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Monday, August 24, 2015

Focus -- Goals as Compass and Guide -- Theme Thursday Season 1

On a recent Theme Thursday live webcast, we discussed the Focus theme with Jim Harter, Ph.D., Gallup Chief Scientist of Workplace Management and Well-Being. Jim's top five strengths are Achiever, Focus, Learner, Relator and Futuristic.

People with strong Focus talents prioritize and then take action. They set goals. These goals serve as their compass, helping them determine priorities and make alterations when needed to get back on course. Their Focus is powerful because it forces them to filter; they instinctively evaluate each action before taking it to determine whether it will help them reach their goal. In the end, strong Focus talents push them to be efficient. They are extremely valuable team members because their single-mindedness enhances the speed and quality of their performance and keeps the team on track.

A person with high focus is single-minded and goal oriented. They see the light at the end of the tunnel -- and will stay on track, despite distractions. Focus allows people to take direction and follow through with given tasks. They start with the end in mind.

For Jim, Focus provides an intensity that make his work and life fulfilling because it allows him to be absorbed in important matters. Indeed, Jim believes science isn't only about making a discovery, but about making discoveries for a greater purpose -- he always has the end goal in mind. Focus allows Jim to work toward his goals, despite his many everyday distractions.

Right now, engagement in the workplace is too low around the world. Jim's ultimate goal is to increase that engagement and his Focus theme helps him devote time, energy and thought to it. Goals need to create impact and be practical, so Jim is always revising the ways in which he can reach his goals. He revises them to find the work most relevant to his goals- so they are never static.

Jim also devotes a large part of his career to well-being. Gallup categorizes Well-being into five elements: Purpose, Social, Community, Financial and Physical. Jim uses his Focus to set and reach goals related to each element of Well-being. He also tries to maximize his well-being activities by combining multiple elements into one activity. For instance, Jim participates in a community bike ride where he socializes with his colleagues, contributes money to his community and takes care of his physical well-being. Identifying these activities and completing them all relate to Jim's Focus: he finds a goal and reaches it.

To hear more about Focus and how Jim uses it in his everyday life, watch the full video above or the short theme video below.

How do you use Focus in your everyday life? Share your thoughts on the Called to Coach Facebook page.
Pressed for time? We now have all of our Theme Thursday videos in short, easy-to-digest snippets in which Curt and other Gallup-Certified Strengths Coaches break down the nuances of each theme.

You can register for the next Theme Thursday and all upcoming Gallup Strengths Center webcasts at

Register for future webcasts.

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