Strengths Finder

Strengths Insight and Action-Planning Guide – Gallup Online

Your Top 5 Themes

  1. Futuristic
  2. Strategic
  3. Activator
  4. Maximizer
  5. Individualization

Section I: Awareness

Futuristic

Shared Theme Description

People who are especially talented in the Futuristic theme are inspired by the future and what could be. They inspire others with their visions of the future.

Your Personalized Strengths Insights

What makes you stand out?

By nature, you may intentionally take charge of your future. You might be determined to shape it as you wish. This partially explains why you set aside some time to ponder your goals. You may be impelled to create the experiences you desire. To some extent, you might agree with the notion “If you can think it, you can make it happen.” It’s very likely that you are energized by your plans for the coming months, years, or decades. Bringing your ideas to life is an exciting proposition for you. You sense you have the power to transform whatever you think is possible into tangible outcomes. Because of your strengths, you may perceive that you have an ability to create vivid word pictures to describe the future. You may inspire people with your images of what can be. Perhaps individuals appreciate your forward thinking. They might want or need to hear from you more often. Chances are good that you envision what you can accomplish tomorrow, next week, next month, next year, or in the coming decades. Your goals and aspirations motivate you to keep moving forward. The tension you feel when a deadline is fast approaching forces you to concentrate on the right activities, discard irrelevant information, and not waste time on intriguing distractions. Your one aim is to reach your objectives. Driven by your talents, you occasionally share your dreams about the coming months, years, or decades with people who appreciate your originality. Perhaps less imaginative individuals rely on you to tell them what is possible.

Questions

  1. As you read your personalized strengths insights, what words, phrases, or lines stand out to you?
  2. Out of all the talents in this insight, what would you like for others to see most in you?

Strengths Insight and Action-Planning Guide – Gallup Online

Strategic

Shared Theme Description

People who are especially talented in the Strategic theme create alternative ways to proceed. Faced with any given scenario, they can quickly spot the relevant patterns and issues.

Your Personalized Strengths Insights

What makes you stand out?

Driven by your talents, you can design innovative plans. You probably raise issues and identify recurring obstacles as you generate tactical options. Problems and possible solutions become apparent to you. Once you outline action steps, you quickly execute them one by one. You refuse to waste time questioning your ideas after everything has been set into motion. Because of your strengths, you occasionally marvel at your ability to vividly express your thoughts and feelings. Chances are good that you sometimes trust your ability to be an innovative thinker. You might invent several ways to reach a particular goal. Perhaps your next step is to narrow down your options to the best one. Sometimes you take into consideration prevailing circumstances, available resources, budgetary constraints, or pressing deadlines. Instinctively, you can reconfigure factual information or data in ways that reveal trends, raise issues, identify opportunities, or offer solutions. You bring an added dimension to discussions. You make sense out of seemingly unrelated information. You are likely to generate multiple action plans before you choose the best one. By nature, you customarily pinpoint the core problems and identify the best solutions. You artfully and skillfully eliminate distractions. This helps people gain a clear understanding of what is happening and why it is happening. You frequently identify ways to transform an obstacle into an opportunity.

Questions

  1. As you read your personalized strengths insights, what words, phrases, or lines stand out to you?
  2. Out of all the talents in this insight, what would you like for others to see most in you?

Strengths Insight and Action-Planning Guide – Gallup Online

Activator

Shared Theme Description

People who are especially talented in the Activator theme can make things happen by turning thoughts into action. They are often impatient.

Your Personalized Strengths Insights

What makes you stand out?

