How To Apply CliftonStrengths Achiever At Work

StrengthsFinder Definition - Achiever

Often people will ask us, "What does it mean to have the Achiever Strength?" First, know that StrengthsFinder will help you figure out your potential. We call them natural talents or natural patterns. We know you're here because you want to turn them into superpowers in your career, so here's the gist: People exceptionally talented in the Achiever theme work hard and possess a great deal of stamina.
They take immense satisfaction in being busy and productive. Here's the full list of CliftonStrengths definitions so you can check out your other talents as well.

Gallup®, Clifton StrengthsFinder®, StrengthsFinder®, and each of the 34 Clifton StrengthsFinder theme names are trademarks of Gallup, Inc.

CliftonStrengths Achiever - Learn All About It

These 10-15 minute "Theme Overview" videos give you a peek into the awesomeness of your talent theme. They also explore the idea that talent themes represent potential, yet if they are not invested in, they might show up looking raw and unproductive at work.
These “Talent Deep Dive” videos explore the nuance of each talent theme. You’ll learn about its power and edge. You’ll consider potential blind spots. These are useful videos if you have this talent theme at the top of your list, or if you want to learn about a teammate who leads through Achiever.

These Career Branding links help you apply your talents to your career. They give you examples of things you might be known for to help your personal branding at work. They also offer some watch-outs to know what situations and cultures can zap your energy.

Your Strengths Will Strengthen Your Performance At Work

In the next section, you'll explore what fuels you up and what drains you. Just like gas (or petrol) in your car, you need to keep your personal tank full to be at your best. Each StrengthsFinder talent theme is energized and drained by different things. When you see the stick figure who looks strong, you can consider how these things fuel you up at work. They're your energy makers. When you see the stick figure who looks weak, consider if these things are draining you at work. They're your energy takers.

Yucks for CliftonStrengths Achiever

What's a Yuck?

It's a situation, condition, or behavior you might see at work that zaps your energy. Yucks are also things you see on your calendar or to-do list that make you think, "Yuck, if I never had to do that again I'd be thrilled."

Yuck Situations for Achiever

  • Lack of diligence or hard work around you
  • When there's no finish line in sight because it's too far away or it keeps getting moved

Example Achiever yuck from client: "When I look around the office and see someone goofing off all day. Don't they have something to do!? If not, I have a stack of things to offer them."

Yays for CliftonStrengths Achiever

What's a Yay?

It's a situation at work that boosts up your energy or makes you feel productive. Yays are also things you see on your calendar or to-do list that make you think, “Yay, fill my days with this."

Yay Situations for Achiever

  • Completing lots of milestones, tasks, projects, or to-dos
  • Checking items off the list — you worked hard and got things finished

Example yay from client: "A productive and busy week when my intended to-dos are complete because no surprise urgencies stole the show."

How CliftonStrengths Achiever Can Be Perceived When Starved

What's a Starved Talent?

This section describes how you might be perceived when the shadow side of your talent is showing. It’s when you’re overusing, misapplying, or squashing one of your natural talents rather than turning it into a strength. We often see people starve, squash, or ignore their talent when they assume it is not valued in that role or company culture.

Perceptions of Starved Achiever

  • Work seems more important than people do
  • You might go into "heads-down" mode and become withdrawn from peers
  • Not interactive with team because you're so focused on "get 'r done" mode

How CliftonStrengths Achiever Can Be Perceived When Fed

What's a Fed Talent?

This section describes how you might be perceived when the best version of you shows up at work. It’s when you’ve invested in your natural talents to mature them into strengths. You can feed your talent by considering “how” you approach each “what” on the job. When you apply your talents to productive outcomes, you’re feeding them.

Perceptions of Fed Achiever

  • One of the hardest workers on the team
  • Acts as a pace-setter to show others the outputs that are really possible if they get in their flow
  • Diligent employee and teammate who focuses on accomplishment of goals

Situations That Make CliftonStrengths Achiever Feel Insulted

What's An Insulted Talent?

Usually, talents get offended or insulted by other people who have natural preferences that are different from yours. It also happens if they fail to see their actions have an impact on someone else (you!). You can also insult your own talents if you have a "troublemaker strength" that speaks loudly and overpowers this one.

Things That Will Insult Achiever

If you're constantly changing course before projects are finished, keep a close eye on those who lead with Achiever. The inability to get things to the finish line will be extremely frustrating to them. They get satisfaction when things are complete, so every "restart" can feel like a punch in the arm.

