Maximizer Strength: Get Known For Your Talent

I get a whole lot of questions about how to amplify your CliftonStrengths talent theme of Maximizer with your career.

In this series, I break down one strength per post — so that you can add to the insights from your StrengthsFinder report and make a better alignment between your 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.

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 Maximizer 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. 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 Maximizer strength:

  • Efficient
  • Sorter
  • Leader
  • Driver
  • Selective
  • Persuader
  • Strengths-Oriented
  • Choosy
  • Challenger
  • Refiner
  • Improver
  • Never Done
  • Transformer
  • Excellence-Seeker
  • Tinkerer
  • Iterator
  • Quality Booster

Red Flag Situations When You Lead With The Maximizer Strength

These are the cultures, interactions, or situations that feel like soul-sucking drudgery to someone with the talent theme of Maximizer. They might even make you want to quit the team. So I’ll give you a couple of these to be on watch for — because if they fester, you might get the urge to quit the job or become detached and disengaged at work.

Here are a couple of Red flags for the Maximizer strength (talent theme):

  1. Premature Launch. If you lead through the Maximizer strength, you naturally focus on quality. You have high expectations, and it hurts to hand over a work product before it meets your quality standard. So if you’re on a team that values quantity over quality, you’ll likely get frustrated. Also, if you find that a work product has huge potential…if only you could do this to it…(only to find out there’s no time or budget to allow it to live up to its potential), it will make your Maximizer sad.
  2. Weakness-Focused Culture. Maximizer is a talent theme that is naturally aligned with a strengths-focused culture. If you find yourself part of a team that obsesses over weaknesses and problems and what’s wrong, you’ll be yearning to flip things around. Sometimes your strengths point of view will be refreshing and welcomed, but if you find that it’s dismissed, you’ll feel drained by only working on what’s broken rather than getting the high leverage out of strengths.

3 Fresh Application Ideas For The Maximizer Strength

These are ways to apply the talent theme of Maximizer 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 Maximizer strength, put the talent to good use with one of these options:

  1. When the rest of the team can’t see potential in a project or person. The Maximizer talent sees potential all over. So you could apply this to a change that people are resisting, or a future vision that needs to be created. You can even turn on the Maximizer talent to bring an inspirational message to help other people see “what can be."
  2. When you need incremental improvement over time. People with the Maximizer talent don’t need to constantly work on exponential change. They get a charge out of incremental improvements that compound over time. If you need someone who can help you realize potential over the long-haul, tap into the powers of the Maximizer who loves to test and experiment and iterate to continually improve something.
  3. When you want to go from good to great. People who lead through Maximizer rarely rest on their laurels. Good isn’t good enough. They like to make things better and better and better. They’re constantly asking “what if we did this” or “I wonder what it could be like if we tried this” - they’re looking to get the most out of things, so they’re chasing efficiencies and mastery all the time. If you want someone who doesn’t get bored with continuous iteration, tap your Maximizers.

So there you have it. It’s a quick tour for building your career through the talent theme of Maximizer.

Here's Your Personal Branding Homework For The Maximizer Strength

  1. Go take action on your LinkedIn profile with the career branding section. Challenge yourself to write one sentence in the Summary section of LinkedIn that captures how you collaborate as a teammate at work.
  2. Then think over the red flags to see if there’s anything you need to get in front of before it brings you down.
  3. Volunteer your talents through the application ideas. And 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.
  4. Dig into the Maximizer strength all the way. You can really nerd out on the nuances on the Maximizer Talent Theme Page.

 

Here's A Full Transcript Of The 10 Minute Episode

 

You're listening to Lead Through Strengths, where we help work teams apply their greatest strengths at the office. 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. As you can guess, I hear a lot of enthusiasm about how to align your CliftonStrengths talent theme of Maximizer with your career choices and your career brand.

