Arranger Strength: Get Known For Your Talent
I hear a lot of reflections about how to apply your CliftonStrengths talent theme of Arranger to your career.
In this series, you get one strength per post so that you can add to the insights from your StrengthsFinder report and make an even stronger alignment between your current job and your strengths.
- If you’re exploring this concept as a manager, use this series for career development ideas and even new clues about responsibilities you could give a person with this talent theme so that they can show up at their best.
- If you’re exploring this concept for yourself, use this as a chance to build a reputation for your strengths so that you’re more likely to be given assignments that live in your strengths zone.
Today's episode talks about the Arranger strength.
You’ll get three layers to chew on:
1. Career Branding
2. Red Flag Situations At Work
3. Fresh Application Ideas
Career Branding For The Arranger Strength
You probably already have a reputation for what you know. Think about your personal resume, CV, or your LinkedIn profile, I bet it's full of “the what,” which are things like job titles, skills, knowledge, expertise, or the degree you earned. What’s missing is usually "the how,” and this is where your StrengthsFinder talent themes live.
Chances are good that you are a lot like my StrengthsFinder training clients, where you don’t physically see your teammates and customers every day. So many of us work on remote teams. That’s why LinkedIn has become so important for career branding. It’s how your teammates, customers, and vendors go look you up before a meeting - to see who they’re about to talk to. And rather than only telling them what you know, you should also give them a peek at how it is to work with you.
Here are a bunch of adjectives to consider using in your career branding efforts and your LinkedIn profile when you lead through the Arranger strength:
- Piece Fitter
- Change Lover
- Turnaround Queen/King
- Puzzle Rearranger
- Decision Maker
- Change Agent
- Priority Adjuster
Red Flag Situations When You Lead With The Arranger Strength
These are the cultures, interactions, or situations that might feel like soul-sucking drudgery to someone with the Arranger strength. They could even make you want to quit the team if they get really bad. So I’ll give you a couple of these to be on watch for — because if they fester, you might become detached or disengaged at work.
Here are a couple of Red flags for the Arranger strength (talent theme):
- The Slow, Steady Slog. If you lead through the Arranger strength and you’re in a slow-paced, careful work environment, you might get antsy fast. If you feel bogged down by obsolete processes or technologies, you’ll be dying to make the positive changes needed to move forward. If you happen to be on a team where the obsolete guidelines are sacred, you’ll want to find other parts of the job that are not so steady-eddie to keep your Go Button firing.
Stay In Your Lane. Let’s say you lead through Arranger, and you’re responsible for marketing analytics. Although the job is typically focused on the marketing and sales teams, you see a cool opportunity to bring in a panoramic view with customer data and product data. Then you get the news that you need to “stay in your lane” - keep focused on the job you were given. This can be extremely frustrating if you lead through the Arranger strength because the broad collaboration and the ability to adapt to the current times is exactly where your genius lies.
3 Fresh Application Ideas For The Arranger Strength
These are ways to apply the Arranger strength at work, even when the job duties on the team feel pretty locked in. If you’re exploring this concept as a team manager, be sure to have a conversation around these ideas. You’ll both be able to come up with places to apply them.
For someone who leads through the Arranger strength, put the talent to good use with one of these options:
- Stalemate. Imagine two teams have been battling each other for years. They never seem to agree on budgets. They seem to have competing priorities. Collaboration has halted. Consider bringing in someone on the team who leads through Arranger. They may thrive on the idea that they get to put together processes, plans, events, and tasks that will actually move both teams forward. It’s important to know that if you put them in a situation where you want them to get momentum where it stalled, they need to have enough sway to make things happen. If they get blocked and ignored, they’re likely to find a workaround, yet running into an entire team of people bellyaching about the change or telling your team member to “stop fixing what’s not broken” it will actually drain them rather than make them thrive.
Progress During Adversity. Let’s say you lead a team of hardware engineers. Someone discovers a defect in the product that might set your go-to-market date back by two quarters. If someone on the team leads through Arranger, see what they can come up with. The puzzle of shifting resources, remaining unflappable, and keeping people enlisted in the project during these hard times - those are all things that this person will be fired up by.
Matrix Mess. Imagine you’re like 49% of the workforces around the world, and you have a matrixed reporting environment. People might describe themselves as having 4 or 5 bosses. Let’s say you have a project that has become a complete mess. No one knows who owns it. Team members are spread all over the world, and no one can attend the conference calls at the same time. Most people work remotely, so getting everyone in a room to work things out is simply not an option. When you have a messy environment and a high stakes project that must get ironed out, call on your team members with the Arranger talent. Ask them specifically to focus on bringing functional collaboration. Ask them to be the maestro of the matrix. They will likely thrive if they get to think of themselves as a conductor in this seemingly muddled-up environment.
