possess these in abundance. And organizations envision an entire engaged, thriving workforce that overflows with these qualities. How can individuals high in Achiever bring energy and motivation to their workplaces? And how can managers high in Achiever® foster a work environment that is energized, motivated and thriving? Join Gallup's Jim Collison and Dr. Jaclynn Robinson and discover how, using your Achiever theme, you can bring new energy and motivation to your role, your managing, your coaching.


Because Achievers love a good to-do list and a lot of tasks, it can be helpful to start thinking about where your energy is directed and where you're finding the most joy.

Jaclynn Robinson, 1:15

When you are having fun at work, and you love who you're working with, you tend to be more productive. You tend to be more creative.

Jaclynn Robinson, 7:06

Jim Collison 0:00
I am Jim Collison, and this is The CliftonStrengths® Podcast, Season 3, recorded on November 10, 2023.

Jim Collison 0:07
In this CliftonStrengths Podcast series, we'll look at how to feel more energized and motivated at work one theme at a time, and today's theme is Achiever. If you're listening live, we'd love to have you join us in chat, you, or you can email us your questions: Dr. Jaclynn Robinson is our host today. She works as a Senior Learning and Development Consultant and joined me for Season 1 and 2 of The CliftonStrengths Podcast, where we looked at Wellbeing at Work and our CliftonStrengths role-based reports. Jaclynn, always great to see you. Welcome back!

Jaclynn Robinson 0:52
Thank you!

Achiever: Questions for Individuals

Jim Collison 0:55
Jaclynn, we are, we are talking this season about bringing energy to work with your themes. And today's theme is Achiever. Let's start with the individual. What are some ways an individual with Achiever can feel more energized, focusing kind of on their basic needs?

Jaclynn Robinson 1:13
Automatically what comes to mind, because Achievers love a good to-do list and a lot of tasks, it can be helpful to start thinking about where your energy is directed and where you're finding the most joy, instead of just going, you know, through the mill and taking, you know, 10 tasks in a row, checking off the boxes. Sure, you can do that. Sure, we do that. But one of the ways that you can be a lot more intentional is to say, OK, let me, you know, have a list of all of my to-do's, and then let me actually categorize them. What is a key priority, and it's something that I love or key responsibilities, and it's something that I love? What's something that I'd like to develop further? Do I have any of those tasks or development that's happening, which, just drudgery for me? What are the tasks that I don't enjoy?

Jaclynn Robinson 2:05
And then once you have those blocks of What gives you joy and energy? What drains you? And then what you want to develop, it's going to be a lot easier to have those one-on-one conversations with your manager too, to make sure that most of what you're doing day to day is in alignment -- one, with the company needs or the team needs, but two, it's in alignment with your inherent talent. So a lot more purposeful. I talk about purposeful productivity a lot with those high in Achiever or Responsibility®. You know, don't just take things on your plate; make sure it's purposeful. But I think that's an activity you could do to really find alignment.

Jim Collison 2:42
You get me thinking about, like, a theme energy audit. We think of the energy audit in the terms, maybe our homes, right of like, Hey, where am I losing, where is cold air leaking in? Or where is warm air leaking out? And I think there's an opportunity, especially for Achievers, to think through, like, Hey, what are those things that are really charging me up? And what are the things that are draining me? And making that list, so to speak, and then being purposeful about saying, What can, what can I remove? And what do I need to do more of, right?

Jaclynn Robinson 3:18
Yes, yes. What can I delegate, automate or eliminate, based on --

Jim Collison 3:23
Wait a minute! Say that again? I think people -- say that again. What was that?

Jaclynn Robinson 3:27
Yeah, what can I delegate, automate or eliminate? You know, if it's in that drudgery category for you.

Jim Collison 3:27
Yeah. Yeah. And I think being purposeful about it in a way that, that really thinks about, How is this taking away or adding to the energy that I'm bringing every day, right, at work? And we say "at work," because that's the space we fit in. But that's, this fits at home, or this fits in an organization. Like, there's lots of categories this can fit into. We'll say "at work" as a generic term, but these can fit into anything in your life. What, what are the ways an individual with Achiever can feel more energy by focusing on their individual strengths and development?

