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

Command®: How to Feel More Energized at Work

Webcast Details

  • What do people with Command bring to their roles and workplaces?
  • How can you bring energy and motivation to work as you apply your Command talent?
  • How can managers with Command 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 Command® bring energy and motivation to their workplaces? And how can managers high in Command foster a work environment that is energized, motivated and thriving? Join Gallup's Jim Collison and Dr. Jaclynn Robinson and discover how, using your Command theme, you can bring new energy and motivation to your role, your managing, your coaching.


Where do you feel most able and most capable to lead or guide others towards a common purpose? ... Take note of that, and look for more opportunities to apply that day to day.

Jaclynn Robinson, 3:10

Your voice can be that rally cry that energizes and drives the team forward. ... Once they know the purpose behind the priority, they can work together to define what quality looks like and to ... sort through who's going to do what.

Jaclynn Robinson, 10:33

Jim Collison 0:00
I am Jim Collison, and this is The CliftonStrengths® Podcast, Season 3, recorded on December 8, 2023.

Jim Collison 0:05
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 Command. If you're listening live, we'd love to have you join us in chat. Or if you have questions, you can email us after the fact. Send those emails to 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 be with you. Welcome back!

Jaclynn Robinson 0:50
Thank you. Happy Friday!

Command: Questions for Individuals

Jim Collison 0:53
Happy Friday to you, as we've made it to the end of the week. We've been talking this season about bringing energy to work with these themes. Today, we're talking about Command -- I think a theme, and I've said this every time we've done Command across the 6 seasons of Theme Thursday, and now these 3 seasons of The CliftonStrengths Podcast. I think Command is one of those, those themes that is really misunderstood in a lot of ways. So I'm kind of looking forward to, to kind of building out this theme as we talk about it today. Let's start with the individual, like we always do. So in what ways, an individual with Command, How can they feel more energized by focusing on their basic needs?

Jaclynn Robinson 1:32
I think by really actually embracing that assertiveness, which can be a value-add for driving results and accountability. So when I think about this individual deriving energy -- deriving energy; I know that probably sounded like "driving" -- when I think about expectations that aren't being met, this is the individual that can address the issue and offer that constructive feedback, or even have the team start to think about, What could be our safe word? How do we give each other permission if we start to veer off course, so that we can bring you back and redirect you, and put us all back on track? And this came to mind earlier too, because, you know, you think about how, how frequently you work with other team members. Some people might not have the confidence or the assertiveness to be able to say, "Hey, you've, you've gotten off course here; now we're all off course, and we're all kind of scattered around." This person can kind of reel people in.

Jim Collison 2:30
I love that. I think, as you're saying those, I think some people think of Command as bossy. And I think of it as safety. This is a person who can bring, will bring people together or bring things together or do what needs to be done. When we think about this in the context of their, of, you know, bringing energy by focusing on their individual strengths and development, bring, bring that out; flesh that out a little bit more, and talk about it in that context. Because I think that's a healthy context to talk about it in.

Jaclynn Robinson 3:03
Yeah, I think identifying the opportunities where you feel most empowered in your role. It could be managing a project or serving as a team leader. But where do you feel most able and most capable to lead or guide others towards a common purpose? And then take note of that, and look for more opportunities to apply that day to day. And when you have your developmental conversations with your manager, that's a great time to bring it up too and see if there's more opportunities that they can find for you. Because there's that natural executive presence that, you know, I think we often see with Command. They're really good at just naturally guiding people -- or wanting to guide their own path. if we internalize what Command could look like.

Jim Collison 3:43
You went exactly where I was thinking, which is, we often think -- of the me versus we, right; using these themes for me. And then I always take it to the we right away, because I think that's the mature version. And maybe in this one case with Command, the, we think of it in the context of we a lot, because of its outcome, right? Because of its ability to lead people. And I think most people want to be led; let's just be honest. Like, we, we want leadership in our roles, right? That's, we need that in the context. But we're, as we're talking about the individual, how do you think that desire to lead others plays out internally for those with high Command? Can you talk a little bit about that?

Jaclynn Robinson 4:26
How their desire to lead others -- going back to even, you know, I think about when they see an opportunity where they can guide their self, I think a lot of times, it's also just kind of opening that up to say, What does that look like for you? What could this path be? Who might you need to kind of fold in? Because they're going to be that mentor for you or they're going to be that support system for you. But what's that path that you want to walk? What's giving you a lot of energy, where you feel like you could just take the reins and run with it, because there's so much passion behind that hobby or that interest or that goal for you. And then, to your point, because they are good at having that presence, and there's that comfort with being a little more assertive, being able to share with people, "Hey, this is what I'm interested in, or this is what I'm invested in. Can I get your support?" Or "Could you be a thought partner?" They can get the right people involved, so that they can take whatever that, you know, goal or challenge they have is and run with it.