Driven by your talents, you excel at launching new projects, assignments, jobs, and other activities. Many times, you are the person who motivates people to begin tasks. You prefer difficult-to-reach goals. You prefer to take charge. You forge ahead rather than wait for someone in authority to give you permission to start. Because of your strengths, you might derive much satisfaction from initiating conversations with outsiders or newcomers. You routinely make a game of getting strangers to tell you about themselves and their interests. By nature, you might often acknowledge the importance of ideas that people share with you. Perhaps you give your attention to others to boost their self-confidence. Instinctively, you sometimes influence people to produce results, sign up to work on projects, or rally around causes. When you take time to know them as individuals, people may be more willing to move into action at your prompting. Perhaps they realize you appreciate some of their talents, interests, or experiences. Chances are good that you sometimes pinpoint and acknowledge the grand ideas certain people share with you. Now and then, you ask a few questions. Maybe you listen to others talk about their unique interests, backgrounds, experiences, strengths, limitations, goals, or fears.

Questions

  1. As you read your personalized strengths insights, what words, phrases, or lines stand out to you?
  2. Out of all the talents in this insight, what would you like for others to see most in you?

Strengths Insight and Action-Planning Guide – Gallup Online

Maximizer

Shared Theme Description

People who are especially 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.

Your Personalized Strengths Insights

What makes you stand out?

Driven by your talents, you may realize you can determine what distinguishes certain individuals from everyone else. Sometimes you use these insights to energize or inspire a person to do what needs to be done. Perhaps you honor the special, the wondrous, or the rare qualities of individuals. You might be able to position a few of them to attain even higher levels of excellence. By nature, you occasionally spend time pondering things you do with ease. Perhaps you concentrate on your good qualities. You may invest little time thinking about your flaws, shortcomings, or mistakes. Chances are good that you sometimes fully experience what others are feeling. Perhaps you easily see things from someone else’s perspective even when you do not share their opinion. Instinctively, you are likely to do your best work when someone truly recognizes your strengths. You want to be appreciated for the talents you own, the skills you possess, and the knowledge you have acquired. Because of your strengths, you now and then rely on your ability to help certain people find reasons to link up with one another. Perhaps areas of common ground or mutual understanding are discovered only when you are present.

Questions

  1. As you read your personalized strengths insights, what words, phrases, or lines stand out to you?
  2. Out of all the talents in this insight, what would you like for others to see most in you?

Strengths Insight and Action-Planning Guide – Gallup Online

Individualization

Shared Theme Description

People who are especially talented in the Individualization theme are intrigued with the unique qualities of each person. They have a gift for figuring out how people who are different can work together productively.

Your Personalized Strengths Insights

What makes you stand out?

By nature, you sometimes grasp how one person’s talents, skills, or knowledge can fill another’s gaps. You might realize a group’s ability to solve problems lies in the diversity of its members. Maybe you like to study everyone’s backgrounds, talents, experiences, attitudes, ages, educational levels, or cultures. Perhaps then you feel prepared to set up the team to handle puzzling challenges. Because of your strengths, you help recruit people for taskforces and teams. You have a knack for matching each person to a specific task. You also create partnerships where one person’s abilities fill in another’s gaps. Your decisions tend to be based on each individual’s interests, background, knowledge, skills, and talents. Driven by your talents, you help individuals acquire knowledge and gain skills. You are a fine instructor, tutor, and/or trainer. Chances are good that you derive much joy from assisting people in need. Instinctively, you provide clarity that helps people know what is wrong and/or what is not working well.

Questions

  1. As you read your personalized strengths insights, what words, phrases, or lines stand out to you?
  2. Out of all the talents in this insight, what would you like for others to see most in you?

Questions

  1. How does this information help you better understand your unique talents?
  2. How can you use this understanding to add value to your role?
  3. How can you apply this knowledge to add value to your team, workgroup, department, or division?
  4. How will this understanding help you add value to your organization?
  5. What will you do differently tomorrow as a result of this report?

Strengths Insight and Action-Planning Guide – Gallup Online

Section II: Application

Futuristic

Ideas for Action:

Choose roles in which you can contribute your ideas about the future. For example, you might excel in entrepreneurial or start-up situations.
Take time to think about the future. The more time you spend considering your ideas about the future, the more vivid your ideas will become. The more vivid your ideas, the more persuasive you will be.