Jaclynn Robinson 4:10
Ooh, so that's where, if you've made your list of what is drudgery, what's developmental and what you love, you could look at that developmental category. And then, you know, either on your own or with the, and/or with the help of your manager, start to think about what development looks like. So out of those tasks that you wrote down, is there something more you can learn about that task to support you? And maybe that's going to happen through mentorship, shadowing, reading a book, listening to a podcast. Or, you know, maybe your manager can link you up with somebody that is already in that role, if we're thinking more role-specific or career pathing, and you can have a one-on-one conversation with them to really just kind of dig into their mind and say, How did you get here? What are the skills that, that it took for you to reach this level or to get into this role, etc.?

Jim Collison 5:10
From an Achiever standpoint, what's the real -- as you think about this in this area of development, what else or what could they specifically, what's the strength of that that they bring to that, to that purpose of their own personal development? Can you, can you, does that, does that question makes sense?

Jaclynn Robinson 5:32
I, I think so. Let's see if our strengths are aligned there! I think the drive -- the, the, the, the, that just inherent drive that Achiever has, when you know the developmental focus that you've got, it's a lot easier to put steps in place. And we love crossing things off the list, don't we, Achievers. And so it just gives you more clarity on what development looks like, so that you can create those micro steps and check the boxes, knowing that you're one step closer to that ultimate goal that you see for yourself within development.

Jim Collison 6:08
Love that. I'm seeing this list in my mind for an Achiever. I don't have that. I do some of this; I'm not great at it. But this is one of those areas of, like, ah, mediocre -- sometimes I need it; sometimes I don't. But I see this for Achiever as being this kind of exercise they walk through. As we think about transitioning to the manager, one, one final question on an individual: What are some ways an individual with Achiever can feel more energized by building partnerships? Like, as we think about teams finding purpose in their role through partnerships -- talk a little bit about that.

Jaclynn Robinson 6:45
Yeah. I love this one, because there's a way to build, there's a way to feed the relationships, which is a little bit difficult, sometimes, for Achiever, because it's so task-focused. But when you really start thinking about when you have the most fun with others, who are you partnering with in the workplace? Because when you are having fun at work, and you love who you're working with, you tend to be more productive. You tend to be more creative. And so it's kind of the best of both worlds to, to just pause for a moment and say, Where do I get joy and energy working with others? What are the responsibilities we're carrying out? Or what are those projects we're working on? And then how do I create more opportunities with that individual, or even individuals with similar characteristics? Maybe it's the work style or the personality that, that gives you energy with that, that person. And how do you find more of those opportunities? Yeah, which is gonna drive success.

Jim Collison 7:44
Yeah, I love that. I think of a podcast that I listen to; it has three hosts. And it used to, they had a third host that they dropped in and replaced. And the, that old host had Achiever -- I don't know for sure, but that host kept them on track all the time. OK. OK, we need, let's, let's -- and since they've, the new host they brought in is kind of intellectual, lots of context, lots of historical stuff. And it's, they're all, they're all over the place now.

Jaclynn Robinson 8:18
Yes. Don't have the Achiever that's like, Let's go!

Achiever: Questions for Managers

Jim Collison 8:22
I hear, I oftentimes hear her voice -- the Achiever before -- say, now, "Come on guys!" (two, other two other men). "Come on, guys! Let's stay on track!" Or, "OK, we need, let's, let's move on." Right. And, and I think that's a great analogy, as we think about Achievers on teams of playing those roles of pulling the team along. Because it is easy sometimes for the team to get off track, to get off center. And to bring that, have that ability and that, that, that, that strength to be able to pull the team forward. I know I lean into that, as a non-Achiever. I have Activator, but that works complete, it works different for me. I've now learned to kind of lean on you Achievers. And you're practicing actually that Achiever talent today, as we're doing this podcast -- we probably could have put this one off and maybe should have, you're like, Nope! We're gonna do this one. We're gonna get this done today. You pulled us along. You pulled us along in that. So thanks for doing that. Let's, let's think about the manager role in this as well. How can a manager with Achiever support others? And we'll go back to that idea of basic needs: How can a manager with this help others with their basic needs?