Jim Collison 5:31
Do you think Command has the, has that ability, then, to push themselves or lead themselves as hard as we often talk about them leading others or being that safety, being that safety net in the midst of chaos, being able to lead others out of that? Can you talk a little bit about that? How, what, how does that play out?

Jaclynn Robinson 5:55
Yeah, I've seen it, where they have that comfort guiding themselves. I think there is that interest. And this is why we go to we a lot; there is that interest in wanting to be able to have something else that they can guide, almost like the border collie that's rallying the sheep. If we think about a field or those herding animals, they love having something that they can kind of herd, so to speak -- and I mean that in a positive way: to guide people in the right direction. It's almost a need. But I think they also do have that opportunity and that, that spidey sense to say, Ooh, this is a path that I want to walk down for myself. And now they're just gathering the right people that can be, you know, on their team to help them.

Jim Collison 6:42
Yeah, I think there's a lot of internal satisfaction, as you talk about that, to lead others, to have that feeling of, I took other people here when they needed to be -- when they needed to go there; when they needed to be, right. One of those, we all needed to go this direction, because it was dangerous to go the other direction, type thing. So I love that. Speaking of that, let's bring other people back in. So how can, how can individuals with Command feel more energized by building partnerships and finding purpose within their roles?

Jaclynn Robinson 7:16
Ooh. With the encouraging approach, if they, you know, take their Command and really have this approach that feels warm, welcome and encouraging, they can help facilitate an environment where colleagues now feel empowered to share their ideas or their bold solutions. And maybe they do that simply by just giving them the space and encouragement to share. Maybe they've heard that person offer an idea off to the side, and now they're in a space where they want that person to be able to have a little bit of the spotlight. And they could just kind of say, "Oh, yeah, well, this person's got a great idea. What do you think?" Or "I'd love to get your thoughts." And that can foster an environment of growth and, you know, a variety of different perspectives that are now shared at the table.

Jim Collison 8:01
I haven't thought this before about Command, but as we think about that me to we and what you just said, of being able to lead others so that they get the credit may be the we. I think sometimes we think the we in that is just the act of leading. But almost anybody could do that. Maybe Command, in its maturest state or in its we state, leads others in a way where they still get the credit, even though they may not have been the one that got it there complete -- I don't know, can you, what do you think about that, that statement, Jaclynn?

Jaclynn Robinson 8:39
I could almost see a little bit of Significance® tethered into that. Yeah, where we get more into impact and being able to help guide others towards impact. But I like, I, there's that strand that you're pulling out too of Command in the room can give others that, that larger voice, so that they can have, you know, a seat at the table. But they're that leader with the executive presence, so to speak, that, you know, got the voices seen, heard and valued.

Command: Questions for Managers

Jim Collison 9:11
Well, I love that conversation. And I love the fact that we don't have to have this 100% thought out as we're getting to it, right. And these are the essence of these conversations that we're having with individuals, as we think about coaching with it. This is an easier one, I think, and one we often think of in a manager role. And so let's talk about the manager. And "easy" is relative on that; it could be harder as well. But how can a manager with, with Command support others with their basic needs?

Jaclynn Robinson 9:37
I think when times get busy or there's that peak season, their take-charge attitude can bring reassurances of, you know, "Here's the priorities. Here's the goals that we need to focus on." So the time and attention people are spending is placed in the right direction. And then I would also just kind of caveat it to say, just make sure, if you do lead with this theme, that you're giving space for people to ask questions or give feedback in that moment as well.

Jim Collison 10:02
Yeah, giving space, I think, leading to what I was maybe referring to a little bit earlier in that of, of intentionally leaving space for that to happen. How can a manager with Command help others feel seen, heard and valued? Again, because we think of Command as a one-way thing, let's, let's, let's blow that myth out a little bit. How can they, how can it help others feel seen, heard and valued as an individual?

Jaclynn Robinson 10:29
Well, as someone that finds it natural to take the lead and guide others, identify those times when you see a team member do something successfully, where they've taken a natural lead, or they've naturally guided others. And that can boost their confidence and morale and really help them start to identify times when they exemplify that presence in the workplace.

Jim Collison 10:51
Yeah, when, when we think about the manager's role, and we think about this theme Command, how can it also build trust, inspire and deepen team collaboration and community?

Jaclynn Robinson 11:02
Ooh -- well, making clear the why behind your team's work. Sometimes it's, it's almost easier to just start delegating out things, but making clear, What's our purpose behind this work? Is it customer impact? Is it purpose driven in terms of, you know, the core values we have as a company? Are we, you know, creating innovative technology for the IT team? But your voice can be that rally cry that energizes and drives the team forward. And then once they know the purpose behind the priority, now they can work together to define what quality looks like and to start to sort through who's going to do what role.

