How To Apply CliftonStrengths Strategic At Work

StrengthsFinder Definition - Strategic

Often people will ask us, "What does it mean to have the Strategic 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 Strategic theme create alternative ways to proceed. Faced with any given scenario, they can quickly spot the relevant patterns and issues. 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 Strategic - 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 Strategic.

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 Strategic

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 Strategic

  • Being stuck in the status quo, especially when people resist productive change
  • Waiting for people who are making slow decisions and connections

How CliftonStrengths Strategic 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 Strategic

  • Always trying something different
  • Blazes trails without change management
  • Hates being questioned

Situations That Make CliftonStrengths Strategic 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 Strategic

  • Ignore or overlook the downstream impact, especially when you could have asked for quick input.
  • Get paralyzed in decision-making or change your mind about something you've already started because you had buyer's remorse.

Yays for CliftonStrengths
Strategic

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 Strategic

  • Thinking about 101 possibilities and then quickly picking the best one
  • Stripping down a complicated business model into something simple and clear

How CliftonStrengths Strategic 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 Strategic

  • Imaginative strategist
  • Pathfinder
  • Simplifies the complex

Situations That Make CliftonStrengths Strategic 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 Strategic

  • Remove roadblocks so this person can take fast action down a new path.
  • Expect and accept mid-course corrections if they discover a better route along the way.

Personal Brand - "How" Strategic 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:

  • Thinker
  • Prioritizer
  • Mapmaker
  • Sorter
  • Decisive
  • Planner
  • Evaluator
  • Strategist
  • Anticipator
  • Creative
  • Pattern-Spotter
  • Future-Oriented

How To Invest In Your Strategic Talent On The Job

  • Take the time to fully reflect or muse about a goal that you want to achieve until the related patterns and issues emerge for you. Remember that this musing time is essential to Strategic thinking.
  • You can see repercussions more clearly than others. Take advantage of this ability by planning your range of responses in detail. There is little point in knowing where events will lead if you are not ready when they do.
  • Talk with others about the alternative directions you see. Detailed conversations like this can help you become even better at anticipating.
  • Trust your intuitive insights as often as possible. Even though you might not be able to explain them rationally, your intuitions are created by a brain that instinctively anticipates and projects. Have confidence in these intuitions.
  • When the time comes, seize the moment and state your strategy with confidence.
  • Find a group that you think does important work and contribute your Strategic thinking. You can be a leader with your ideas.
  • Learn how to describe what you see “down the road.” Others who do not possess a strong Strategic theme may not anticipate often or well. You will need to be very persuasive if you are to help them avoid future obstacles, or to exploit the opportunities you have seen.
  • Partner with someone with a strong Activator theme. With this person’s need for action and your need for anticipation, you can forge a powerful partnership.

Tips For Managing Someone Who Leads Through The Strategic Talent

  • Get this person on the leading edge of your organization. Their ability to anticipate problems will be valuable. For example, ask this person to sort out all of the possibilities and suggest the best path forward for your department. 
  • Involve this person in planning. Ask, “If this happened, what should we expect?” “If that happened, what could it look like?”
  • This person is likely to have a talent for putting a future vision into words. To sharpen and refine their thinking even further, ask them to present ideas to colleagues to practice on a wider audience.
  • When you learn about strategies that worked in your industry, share them with this person. It will stimulate the big thinking even further.

What To Consider When Partnering With A Colleague Who Leads Through Strategic

  • Ask this person to partner with you when you need to quickly see downstream impact of your decision. They can think on the fly and help you see what others cannot.
  • When you have a lot of possible paths, partner with someone with the Strategic talent to help you find an efficient route forward.
  • Call on them when you need to move quickly, and without buyer’s remorse. Someone with the Strategic talent can sort the options at a fast pace.

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

Woo Talent Theme Lockscreen

Click 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 Strengths Conversations

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