Situations That Make CliftonStrengths Achiever Feel Honored

What's An Honored Talent?

Usually, talents feel honored when other people acknowledge your needs and potential contributions. Talents feel honored when someone “extends an olive branch” to help you work at your best. You can also honor your own talents by investing in them, by choosing work that naturally calls on them, or by applying your strengths to performance on the job.

Things That Will Honor Achiever

To unleash the A-game of someone who leads through the Achiever talent, give the person the freedom to control the pace of their work. They will work longer or faster than most, and they appreciate not getting bogged down by waiting. Give them the opportunity to see things through to the end.

Personal Brand - 'How' CliftonStrengths Achiever Operates At Work

Most people have a good handle on "What" they bring to the workplace. Resumes, CVs, and career development conversations are filled with lists of skills and job titles that show "what" you can do. Nearly everyone misses the "How".

Your Clifton StrengthsFinder talent themes help you communicate "How" you show up. It's how you think. It's how you feel. It's how you act. These are huge differences in each person that are differentiators on the job. Consider these adjectives you might want to consciously put into your personal branding efforts.

We recommend working a "How" description into the Summary section in your LinkedIn profile (if you don't yet use that section, don't worry, most people haven't paid attention to it until now). Of course, make up adjectives or phrases that describe you at your best. Try to avoid words like "motivated, self-starter" because they're so overused that you'll blend in with everyone else. Here are some ideas to spark your thinking:

  • Producer
  • Doer
  • Busy
  • Finisher
  • Energetic
  • Completer
  • Workhorse
  • Tireless
  • Gets It Done
  • Motivated
  • Ambitious
  • Intense
  • Driven
  • Independent
  • Pacesetter

How To Invest In Your CliftonStrengths Achiever Talent On The Job

  • Even if your boss doesn't focus on metrics, get clear on timelines and goals so that you can measure and celebrate your progress toward success. Since you enjoy completion, break the milestones and activities into smaller steps so that you can relish the feeling of accomplishment more often.
  • Partner up with other hard workers. Create accountability agreements that feed your desire to push yourself. Share your goals with them so they can help you get more done.
  • Give yourself "credit" in your personal tally system for using your Achiever talent with friends and family. That will keep you from over-indexing on the workaholic scale.

Tips For Managing Someone Who Leads Through The CliftonStrengths Achiever Talent

  • Try to insulate this person from slackers. They will drive Achievers bonkers.
  • Remember that boredom is a terrible feeling for someone who leads through Achiever. If you know this person is not challenged, work together to come up with stretch assignments.
  • Be cautious of project that put this person in "meetings about meetings." People who lead through Achiever love to be busy. If they spend a lot of time talking about work and not doing work, they can easily become disengaged or frustrated.

What To Consider When Partnering With a Colleague Who Leads Through CliftonStrengths Achiever

  • Offer to partner on responsibilities where there’s a visible finish line, and they can excel. Do not ask them to help with busy work.
  • Don’t tell them to take a break or stop working so much. People who lead through Achiever do not like being bored or working a slow pace. You may think they need to rest, yet they likely don’t.
  • Call on them to help when you have an “impossible client” or a seemingly unreachable goal. Achievers love the challenge of standing out and being recognized for huge accomplishments.

Turn CliftonStrengths Achiever Into A Strength This Month By Making It Your Phone Lock Screen

Achiever Talent Theme LockscreenClick on this thumbnail image of your StrengthsFinder talent theme to link to the full size image. Then save it to your phone or mobile device as your lock screen.

That way, you’ll be reminded of your plan to focus on that talent…oh…about 98 times per day when you unlock your phone. What a great way to keep your intention front-of-mind! This will help you remember to invest in this talent theme so you can take the untapped potential and turn the natural talent into a strength.

Who knew wallpaper images could be so valuable to your career?! Here are all of the lock screen images if you want to grab an image for a different CliftonStrengths talent.

Gallup®, Clifton StrengthsFinder®, StrengthsFinder®, and each of the 34 Clifton StrengthsFinder theme names are trademarks of Gallup, Inc.

Take The 12-Week Strengths Challenge

Get stronger performance at work by using your strengths. The challenge is free. You'll get one email per week for the next 12 weeks with a simple question to uncover more of your hidden potential. If you can get your whole team to join along, you'll get crazy-cool insights about each other.

Note: if you're on this page because you're taking one of our strengths classes, you might also be getting an "Activation Course" with that program. This is a heads-up that signing up for this challenge would give you 2 strengths emails per week if you're already slated for the "Activation Course."

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