How To Apply CliftonStrengths Command At Work

StrengthsFinder Definition - Command

Often people will ask us, "What does it mean to have the Command 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 Command theme have presence. They can take control of a situation and make decisions. 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 Command - 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 at the top of your list, or if you want to learn about a teammate who leads through Command.
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 Command

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 Command

  • Avoiding issues and conflicts or "beating around the bush"
  • Seeing passive responses at work, or worse — passive-aggressive

Example yuck from client: "On my last team, people skimmed over important challenges. They didn't want to hurt each other's feelings. That hurts my head. They were boiling about something, and they just wouldn't say the important thing."

Yays for CliftonStrengths Command

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 Command

  • Getting asked for a direct answer — when people want you to "cut to the chase"
  • Pushing back or speaking up when an issue has been hiding

Example yay from client: "When I get to say, 'Step 1, I'll do X. Step 2, Sue can do Y. And Step 3, Amit does Z.' That's a great day for me because they wanted decisive answers, and I could bring the confident action steps."

How CliftonStrengths Command 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 Command

  • Bossy
  • Dictator
  • Insensitive

How CliftonStrengths Command 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 Command

  • Clear
  • Decisive
  • Persuasive

Situations That Make CliftonStrengths Command 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 Command

  • Offer wishy-washy opinions or avoid conflicts on the team.
  • Sugar coat your bad news (or over explain & justify) in an attempt to soften the blow.

If you're constantly choosing the middle ground or emphasizing compromise, keep a close eye on those who lead with Command. They naturally look for clarity, not consensus. If your work culture focuses on harmony and consensus at all costs, it will be frustrating to someone who leads through Command. Their style of collaboration does not require everyone to agree — it's more about removing ambiguity.

Situations That Make CliftonStrengths Command 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 Command

  • Ask this person to challenge assumptions — it will be energizing.
  • Call upon this person to fix or manage out-of-control situations.

To unleash the A-game of someone who leads through the Command talent, give the person the freedom to disagree (in all org chart directions — up, down, & lateral). Ask them to drive something. They will be more direct and decisive than most, so they can bring speed comfort to the team in times of chaos and crisis. They have fun bringing an out-of-control situation back to a calm, clear state.

Personal Brand - 'How' CliftonStrengths Command 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:

  • Strong-Willed
  • Bold
  • Challenging
  • Driven
  • Unruffled
  • Truthful
  • Honest
  • On The Level
  • Influential
  • Straightforward
  • Decisive
  • Candid
  • Persuasive
  • Quick
  • Direct
  • Determined
  • Frank
  • Chaos Tamer
  • Clear Communicator
  • Assertive
  • Clarifier
  • Strong Presence
  • Truth-Teller
  • Leader
  • Concise
  • Plain-Spoken
  • Purposeful
  • Forthright
  • Unshakable

How To Invest In Your CliftonStrengths Command Talent On The Job

  • Find a cause you believe in and support it. You might discover yourself at your best when defending a cause in the face of resistance. It will allow you to apply your persuasive style in a situation you're passionate about.
  • You'll always be ready to confront. Practice (and be a student of) the words, the tone, and the tactics that work best for you. Notice when you're most persuasive so you can re-use what works.
  • Become known as a person with candor. Your unwillingness to hide from the truth can be a source of strength for your colleagues and friends.
  • Ask your teammates for their opinions. Sometimes you might seem intimidating, which will make others tread lightly for fear of your reaction. Watch for this. Partner with someone with a strong Woo, Relator, or Empathy theme. This person can help you to overcome obstacles through relationships.

Tips For Managing Someone Who Leads Through The CliftonStrengths Command Talent

  • Ask this person to take charge when you need to get a team un-stuck. Someone who leads with Command will be comfortable taking risks (or having unpopular opinions). They can create confident presence when a team has been indecisive and fearful about confronting the real issue.
  • When you need to understand why a team seems out of step with each other, ask this person. They will be straight with you. They will be comfortable stating the truth, even when it is unpleasant.
  • Give this person the space to lead and make decisions. Micromanaging will not go over well with someone who leads through Command.
  • If they upset colleagues in an unproductive way or miss performance expectations, address the issues head-on. Confront directly with specific examples. Be firm. Expect quick change. They will "get over" mistakes quickly, and so should you.

What To Consider When Partnering With A Colleague Who Leads Through CliftonStrengths Command

  • Ask this person to partner with you when you need someone highly persuasive to “own the room” at a high stakes meeting or discussion.
  • When your team needs someone who is comfortable taking the reigns and controlling a new process, this person will be absolutely comfortable owning it.
  • Call on them when you need direction in the face of confusion and panic. They will add certainty and calm in the face of a crisis.

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

Command 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."

12 Week Challenge - Team Icebreakers

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