“Do you have the opportunity to do what you do best every day?” This is a question the folks at Gallup ® have been asking people for decades and studying the answers. For more than 40 years they have studied strengths science and positive psychology and are the global leader in strengths-based professional development and education. Don Clifton’s philosophy and work surrounding the premise, “What if we focused on what was RIGHT with people?” has changed the way we think about developing the best within ourselves and those around us.
Dr. Clifton was born in 1924, in Butte, Nebraska. He earned the Distinguished Flying Cross in WWII and later received a doctorate in Educational Psychology. He went on to teach at the University of Nebraska. There he began his revolutionary research. Revolutionary, for at that time psychological research was geared to studying problems rather than potential.
Clifton’s research focused on what top achievers did that garnered consistent high yielding results as well as higher satisfaction with life in general. Patterns began to emerge and he translated those into themes of talent that he later proved could be guided and developed into real strengths. These themes of talent were paired down to 34 identifiable strengths. Individuals and employers alike latched on to this groundbreaking concept of helping people become the best version of themselves. The impact in their work and personal lives was undeniable.
In 2002, the American Psychological Association honored Clifton with a Presidential Commendation as the Father of Strengths-Based Psychology. “An educator, thought leader, inventor, and entrepreneur, Clifton is remembered for his unusual ability to bring out the best in people and help individuals and organizations achieve outstanding results.”
There is no doubt that by seizing upon the right opportunity you can clarify your talents, that your greatest room for growth is in the area of developing those talents turning them into real strengths and that, also, we can build strengths-based organizations with an engaged workforce that achieves consistent, high yielding success. What a boost to our economy, social service sectors and society as a whole that could bring!
AuthenticA brings that opportunity right to your front door, laptop or mobile device. Guess what? You’re here already! You are standing on the threshold and leaning in even now.
Most of us are used to the following model: A typical annual performance review sounds like this, “Okay, so you do these things well. No need to get into those. But these, well, these things over here. Ahem. We’re going to spend the next hour looking at your weaknesses and how to develop you. You need to become a more well-rounded person.”
The strengths-based approach knows that is a recipe for mediocrity at best and disengagement at worst. In Now, Discover Your Strengths, Dr. Clifton said, “Each person’s greatest room for growth is in the areas of his or her greatest strengths.” We don’t ignore our weaker areas but instead learn how to manage them while expending our major effort on maximizing our inborn talents and strengths. And then partnering with those with other strengths where we can use support. It’s a win-win for individual, manager and the company as a whole entity all learning to work in tandem built upon a foundation of natural strength.
Referring to the high achievers studied for his research, Dr. Clifton reported, “When we studied them, excellent performers were rarely well rounded. On the contrary, they were sharp.” The highest performers knew their talents, embraced them and did the work of developing them into a strength that gave them powerful tools to reach their goals and lead in their own lives with authenticity and success.
Are you ready to meet super strong You and lean in to give You all you’ve got? I can’t wait to meet you! Contact us here to schedule your complimentary 20-minute call. Get your questions answered and see how AuthenticA can help you blaze a trail in 2019 custom fit to your strengths and your goals. LEAN IN to the best version of you!
MaryAnn Gramig is the CEO of AuthenticA Coaching & Consulting and is a Gallup Certified Strengths Coach. Leadership Development Consultant, and public speaker. You can learn more about living strong with authenticity at www.authenticacoaching.com.