Strengths Coaching Blog

Friday, January 27, 2017

Season Premier with Jacque Merritt - Theme Thursday Season 3

On this Theme Thursday Season Three webcast, Jim Collison, Gallup's Director of Talent Sourcing, and Maika Leibbrandt, Senior Workplace Consultant. Kick off Season Three with guest Jacque Merritt, Senior Practice Consultant.




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In Season 3 of Theme Thursday we will be exploring all 34 themes in a leadership capacity. We want to make sure as a coaching community that we are all speaking the same language. There is value in that shared honesty. We are focusing this season on Strengths Based Leadership. We want to make sure we are all aligned in our approach, so that we can be confident we are coming from the best place possible in terms of CliftonStrengths as a lense on top of leadership. 

What is Gallup’s understanding around leadership? What do we already know? What are the tools we already have access to? 

It is a real interesting time to be in leadership. Everything is changing so rapidly that it can be very difficult to be a leader today. The workplace is drastically changing, and leaders are just scrambling to keep up. A lot of leaders are working with a more matrixed team dynamic. On top of that around 43% of employees now work remotely. Millennials are putting more demand on their leaders, and are asking for more coaching. Structure has changed as well. The system today in a lot of companies is not as much of a hierarchy. They have removed a lot of the structure, and have more self-governing teams. This creates a greater need for more leaders, as well as making the demand on them far more complex. 

We have dramatically shifted from the industrial age, to the knowledge age and are finally shifting to the human age. In the past it was more about what you knew as a leader. Now it is less about what you know, and more about what you’re like as a person. Leaders are now showing their full authentic selves. How can you be vulnerable, but still strong? 

As hard as it is to be a leader, it is really easy to be a coach. More than ever strengths is a tool we can use to help people unlock and find a language to get to know themselves better. In the past they had formal power granted to them by a role-now they have personal power. CliftonStrengths is a way to help them find what to bring to the table, where they can add value, and what makes them different from other people to be unique. The CliftonStrengths tool should not be the center of the conversation, the person should be. Bringing strengths into that personal experience just gives the language to have that conversation with somebody. 

We all still get trapped in the image of a leader thinking they have to be this strong, well-spoken and commanding presence. However, when you study leaders, very few are like that. They are real people. They may have different responsibilities, and different things that keep them up at night, but from a strengths standpoint, however, there are not any patterns. There are no strengths where you can judge if that person will be a good leader or not. Why do we follow certain leaders then? When asked this question it was determined that the four needs of followers are hope, compassion, stability and trust. These are the four things people are looking for leaders to provide for them. 

In Season 3 we would like you to listen for stability, compassion, hope and trust so that you can tune your ear into those needs of followers specific for each theme. Our strengths are the how, and these followers may be the what. Make sure to download the Companion Guides before every show. We will be following along every time. We will start to think about how we build upon that foundation of understanding, and what might be different about that theme in a leadership role. What is the value of this theme as a leader? What do you hope people understand to really grow it in a leadership capacity? Make sure to catch up on Season 1 and Season 2. We are going to help you build your poster child of what greatness looks like in all 34 Themes. 

How do you feel about the start of Season 3? 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 and other Gallup-Certified Strengths Coaches break down the nuances of each theme.

Register now for the 2017 CliftonStrengths Summit to take advantage of early bird pricing!


Jacquelyn Merritt, Senior Practice Consultant, provides consulting and executive coaching to leaders around the world. Since joining Gallup in 1989, Jacque has helped leaders and managers maximize their effectiveness by providing insights on how they can build and apply their leadership capabilities. She has consulted with many of Gallup’s U.S.-based and international clients on team building, succession management, talent and executive development.








Jacque's top 5 strengths are: Woo | Maximizer | Input | Focus | Connectedness


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