Jim Collison 11:38
I think there are times in leadership -- and we alluded to this when we were talking about the individual -- where someone needs to say, "We're going this direction." There are times for collaboration. There are times for opinions. But when, when the room is on fire, and someone says, "We need to get out," I think someone needs to -- and that's an extreme example, right? And that almost never happens. And that's not the, you know, when we think about the success factor of Command with individuals, it's never as clear-cut either, and getting a little more difficult than that. When should I stand? When should I allow others to have opinions in this? As we think about that, as we think about that role as leaders, of sometimes to stand and other times to let things pass, What kind of advice would you give someone with high Command? How do you know that? And this is, it's a really hard question; I don't think there's a definitive answer. But how do you know when to stand and say, "Nope. We're going this direction." Or, "Yeah, I can take input." I don't know, thoughts on that, Jaclynn?

Jaclynn Robinson 12:44
I think listening to leadership's voice, because some things are just passed down by executive or senior leadership, and whether you want to move that direction or not, it's the path you have to take. And you've got to get the team on board. Because if you say, "Well, I don't know why we're doing it either." Or, "I'm disappointed in this, you know, rollout as well," you've just deflated the team's morale. And now, not only are you not engaged, but you've just made your team not engaged, potentially. And so I think those are those big opportunities, when you've got to get behind the change that leadership's rolling out or what that initiative is, learning the why yourself is probably going to be helpful, so that you can speak with more purpose behind it and bring those reassurances back to your team.

Jaclynn Robinson 13:29
And then there's those other things that feel like a negotiable, so you're welcoming the voice of the team. Might not be something that was passed down from leadership; it could be that you have another department that's asking you all to take on a responsibility that isn't necessarily in alignment with your key priorities or goals for the team. And you go to the team and say, "Hey, do you have scope and capacity for this? Is this something that you want to take on?" And you just kind of give them that opportunity and, and let it go from there.

Jim Collison 13:58
I hear a little bit of experience in your voice in that one, as far as, right -- all those things.

Jaclynn Robinson 14:07
It's so true! And I'd say this has come up the most probably in the last couple of weeks, even, with folks that, you know, lead with Command are having these types of issues.

Jim Collison 14:19
Let's, let's wrap it with this. And I think, again, sometimes we think of Command as being just downstream, but how can a manager with Command support the growth of, of each team member?

Jaclynn Robinson 14:33
Repeat one more time. This is my Strategic Thinking that's processing -- you're seeing it in action!

Jim Collison 14:39
Yeah. How can, and my, my Amazon device heard me talking and is now answering the question behind me. But how can a, how can a manager with Command support the growth of each team member?

Jaclynn Robinson 14:51
Yes. That candor, that call to action -- it can be such a dynamic combination when you're asking team members, Hey, what's the most mentally stimulating and challenging moment that you've had in the past year? What were your biggest takeaways as a result of that? What learnings enabled you to grow the most in your role over this past year? And then, to make sure that they feel in control of their development, and you're not guiding that process necessarily for them, ask them how they plan to integrate the growth and the challenges they've had in the year ahead. And then where would they appreciate your additional support or direction?

Jim Collison 15:28
Like that. I like, I like that thinking forward of, Hey, leaders with Command, you still have, you still have obligations to grow your team members going forward -- not just drive them forward, you know, from a, from a task orientation standpoint. Remembering that we're talking about bringing energy, right, to bringing energy to work back, both for the individuals and for the teams. And so Jaclynn, I love those words. Take a second, why don't you wrap this Command theme up for us today.

Jaclynn Robinson 16:00
Ooh, yes. Well, when I think of Command, and its, you know, very mature, natural way, there's such a wonderful executive presence that these people have, where you've got decisive action that you can take; you're comfortable bringing stability. And so think about this stability, reassurance and that calm within the storm that you offer, whether you're a team member or a manager, and where might there be an opportunity today to bring that forward to your team? I know it's end of year as we are running this, but even throughout the year, there's always those peak seasons where you might have someone on the team or the team itself that's feeling a little bit, you know, like their head is spinning. Where can you kind of step in and help with the reassurances and the stability, so that people continue to see that, that North Star in the sky of what you're all driving towards, and inspire them to just keep pushing forward? So that's what I would end it with today.

Jim Collison 17:03
Inspire them to keep moving forward. Well, on a day like this, I might need a little bit of that inspiration to continue to move forward. Appreciate that, and, and great to have that conversation. 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 For coaching, master coaching, if you want to become a Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach, you can send us an email: Don't forget, get registered for the 2024 -- or whatever year it is that, as you're listening to this -- for the Gallup at Work Summit. Get details on where we're at today with that right now: Stay up to date with all our future webcasts by joining our Facebook groups; they're on LinkedIn as well. You can find us on any social platform just by searching "CliftonStrengths." If you enjoyed it, hit the Like and Subscribe buttons, you know, all those things we're obligated to say to you. Thanks for coming out today. If you're listening live, stay around for 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.

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