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Interview: How Justin M. Bibb Leads With Strengths

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About the Leader

Justin M. Bibb

Justin M. BibbMayor of Cleveland

  • Activator®
  • Arranger®
  • Maximizer®
  • Responsibility®
  • Self-Assurance®

“CliftonStrengths allowed me to double down on my why at a time when I was really questioning my future.”


"You've got to take reps. It's like shooting free throws or shooting a thousand shots a day."

In the private sector, Bibb honed his public speaking skills through regular practice. He adapted these skills in the public sphere with continued use as a candidate, while he was "getting out, getting reps, being an Activator."


"I had to show confidence, determination and boldness."

During his election, Bibb knew no one would vote for him or invest in his campaign if he didn't confidently believe in his vision for Cleveland. In speeches, town halls and all other elements of his campaign, he knew he had to show confidence.


"What about them?"

Having risen from humble beginnings, Bibb feels strongly that he has a responsibility to help others rise as well. He believes that if the American Dream isn't possible for everyone, then we haven't achieved our potential as a nation.


"You can't waste a day."

When he first began his campaign for mayor, Bibb knew he had to make the most of each day, which is how his Maximizer came into play. He used this strength to ensure he called donors, knocked on doors and organized outreach efforts on a daily basis, capitalizing on every opportunity he had to engage with voters.


"You have to make big, bold bets."

Drawing his inspiration from the legacy of historically significant figures like Martin Luther King Jr., and John D. Rockefeller, Bibb looks 30 to 40 years into the future when he plans. He asserts that leaders need to make big, bold bets for the sake of the next generation of Americans.


"My faith teaches me that when the sun comes up tomorrow, there's a promise of a better day."

Bibb has relentless optimism about Cleveland's future. He believes that American cities can close the racial wealth gap, fix public education and solve violent crime. Driven by his Belief strength, his hope for Cleveland is one of renewal.