Jaclynn Robinson 9:35
I think about, so if you're a manager with Achiever, being aware of busy work that can really distract a team and, one, increase bandwidth, but, two, confuse them. You've given them so much work that now what, what should I focus on first? And what's the why behind it? So for an Achiever, I think you have to be really careful that it's priority driven or purposeful or driving the team towards the, you know, goals that the company set for you. So pause before saying, "Yes," to really make sure that this is something that is a need, not just a want or a, OK, let's do it. And then I've also seen some managers with Achiever that will go back to the team and say, "You know, we had this request. It's not part of our priorities or part of our goal. But is this something that you want to take on? What's your bandwidth look like?" Just to make sure that it's something that they would agree to, or that it's within scope -- not within scope, I'm sorry, but within, within their bandwidth.

Jim Collison 10:36
I think this next question fits in really well with it. And so, How can a manager with Achiever help others feel seen, heard and valued to the individual? So I think that's maybe part of the process of understanding it from a team perspective. Can you talk a little bit about that?

Jaclynn Robinson 10:55
Yeah. I think whenever a team completes a project, or they have produced great work, or they've come through a very busy season, making sure as a manager that you're recognizing them in a timely and meaningful way is going to be helpful -- one, for the manager, what it does is, they're going to be more apt to repeat that success. And they're going to be motivated even more, and they're going to get even more work done for you. Or the next time they have a really busy season, again, they're going to push through, because they know that you recognize them for having, you know, just driven through the fire, so to speak. It's not always easy for someone high in Achiever to pause and recognize success. So I think that's something to keep very top of mind. And maybe what's going to be that motivation for you is knowing, Oh, if I recognize them, they're going to do more work, because it's going to motivate them more.

Jim Collison 11:48
Yeah, not easy to do, unless it becomes a conscious thing to do as part of achieving, right. In other words, OK, for the future of this team -- so this team feels seen, heard and valued -- I need to do this thing. And it needs to become part of the check-box. Right. It needs to be part of what I get done, so others get things done in this process. It does take a conscious effort, though, right. I mean, I think this is one of those things for some, for some Achievers, they need to be very purposeful about getting this on their, kind of on their checklist. I don't know, any, any other thoughts around that, Jaclynn?

Jaclynn Robinson 12:27
Yeah. And I like what you said too -- purposeful. Because I think the other, the, the other part of that is -- and I had mentioned it earlier -- is being meaningful in your recognition. So don't just see it as something on the checklist to cross off, because it's not going to come across very meaningful or authentic. So, you know, set that reminder, and make sure it's coming from the heart, and not just "OK, got it done. Now they're going to be motivated. Now they're going to produce more work." Don't forget the meaningful piece.

Jim Collison 12:58
No, right on. Or, you know, I think, sometimes we've even had stacks of drops, you know, around the organization for recognition. It's like, Hey, it's recognition Friday! So pull your, you know, and sometimes that works, but sometimes it doesn't, right. It kind of, I think, from an Achiever standpoint, it's like, great, we'll just set every Friday, everybody write a drop. And that's, again, sometimes that works; sometimes it doesn't. I think you got to kind of think through, like, what are we trying to achieve here? When you think about meaningful recognition, just assigning it, Achievers, just assigning it or having it on your checklist or, "OK, I wrote one drop today," or "I wrote, I had one piece of recognition today" is not the real intent of that. The intent is for meaningful, right, for meaningful work, as we say, in that question, right? Recognition and praise -- praise and recognition in the last 7 days for meaningful work [item Q04 of Gallup's Q12®], right? So anyways, I love that, of thinking through -- hey, Achievers, don't get trapped by thinking, Oh, it's something to be done; I'm just gonna schedule it. Right. I don't know, anything else, anything else you would, you would add to that?

Jaclynn Robinson 14:07
Good one! Don't be trapped by the to-do list. Don't be trapped by the to-dos! Yeah. And it could even be asking the question of individuals or the team, you know, during times, what motivates you? You know, initially, just what motivates you in the workplace or when do you feel most inspired to push through or do great work? And hear what it is they're saying, and try to catch those opportunities in the future. And if it's, you know, busy season, yeah, What motivates you all or what would inspire you, so that we can keep morale high and get through this period? And then they're telling you what it's going to be that's going to keep them moving forward. And you're recognizing and valuing their feedback and then putting in emotion with that, with those ideas that they circulated.

Jim Collison 14:59
You said the word inspire. Let me bring that question in -- How can a manager with, with Achiever build trust, inspire and deepen team collaboration -- and build some community?