Seek audiences who appreciate your ideas for the future. They will expect you to make these ideas a reality, and these expectations will motivate you.
Find a friend or colleague who also has powerful Futuristic talents. Set aside an hour each month for “future” discussions. You can push each other to greater heights of creativity and vividness.

Partner with someone with strong Activator talents. This person can remind you that you do not discover the future, you create it with the actions you take today.
You inspire others with your images of the future, yet your thinking may be too expansive for them to comprehend. When you articulate your vision, be sure to describe the future in detail with vivid words and metaphors. Make your ideas and strategies more concrete via sketches, step-by-step action plans, or mock-up models so that others can readily grasp your intent.

Surround yourself with people who are eager to put your vision into motion. They will feel exhilarated by your Futuristic talents, and you can harness their energy to propel the vision toward reality.
Be prepared to provide logical support for your futuristic thinking. Your exciting visions of future success will be best received when rooted in real possibility.

Your Futuristic talents could equip you to be a guide or coach for others. Unlike you, they might not be able to easily see over the horizon. If you catch a vision of what someone could be or do, don’t assume that he or she is aware of that potential. Share what you see as vividly as you can. In doing so, you may inspire someone to move forward.

Musing about the future comes naturally to you. Read articles about technology, science, and research to gain knowledge that will fuel your imagination.

Questions

  1. Which of these action items speak to you? Highlight the actions that you are most likely to take.
  2. How will you commit to taking action? Write your own personalized action item that you will take in the next 30 days.

Strengths Insight and Action-Planning Guide – Gallup Online

Strategic

Ideas for Action:

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 can. 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 you get there.
Find a group that you think does important work, and contribute your strategic thinking. You can be a leader with your ideas.
Your strategic thinking will be necessary to keep a vivid vision from deteriorating into an ordinary pipe dream. Fully consider all possible paths toward making the vision a reality. Wise forethought can remove obstacles before they appear.
Make yourself known as a resource for consultation with those who are stumped by a particular problem or hindered by a particular obstacle or barrier. By naturally seeing a way when others are convinced there is no way, you will lead them to success.
You are likely to anticipate potential issues more easily than others. Though your awareness of possible danger might be viewed as negativity by some, you must share your insights if you are going to avoid these pitfalls. To prevent misperception of your intent, point out not only the future obstacle, but also a way to prevent or overcome it. Trust your insights, and use them to ensure the success of your efforts.
Help others understand that your strategic thinking is not an attempt to belittle their ideas, but is instead a natural propensity to consider all the facets of a plan objectively. Rather than being a naysayer, you are actually trying to examine ways to ensure that the goal is accomplished, come what may. Your talents will allow you to consider others’ perspectives while keeping your end goal in sight.
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 perceptions.
Partner with someone with strong Activator talents. With this person’s need for action and your need for anticipation, you can forge a powerful partnership.
Make sure that you are involved in the front end of new initiatives or enterprises. Your innovative yet procedural approach will be critical to the genesis of a new venture because it will keep its creators from developing deadly tunnel vision.

Questions

  1. Which of these action items speak to you? Highlight the actions that you are most likely to take.
  2. How will you commit to taking action? Write your own personalized action item that you will take in the next 30 days.

Strengths Insight and Action-Planning Guide – Gallup Online

Activator

Ideas for Action:

Seek work in which you can make your own decisions and act on them. In particular, look for start-up or turnaround situations.
At work, make sure that your manager judges you on measurable outcomes rather than your process. Your process is not always pretty.

You can transform innovative ideas into immediate action. Look for creative and original thinkers, and help them move their ideas from conceptual theory to concrete practice.
Look for areas that are bogged down by discussion or blocked by barriers. End the stalemate by creating a plan to get things moving and spur others into action.