Here's Your Personal Branding Homework For The Arranger Strength
- Go take action on your LinkedIn profile with the career branding section. Challenge yourself to write one sentence in the About section of LinkedIn that captures how you collaborate as a teammate at work.
- Then think over the red flags to see if there’s anything you need to get in front of before it brings you down. You might decide to make the situation mean something different, or pre-plan a reaction for the next time it comes around.
- Volunteer your talents through the application ideas. If you’re a manager, have a conversation with your team members about which of these things sound like something they’d love to have more of.
- Dig into the Arranger strength all the way. You can really nerd out on the nuances on the Arranger Talent Theme Page.
Here's A Full Transcript Of The 12 Minute Episode
You're listening to Lead Through Strengths, where you'll learn to apply your greatest strengths at work. I'm your host, Lisa Cummings and I got to tell you, it's hard to find something more energizing than using your natural talents every day at work.
Now, I hear a lot of enthusiasm about how to align your CliftonStrengths talent theme of Arranger with your work. So, in this series you're getting one strength broken down per episode, so that you can add to the insights you already had from your StrengthsFinder report and continue to make a better and better match between your job and your strengths.
Now, if you're listening to this in a people manager role, use this series for career development ideas. Get clues about responsibilities and tasks you can give a person with the theme of Arranger.
If you're listening for yourself because this is your theme, use this as a chance to build your reputation for your strength, so, you're more likely to be given assignments that live in your awesomeness zone of genius. You're going to get three layers to think about today.
One is career branding. The second is red flag situations at work. And the third is application ideas.
So, let's talk career branding. Now, in general with career branding, people are great at branding the ‘what’ - what they know, knowledge areas, subject-matter expertise, job function, sometimes even competencies that they're decent at. But most of the time, it's what kind of roles have I had in the past. It's all the stuff that you list on your resume - skills, knowledge, experience, all the things and all of that describes what you do or what you know.
What's missing in career brand is the ‘how’ - how you operate, how you think how you interact with others, how you get things done, how you make decisions. Well, the ‘how’, that's what StrengthsFinder tells you all about.
So, Arranger, let's talk all about the how of Arranger. Here are a bunch of adjectives that you could consider using in your career branding efforts. Just listen for the one or two that really stand out and make you think, - “Oh, I would love to be known for that word.” Ready?
Juggler. Multi-tasker. Organizer. Piece Fitter. Collaborative. Change Lover. Maestro. Turnaround Queen or Turnaround King. Configure Flexible. Dynamic Conductor. Coordinator. Resourceful. Unflappable. Change Ready. Puzzle Re-arranger. Interactive. Decision Maker. Change Agent. Priority Adjuster. Lister.
Quite a variety there. Which one really resonated with you as something you would want to be known for? Well, pick that one, just that one. Make it a goal of using it. Use it in your conversations. Use it in your actions. Show it this month. The more you use it, the more you get known for it. Imagine picking the word unflappable, and you know in the face of all the craziness and change and distraction going on, you want to be seen as the one who is unflappable in the face of fear, or in the face of change. Pretty cool stuff.
Okay, red flag situations for Arranger. Red flag situations. From my perspective, these are cultures, the interactions, the situations that happen on a team that would feel like soul-sucking drudgery to you. If you lead through Arranger, they're the kind of things that if they are persistent and amplified, they might even make you want to quit a team. And I mentioned them so that you can be on watch for them because you don't want to let them fester, because you don't want to get the urge to detach from work.
So, two red flags you want to be watching for at work. One is the slow, steady slog. So, if you lead through Arranger and you're in a slow-paced, careful work environment, you're gonna get antsy fast. If you feel bogged down by obsolete processes or technologies, you might be dying to make the positive changes that you need to get on with it to move forward to get past to adapt.
If you happen to be on a team where the obsolete guidelines though, they're sacred, well, you're probably going to want to find some other parts of the job that are not so steady-eddie, because you are going to want to keep that ‘Go’ button firing because you like change. Change makes you alive. So, if you're in that slow, steady slog, it can be really draining.
Okay, the next red flag, I'm going to call this, stay in your lane. So, let's say you lead through Arranger and you're responsible for marketing analytics, well, that job might typically be focused on the marketing team and the sales team, all the analytics that you know, marketing-accepted lead sales, accepted leads, all those kinds of things. How many conversions, how many first calls? Imagine those kinds of analytics, but then you think of a cool opportunity to bring in a panoramic view, where you can bring in some customer data and some product data and you think you could tell some interesting stories through these insights.
So, you start experimenting with it and sharing it in a couple of meetings and you get the news that you better stay in your lane, you need to keep focused on the job you were given. Well, this can be extremely frustrating for you if you lead through Arranger because that broader collaboration and the ability to adapt to the current times, that's exactly where your genius lies. So, watch out for that one.