So, in this series, what you'll hear is that I break it down one strength per episode. That way, you can add to the insights that you already have from your StrengthsFinder report, and go a little bit further so that you can extend that into a match between your job, your career choices, and your strengths.

If you're listening to this as a people manager, use this series for career development ideas. You can use it to be looking for clues about responsibilities. You could give a person who have the Maximizer talent theme, so that they can show up at their best.

If you're listening for yourself, because you have the Maximizer talent theme, use this as a chance to build a reputation around your Maximizer, not just use it here and there as happenstance would allow, but actually build a career brand around your strengths so that you're more likely to be given assignments that live in your strength zone, because you're known for them.

So today, the talent theme of the episode, as you've already guessed, is Maximizer. And you're going to get 3 layers to chew on. One is career branding. Two is red flag situations at work. And three, you'll get fresh application ideas.

So, let's talk career branding for Maximizer. So, you probably already have a reputation for what you know. And if you imagine your resume your CV or LinkedIn profile, it's likely full of the ‘what’. These are things like job titles, skills, knowledge, expertise, maybe even the degree you earned. What's missing is usually the ‘how’. This is where StrengthsFinder talent themes live. They're all in the house. And this is an overlooked use for these tools like LinkedIn.

So, it's not just for job seekers. This is very much a career branding tool and chances are good that you're a lot like my StrengthsFinder training clients, where you don't see your teammates every day and you don't see your customers physically every day. And that's why LinkedIn has become so important for career branding, because those same teammates, customers, vendors, they're going to go look you up before meetings because they want to see who they're about to talk to. And rather than this tool only telling them what it is that you know about, what subject matter you're an expert in, you should also give them a peek at how it is to work with you. What a great way to lead them to the reputation you want to build.

So, here are a bunch of adjectives that you can use in your career branding, and in your LinkedIn profile.

So, you can consider these, if you lead through Maximizer, you will likely be efficient, a sorter, that was kind of a funny word, but you sort things, you sort thoughts quickly so a sorter, selective, a persuader, you’re strengths-oriented naturally, choosy because you see the potential and things, you can be choosy because you can see where high quality lives, you’re challengers, you're always refining or you're always tweaking, always changing, always making better. You're never done. You're transformers. You’re excellence seekers. You’re tinkerers, you’re iterators and you’re quality boosters.

So, consider those. Try those on with you and see which one sounds like you at your very best. Now that's you at your best.

Well, let's talk about you at your worst, or you in your high anxiety states. These are red flag situations for Maximizer. These are the cultures, the types of interactions, the situations that are going to feel like soul-sucking drudgery to you. If you have the theme of Maximizer, they might even make you want to quit the team or detach or get that feeling when you feel like you need to disengage to not go over the edge.

So, two important red flags for Maximizer. One is constant premature launch. So, if you lead through Maximizer, you naturally focus on quality. I mean really focus on quality. You have high expectations, and it is going to hurt you if you feel you need to hand over a work product before it meets your personal standard of quality.

So, if you're on a team that values, quantity over quality, if you're on a team that is very much in the, “Hey, just ship, just get it out. Just hurry up. Let's get it out fast!”, you're likely going to get frustrated, because you might know that the work product has huge potential. If only you could do this thing, do it, only to find out there's no time for it, there's no budget for it and it's not going to be able to live up to its potential. That will really make your Maximizer sad.

Now if you're an environment where people iterate a lot, and you know that it will have room to keep improving, it won't bother you so much. But if you know, “just ship” means, “get the product out the door, and we're going to forget about it and never touch it again”, that's going to hurt your Maximizer.

Okay, the second red flag. This is weakness-focused culture. Maximizer is a talent theme. It's kind of funny, because we're talking about leading through strengths. But Maximizer also is naturally aligned with a strengths-focused culture. So, if you find yourself part of a team that obsesses over weaknesses and problems and what's wrong, then you're going to be yearning to flip things around. You're gonna be thinking, -

“Well, yeah, we have this weakness, and it could become this.”