You learn more from real experience than from theoretical discussions. To grow, consciously expose yourself to challenging experiences that will test your talents, skills, and knowledge.
Remember that although your tenacity is powerful, it may intimidate some. Your Activator talents will be most effective when you have first earned others’ trust and loyalty.
Identify the most influential decision makers in your organization. Make it a point to have lunch with each of them at least once a quarter to share your ideas. They can support you in your activation and provide critical resources to make your ideas happen. You can easily energize the plans and ideas of others. Consider partnering with focused, futuristic, strategic, or analytical people who will lend their direction and planning to your activation, thereby creating an opportunity to build consensus and get others behind the plan. By doing this, you complement each other.
Give the reasons why your requests for action must be granted. Otherwise, others might dismiss you as impatient and label you a ‘ready, fire, aim’ person.
You possess an ability to create motion and momentum in others. Be strategic and wise in the use of your Activator talents. When is the best time, where is the best place, and who are the best people with whom to leverage your valuable influence?

Questions

  1. Which of these action items speak to you? Highlight the actions that you are most likely to take.
  2. How will you commit to taking action? Write your own personalized action item that you will take in the next 30 days.

Strengths Insight and Action-Planning Guide – Gallup Online

Maximizer

Ideas for Action:

Once you have identified your own greatest talents, stay focused on them. Refine your skills. Acquire new knowledge. Practice. Keep working toward strength in a few areas. Develop a plan to use your most powerful talents outside of work. In doing so, consider how your talents relate to the mission in your life and how they might benefit your family or the community.

Problem solving might drain your energy and enthusiasm. Look for a restorative partner who can be your chief troubleshooter and problem solver. Let that person know how important your partnership is to your success.
Study success. Deliberately spend time with people who have discovered their strengths. The more you understand how marshaling strengths leads to success, the more likely you will be to create success in your own life.

Explain to others why you spend more time building on great talent rather than fixing weaknesses. Initially, they might confuse what you are doing with complacency.
Don’t let your Maximizer talents be stifled by conventional wisdom, which says you should find what is broken and fix it. Identify and invest in the parts of your organization or community that are working. Make sure that most of your resources are spent in the build-up and build-out of these pockets of excellence.

Keep your focus on long-term relationships and goals. Many make a career out of picking the low-hanging fruit of short-term success, but your Maximizer talents will be most energized and effective as you turn top potential into true and lasting greatness. See if you can make some of your weaknesses irrelevant. For example, find a partner, devise a support system, or use one of your stronger talents to compensate for one of your weaker ones.
Seek roles in which you are helping people succeed. In coaching, managing, mentoring, or teaching roles, your focus on strengths will prove particularly beneficial to others. Because most people find it difficult to describe what they do best, start by arming them with vivid descriptions.
Devise ways to measure your performance and the performance of others. These measures will help you spot strengths, because the best way to identify a strength is to look for sustained levels of excellent performance.

Questions

  1. Which of these action items speak to you? Highlight the actions that you are most likely to take.
  2. How will you commit to taking action? Write your own personalized action item that you will take in the next 30 days.

Strengths Insight and Action-Planning Guide – Gallup Online

Individualization

Ideas for Action:

Select a vocation in which your Individualization talents can be both used and appreciated, such as counseling, supervising, teaching, writing human interest articles, or selling. Your ability to see people as unique individuals is a special talent.
Become an expert in describing your own strengths and style. For example, answer questions such as: What is the best praise you ever received? How often do you like to check in with your manager? What is your best method for building relationships? How do you learn best? Then ask your colleagues and friends these same questions. Help them plan their future by starting with their strengths, then designing a future based on what they do best.
Help others understand that true diversity can be found in the subtle differences between each individual — regardless of race, sex, or nationality.
Explain that it is appropriate, just, and effective to treat each person differently. Those without strong Individualization talents might not see the differences among individuals and might insist that individualization is unequal and therefore unfair. You will need to describe your perspective in detail to be persuasive.
Figure out what every person on your team does best. Then help them capitalize on their talents, skills, and knowledge. You may need to explain your rationale and your philosophy so people understand that you have their best interests in mind.
You have an awareness and appreciation of others’ likes and dislikes and an ability to personalize. This puts you in a unique position. Use your Individualization talents to help identify areas where one size does not fit all.
Make your colleagues and friends aware of each person’s unique needs. Soon people will look to you to explain other people’s motivations and actions.
Your presentations and speaking opportunities will be most engaging when you relate your topic to the experiences of individuals in the audience. Use your Individualization talents to gather and share real-life stories that will make your points much better than would generic information or theories.
You move comfortably among a broad range of styles and cultures, and you intuitively personalize your interactions. Consciously and proactively make full use of these talents by leading diversity and community efforts.
Your Individualization talents can help you take a different approach to interpreting data. While others are looking for similarities, make a point of identifying distinctiveness. Your interpretations will add a valuable perspective.