[5:56] It's going to be something that you're naturally pulled toward not staying in your lane, because that's how you shuffle things around to be able to get them done so well. It's part of your collaboration genius.
Okay, let's move to three application ideas. These are ways to apply the talent theme of Arranger at work, even if your job duty feels like it is what it is, and it's locked in. This is pretty cool. Because it can be something you give yourself permission to experiment with that will feel like you're shaping your job. And then if you're a manager, which is how I present these ideas, these are things that you could assign the person who leads through Arranger, but be sure to talk to them about what really seems like. It will enliven them, because depending on what other talent themes it's combined with, these may not be straight up, you know, beauty points for them that they are in love with. But I bet they're gonna dig one or two of them for sure.
Alright, for someone who leads through Arranger, put it to good use with number one. I'm going to call it stalemate. So, imagine two teams. They've been battling for years. They never agree on budgets, they always have competing priorities. Collaboration is the problem. Well, this is a great time that you could bring in someone on the team who leads through Arranger. They may actually thrive on the idea that they get to put together processes or plans or events or tasks that are going to move both teams forward.
Now, I think it's important to make a distinction, though, if you're going to send somebody into a mess, where collaboration isn't happening, people with Arranger can be awesomely flexible and be great at being collaborative. But think about this. Are you going to put them in a situation where the momentum is stalled, and they can actually have some sway to make some things happen, because if they get totally blocked and ignored? Well, they're probably still going to be able to find a workaround. But running into an entire team of people who are belly-aching about the change or telling your team member to stop fixing what's not broken, that would actually drain them rather than enliven them. So, make sure that you think through the scenario, and see that they're actually able to use this persistence and flexibility to make things happen.
Okay, number two, progress during adversity. So, let's say you lead a team of hardware engineers. Someone discovers a defect in the product, and it's going to setback your go-to market date by two quarters. You know, that feeling when stuff comes up on the team, and everyone is just gutted, because they've worked so hard and then the problem shows up. And that problem is really disappointing. Well, if someone on your team leads through Arranger, see what they can come up with. Give them the puzzle of shifting resources, trying to be the one who stays unflappable and keeps people enlisted in the project during the hard times. Those are all the things that if you actually put the person on it, like see what you can shift, how can we change the plans, what can we accelerate, what can we shift around, that would be pretty fun puzzle for them to solve.
Alright, number three. ‘Calling it matrix mess. So imagine you're like 49% of the workforce is around the world, and you have a matrix reporting environment. Well, people might describe themselves as having 4 or 5 bosses, and it can get really confusing. You might have a project that's become a complete mess. Nobody knows who actually owns the project. Team members are spread all over the world. People can't attend the conference calls at the same time because you have so many time zones to cover. Most people work remotely, so getting everybody in a room to work things out, it's just not going to be an option.
Well, when you have a messy environment like that, and you have a high stakes project, and you have an issue that has to get ironed out, think about calling on a team member with Arranger and ask them specifically to focus on bringing functional collaboration. Ask them to be the maestro of the matrix. And now, that sounds a little bit cheesy and I love alliteration, so I couldn't help myself. But, but truly, they will thrive if they get to think of themselves as a conductor. It's like the muddled-up environment, but they get to be the conductor who figures out like, imagine them the conductor of an orchestra, and they can take each piece and they can figure out how to swizzle things around and who could do what at what time to make all the parts flow.
When that matrix, remote, global team gets real crazy in people's minds, put someone with the Arranger on it, to think through other ways of handling it.
So, there you have it. That's a quick tour for building your career through the talent theme of Arranger. So the homework is: number one, go take action on career branding. Challenge yourself to write one sentence in the About section of LinkedIn that captures how you collaborate as a teammate at work.
Number two, think over the red flags. See if there's anything you need to get in front of before it brings you down.
And then number three, volunteer your talents through the application ideas I just gave. And if you're a manager, have a conversation with your team member about which of those things actually sounds like something they would love to have more of in their work life.
With that, I'm your host Lisa Cummings from Lead Through Strengths. If you're thinking about doing some team building to kick off your strengths-based culture, head over to leadthroughstrengths.com/training . See if our current offerings look like a good fit for you.
And until next time. Thanks for being part of this powerful movement. This movement helps people unleash the awesomeness that every person already has inside them.
Carmie is a professional writer and editor at Lead Through Strengths. Having spent 8 happy years with a nonprofit child organization as a storyteller and sponsorship relations team manager, she continues collaborating with others across the globe for the joy of human development and connection. Her days are powered by coffee, curiosities, cameras (film and digital), music, notebooks, and a cat. Where books are home, she’s home. She calls her Top 5 StrengthsFinder Talents “CLIPS” (Connectedness, Learner, Intellection, Positivity, and Strategic)–you know, those tiny objects that hold connected things together. She’d like to think she’s one.