“Oh, we have this problem, and if we looked at it this way, it could actually be an opportunity.”

And it's very much in the framing of things. But if you find that your strengths point of view, is going to be dismissed, rather than being welcomed, or being viewed as a refreshing take on things, then it really can drain you. So just watch for that. If you notice you're in an environment where people are always fixing what's broken, rather than looking for the high leverage, you can get out of what already works, that might suck the life out of you.

Okay, let's move to the application ideas for Maximizer. These are ways to apply the talent theme at work. When your job duties feel kind of locked in, you might be on a team where you feel like, “the job is the job, I don't have a lot of room to wiggle it.” So, if that's you, these are some ways that you can start to volunteer talents.

Now, if you're listening as a manager, just think about having this kind of conversations with team members who lead through this talent, because you might get some ideas for things that would really energize them and put them at their best performance.

Okay, so for someone who leads through Maximizer, here are three options for you.

One, when the rest of the team can't see potential in a project, or they can't see potential in a person. When everyone else has given up on it, or it just seems like too big of a mountain to climb, the Maximizer talent sees potential all over. So, you could apply this to a change that people are resisting. Or it could be a future vision that needs to be created and they can help people see the potential for living into it. You can even turn on the Maximizer talent to bring an inspirational message to help other people begin to see the possibilities, to help others see what could be when they're really just stuck in today. So that's a little more of an influential take on Maximizer, where it can help others see the possible vision.

Number two, second way to apply when you need incremental improvement over time. So, people with the Maximizer talent theme, they don't need to constantly work on earth-shattering exponential changes. They actually get a charge out of the incremental improvements, the small stuff that can compound over time. If you need somebody who can help you turn something from good to great, something to help you realize potential over the long haul by being patient and diligent about improvements, tap into the powers of Maximizer. They love to test and experiment and iterate and continually improve stuff.

Number three, that concept of good-to-great, let's hone in on that. So, if the team wants to go from good to great on a topic or on a product, people who lead through Maximizer, they rarely rest on their laurels. They're not going to be like, “Oh, look, I don't have much on my calendar today. I'm just gonna hang out.” Nope, good isn't good enough. They like to make things better and better and better and better. And they're constantly asking themselves and thinking, -

“What if we did this?”

“Oh, why don't we be like if we tried this?”

So, in that downtime, or when you want to take something from good to great, they're the one to go to when you want to think how could we get the most out of this. So, they're always chasing efficiencies and mastery, and higher quality and bigger improvements. So, if you want someone who doesn't get bored, or doesn't get worn out by you continually asking them to iterate, tap your Maximizers for that.

So, there you have it. It's a quick tour for building a career brand through the talent theme of Maximizer.

So, the homework is:

One, go take action on your LinkedIn profile with the career branding section. Challenge yourself to write one sentence just a summary section sentence in 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.

And then finally, volunteer your talents through one of those application ideas. And 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.

With that I'm your host Lisa Cummings from Lead Through Strengths. If you're thinking about doing a virtual or an in-person training of it to kick off your strengths-based culture, head on over to leadthroughstrengths.com/training to see if our current offerings are a good fit for you.

And until next time. Thank you for being part of this powerful strengths movement that helps people unleash the awesomeness that's already living inside them.

About Deena Silverman

Deena Silverman is the Director of Customer Experience at Lead Through Strengths, where she helps teams improve their productivity by focusing on their natural talents. Deena helps leaders pull off seamless strengths-based events that change the culture of their company. One of her greatest joys is studying human behavior and helping others achieve their goals. When she's not using her organizational strengths to create awesome events, you can find her running around with her two special boys and her unique dog, Ranger. Or she might be hunting for Gary, her repeat-escapee hamster with a top talent of persistence. Her Top 5 StrengthsFinder Talents are: Individualization | Achiever | Learner | Input | Activator.