Questions

1. Which of these action items speak to you? Highlight the actions that you are most likely to take.

2. How will you commit to taking action? Write your own personalized action item that you will take in the next 30 days.

Strengths Insight and Action-Planning Guide – Gallup Online

Section III: Achievement

Look for signs of achievement as you read these real quotes from people who share your top five themes.

Futuristic sounds like this:

Dan F., school administrator: “In any situation, I am the guy who says, ‘Did you ever think about . . . ? I wonder if we could . . . I don’t believe it can’t be done. It’s just that nobody has done it yet. Let’s figure out how we can.’ I am always looking for options, for ways not to be mired by the status quo. In fact, there is no such thing as the status quo. You are either moving forward, or you are moving backward. That’s the reality of life, at least from my perspective. And right now, I believe that my profession is moving backward. State schools are being out-serviced by private schools, charter schools, home schools, Internet schools. We need to free ourselves from our traditions and create a new future.”

Jan K., internist: “Here at the Mayo Clinic, we are launching a group called the Hospitalists. Rather than having patients handed off from one doctor to another during their stay in the hospital, I envision a family of providers. I envision fifteen to twenty MDs, of various genders and races, with twenty to twenty-five nurse practitioners. There will be four to five new hospital services, most of which will work with surgeons and will provide para-operative care as well as care for the hospitalized elderly. We are redefining the model of care here. We don’t just take care of the patients when they are in the hospital. If a patient comes in for a knee replacement, a member of the Hospitalist team would see him before the surgery, follow him from the day of surgery through the days of hospitalization, and then see him when he comes in six weeks later for his postoperative check. We will provide patients with a complete episode of care so that they don’t get lost in the handoffs. And to get the funding, I just saw the detailed picture in my head and kept describing this picture to the department chair. I guess I made it seem so real that they had no choice but to grant me the funds.”

Strengths Insight and Action-Planning Guide – Gallup Online

Strategic sounds like this:

Liam C., manufacturing plant manager: “It seems as if I can always see the consequences before anyone else can. I have to say to people, ‘Lift up your eyes; look down the road a ways. Let’s talk about where we are going to be next year so that when we get to this time next year, we don’t have the same problems.’ It seems obvious to me, but some people are just too focused on this month’s numbers, and everything is driven by that.”

Vivian T., television producer: “I used to love logic problems when I was a kid — you know, the ones where ‘if A implies B, and B equals C, does A equal C?’ Still today, I am always playing out repercussions, seeing where things lead. I think it makes me a great interviewer. I know that nothing is an accident; every sign, every word, every tone of voice has significance. So I watch for these clues and play them out in my head, see where they lead, and then plan my questions to take advantage of what I have seen in my head.”

Simon T., human resources executive: “We really needed to take the union on at some stage, and I saw an opportunity — a very good issue to take them on. I could see that they were going in a direction that would lead them into all kinds of trouble if they continued following it. Lo and behold, they did continue following it, and when they arrived, there I was, ready and waiting. I suppose it just comes naturally to me to predict what someone else is going to do. And then when that person reacts, I can respond immediately because I have sat down and said, ‘Okay, if they do this, we’ll do this. If they do that, then we’ll do this other thing.’ It’s like when you tack in a sailboat. You head in one direction, but you jinx one way, then another, planning and reacting, planning and reacting.”

