How To Apply CliftonStrengths Maximizer At Work

StrengthsFinder Definition - Maximizer

Often people will ask us, "What does it mean to have the Maximizer 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 Maximizer theme focus on strengths as a way to stimulate personal and group excellence. They seek to transform something strong into something superb. 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 Maximizer - 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 Maximizer.

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 Maximizer

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 Maximizer

  • Delivering work that isn’t great — good isn't enough.
  • Obsession with pulling up weaknesses and what's broken, when instead we could be spending time figuring out how to make ourselves truly exceptional.

Example yuck from client: "I hate the phrase 'it's good enough where I come from.' C'mon people. That is an excuse to be lazy and average. Every product and person has the potential to be great, and if the people around me don't care about finding excellence, I feel stunned that they can think that way."

Yays for CliftonStrengths Maximizer

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 Maximizer

  • Quality. Those who lead through Maximizer live out the concept of taking things from "Good to Great."
  • Focusing on what works. Maximizers love to bring potential into fruition.

Example yay from client: "A week of efficient and deep work that allows us to bring customers something that blows their expectations out of the water. Give me time to make the quality shine...not just focus on quantitative measures. A great day for me is when a client sends a testimonial about profound change and signs up for renewal."

How CliftonStrengths Maximizer 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 Maximizer

  • Picky
  • Never satisfied
  • Takes on too much

How CliftonStrengths Maximizer 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 Maximizer

  • Focused on excellence
  • Tinkers to improve over time
  • Finds efficient improvements

Situations That Make CliftonStrengths Maximizer 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 Maximizer

  • Focus only on quantity
  • Launching before it’s ready

If you're constantly pushing out unfinished or unvetted projects or products, keep a close eye on those who lead with Maximizer. The inability to proudly put their name behind something will be extremely frustrating to them. They get satisfaction when things are excellent,
so using "beta" as an excuse for low quality is like a punch in the

Situations That Make CliftonStrengths Maximizer 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 Maximizer

  • Making good stuff even better
  • High ROI projects with meaningful impact

To unleash the A-game of someone who leads through the Maximizer talent, give the person the resources to ensure quality work. They will have higher standards than most, and they appreciate not getting caught up in "what isn't" — they'd rather focus on what can be. Give them the opportunity to help people, projects, or products reach their full potential.

Personal Brand - 'How' CliftonStrengths Maximizer 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:

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

How To Invest In Your CliftonStrengths Maximizer Talent On The Job

  • Study success. Deliberately spend time with people who have discovered their strengths. The more you understand how strengths leads to success, the more likely you will be to create success in your own life.
  • Help other people succeed. For example, because most people find it difficult to describe what they do best, start by arming them with vivid descriptions. You can see their potential, so being a mentor or teacher might come naturally to you.
  • Focus on your strengths in contexts outside of work too. Consider how your natural talents relate to the mission in your life, and how they might benefit your family or the community. Refine your skills. Acquire new knowledge. Practice. Keep working toward mastery in a few areas.
  • Make your weaknesses irrelevant. For example, find a partner, devise a support system, or use one of your stronger themes to compensate for one of your weaker ones. Note: you might need to explain the intent to people who are not used to this approach. Initially, they could confuse what you are doing with complacency, and that's absolutely not what Maximizers are about.

Tips For Managing Someone Who Leads Through The CliftonStrengths Maximizer Talent

  • Avoid putting them in roles that demand continual problem-solving. They are likely interested in taking something that works and figuring out ways to maximize its performance. They may not be particularly interested in fixing things that are broken.
  • Ask them to investigate best practices within your organization or industry. They are naturally inquisitive about excellence, and will be energized by studying success.
  • They will expect you to understand their strengths and to value them for those strengths. They will become frustrated if you spend too much time focusing on their weaknesses. It's a negative headspace that seems counter productive to people who lead through Maximizer. Schedule time to strategize how these strengths can be used for the organization’s advantage.
  • Ask them to propose a program for measuring and celebrating the productivity of each employee. They will enjoy thinking about what excellence should or could look like in each role on the team.

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

  • Ask this person to partner with you when you want to improve the quality of your product. Don’t ask them to work on a project where it will be acceptable to say, “good enough where I come from.”
  • When you want to uncover what’s already working on the team, ask someone who leads through the Maximizer talent. They naturally focus on people’s strengths and potential, so it will be easier for them to report out on what’s working.
  • Call on them when you need people to feel appreciated for what they do well. If you’re terrible at recognizing others and making them feel valued, ask someone with the Maximizer talent to help you see these things that you’re passing over.

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

Maximizer 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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Listen To The Lead Through Strengths Podcast