Jaclynn Robinson 15:10
Yes. Well, when assigning work to an individual or to a team, making sure that it ties back to how the work is purposeful and it's impacting either the internal or external customer. Making sure it's not just about tasks at hand, but this is the why behind it. And that's something that seems so simple, but it can be easy for an Achiever to maybe just give the work without the why behind it. Because again, would just, you could be driven by the task itself. And that's enough, sometimes, for an Achiever because of that, that love of work in general. But people need to know the why. So pausing and putting a little inspiration behind it -- this is the impact that you're driving forward.

Jim Collison 15:59
Yeah, I think even as you're saying those things, I'm thinking about that, that last idea of community and intentionally through the process of getting things done, How are we, how are we keeping people close? And it's maybe not enough, as a manager, for just going back to this idea of recognition, of just for the manager giving recognition, but for the team themselves to have that, Hey, are you, are there times, am I, one, as a manager, am I demonstrating this by doing it? Two, am I inspiring others to do it in the way? And this is, this is not easy. This isn't a thing you do; this is a thing you figure out and practice, and, and even, even, I think, sometimes the best-laid plans, you think, Oh, that worked before. And then you try it again, and you're like, That didn't work the second time. It's a harder thing to do. That doesn't mean you get off, you're off the hook. You've got to continue to push forward on this, as you think about inspiring and building community. Last question, Jaclynn, around this: How can a manager with Achiever support the growth of each of their team members?

Jaclynn Robinson 17:05
Ooh. Well, they could, you know, they could start to allocate resources. Might be something like training opportunities, or courses and materials, or anything that, that's within the realm that a manager can do to support that team member's development. So what they can do -- and let me kind of back up for a moment, too -- because Achievers have that innate drive, they can drive the learning experience for their team or team members. And one of the ways is to ask the team, What would you like to learn more of in the next year or in the next quarter that will support you in your role? For the Achiever, what that's going to end up doing is, yeah, I want to make sure that they have the resources of their learning opportunities they need, whether it is a course or a piece of material or whatever, because that's going to drive productivity. We're gonna get more work done, and it's probably going to be even more skilled, because I'm continuing to cultivate their learning and development.

Jim Collison 18:08
Achievers, there's a lot in what Jaclynn just said there that's worth a rewind, if you're listening on the podcast or there on YouTube, and hearing that again. So much packed into that. And I hear, I'm hearing the responsibility of the manager really come out. Thinking about -- and again, let's remember, this is bringing energy to the work -- to work, fill in the blank there -- could be home, or it could be in an organization. But bringing that energy in there by developing, I think, sometimes, going from the me to we -- not just developing myself, but building others, right. How do I develop and build others using that? So, so Jaclynn, well done, well done. As we think about wrapping this theme, some final thoughts on it, as we put a bow on today's episode?

Jaclynn Robinson 18:56
Well, I think it's time for a to-do list, Achievers. So if you're a manager, out of those four areas we just discussed, you know, related to basic needs, valuing others, developing others, inspiring others, is there an area of opportunity within one of those four for you? And if so, what's that first step that you can take? Was there an idea that you heard today, or even something that you heard, and it triggered a new idea? You say, Well, that's good, but I want to do this -- that, that makes me think of this. So start putting that to-do list together. And then if you're an individual, it's the same, you know. I think the best start is to say, Let me look at everything on my plate -- personally and professionally, to your point, Jim -- and what gives me a lot of energy, joy and energy? And what drains me? And what do I want to develop? You know, what are my personal development goals? What are my professional development goals? And then start to chip away at it with a lot more intention. Yeah.

Jim Collison 20:03
I love that. I love that. With that, we'll call it a wrap. And I want to remind everyone to take full advantage of all the resources we have available around this, including an additional 6, 7, 8 seasons, as we think about these themes. You can get them all, and now in Gallup Access. Visit For coaching, master coaching, if you want to become a Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach, you can contact us as well: Don't forget, you can join us for the 2024 Gallup at Work Summit. If you're listening to this after that, we probably still have a Summit going on somewhere at some time. Check it out, all the details: And stay up to date on all our future webcasts by joining our Facebook group. And you can join us on any social platform just by searching "CliftonStrengths." If you've enjoyed it, we ask that you hit those Like and Subscribe -- the magic Like and Subscribe -- buttons there. And appreciate that as well. Thanks for listening today. 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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