Strengths Insight and Action-Planning Guide – Gallup Online

Activator sounds like this:

Jane C., Benedictine nun: “When I was prioress in the 1970s, we were hit by the energy shortage, and costs skyrocketed. We had a hundred and forty acres, and I walked the acreage every day pondering what we should do about this energy shortage. Suddenly I decided that if we had that much land, we should be drilling our own gas well, and so we did. We spent one hundred thousand dollars to drill a gas well. If you have never drilled a gas well, you probably don’t realize what I didn’t realize: namely, that you have to spend seventy thousand dollars just to drill to see if you have any gas on your property at all. So they dug down with some kind of vibratory camera thing, and they told me that I had a gas pool. But they didn’t know how large the pool was, and they didn’t know if there was enough pressure to bring it up. ‘If you pay another thirty thousand dollars, we will try to release the well,’ they said. ‘If you don’t want us to, we’ll just cap the well, take your seventy thousand, and go home.’ So I gave them the final thirty thousand and, fortunately, up it came. That was twenty years ago, and it is still pumping.”

Jim L., entrepreneur: “Some people see my impatience as not wanting to listen to the traps, the potential roadblocks. What I keep repeating is, ‘I want to know when I am going to hit the wall, and I need you to tell me how much it is going to hurt. But if I choose to bump into the wall anyway, then don’t worry — you’ve done your job. I just had to experience it for myself.’”

Strengths Insight and Action-Planning Guide – Gallup Online

Maximizer sounds like this:

Gavin T., flight attendant: “I taught aerobics for ten years, and I made a point of asking people to focus on what they liked about themselves. We all have parts of our body that we would like to change or that we would like to see differently, but to focus on that can be so destructive. It becomes a vicious cycle. So I would say, ‘Look, you don’t need to be doing that. Instead, let’s focus on the attribute you like about yourself, and then we’ll all feel better about expending all of this energy.’”

Amy T., magazine editor: “There is nothing I hate more than having to fix a poorly written piece. If I have given the writer a clear focus and she comes back with a piece that is completely off the mark, I almost can’t bring myself to write comments on it. I’m more inclined to just hand it back to her and say, ‘Just please start again.’ On the other hand, what I love to do is take a piece that is so close and then refine it to make it perfect. You know, just the right word here, a little cut there, and suddenly it’s a brilliant piece.”

Marshall G., marketing executive: “I am really good at setting a focus for people and then building a sense of team spirit as we all march forward. But I am not so good at strategic thinking. Fortunately, I have a boss who understands that about me. We have been working together for quite a few years. He has found people who play the strategic role, and at the same time, stretches me to be even better at the focus and team-building role. I’m so lucky to have a boss who thinks this way. It’s made me more secure and made me charge ahead much faster, knowing that my boss knows what I am good at and what I’m not good at; he doesn’t bother me with the latter.”

Strengths Insight and Action-Planning Guide – Gallup Online

Individualization sounds like this:

Les T., hospitality manager: “Carl is one of our best performers, but he still has to see me every week. He just wants a little encouragement and to check in, and he gets fired up a little bit after that meeting. Greg doesn’t like to meet very often, so there’s no need for me to bother him. And when we do meet, it’s really for me, not for him.”

Marsha D., publishing executive: “Sometimes I would walk out of my office and — you know how cartoon characters have those balloons over their head? I would see these little balloons over everyone’s head telling me what was in their minds. It sounds weird, doesn’t it? But it happens all the time.”

Andrea H., interior designer: “When you ask people what their style is, they find it hard to describe, so I just ask them, ‘What is your favorite spot in the house?’ And when I ask that, their faces light up, and they know just where to take me. From that one spot, I can begin to piece together the kind of people they are and what their style is.”

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