Strengths Coaching Blog

Monday, February 6, 2017

Achiever: Living With a Whisper of Discontent – 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 talk about Achiever with guest Robert A. Del Femine.




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Your Achiever theme helps explain your drive. Achiever describes a constant need for achievement. You feel as if every day starts at zero. By the end of the day, you must achieve something tangible in order to feel good about yourself. And by “every day” you mean every single day — workdays, weekends, vacations. No matter how much you may feel you deserve a day of rest, if the day passes without some form of achievement, no matter how small, you will feel dissatisfied. You have an internal fire burning inside you. It pushes you to do more, to achieve more. After each accomplishment is reached, the fire dwindles for a moment, but very soon it rekindles itself, forcing you toward the next accomplishment. Your relentless need for achievement might not be logical. It might not even be focused. But it will always be with you. As an Achiever, you must learn to live with this whisper of discontent. It does have its benefits. It brings you the energy you need to work long hours without burning out. It is the jolt you can always count on to get you started on new tasks, new challenges. It is the power supply that causes you to set the pace and define the levels of productivity for your workgroup. It is the theme that keeps you moving.

Achiever is about completion. Very often we can get this Theme confused with Competition, Responsibility and Arranger. Achiever is unique, however, because it is about finishing. Achiever is that internal burning, and that forward drive to complete things. 

Looking at Achievers as leaders you can see that you are the pacesetters. You are the energizers helping cheer people on. Achievers are able to notice the completion and celebrate. Even if the task seems huge, you can help others see the progress towards that task. It is the productivity theme, and the doing theme. It helps in not only completing your own tasks, but those of other people. It is satiating that internal fire inside with meaningful accomplishments. How do you measure things? As leaders that’s important for teams, because to not have measurements is to not have goals. So how do you do that?

During this season we will be looking at each one of these themes and how they relate to leaders. Regardless of what kind of leader you are, what you all have in common is followers. Gallup has set out to study this in four different fields of needs; trust, compassion, stability and hope.

A leader might use Achiever to instill trust by delivering on what they promised. It is being able to explain where you are going, and delivering on that goal for the follow through. You can find compassion through servanthood. How can you serve others through tasks? What can you do for them? What can you complete for them? It also shows in your willingness to navigate. It is taking a big task that feels daunting, and being able to break down that task into milestones. 

Achievers see stability in communicating the progress, not just the completion. It might be a bit of a stretch because you have your eyes set so far on the goal of what the end looks like. Sometimes it is even reflecting that milestone idea back on yourself so you can communicate how far the team has come. Our last need is hope. For Achievers it is all about wondering what’s next. You don’t slow down enough to celebrate, but fuel yourself with the wonder of what is next that you can lean into. Because you’re looking for what’s next, maybe you’re also helping others see what’s next, and helping them see what’s better. Achieving is about having the courage to roll up your sleeves and do it even when you’re not sure you’re going to succeed, and sometimes that instills hope. 

How do you feel about the Achiever Theme in a leadership roll? Share your thoughts and experiences 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!


Robert A. Del Femine aka DEL:  Best described by his personal mission that was inspired by his Strengths discovery, "To live as healthy as possible, for as long as possible; pursuing my passions... while sharing and helping widely!".  DEL is now fresh into his  "phase 2" of life after executing his plan to retire as early as possible after a 28+ year, deeply fulfilling and engaged career as a senior executive with Johnson & Johnson (J&J).  He is now more deeply engaged in passions and pursuits that he's had in parallel to his corporate career.  Those include:  performing as a club DJ in the U.S. and abroad; writing as a Senior Editor for 5 Magazine (music); increasing his abilities in music production; informally/formally... coaching / mentoring across a diverse group of people; and as a Vice President on the board of the nationally-renown public school - Philadelphia Central High.  

Del's top 5 strengths are: Woo | Achiever | Positivity | Arranger | Strategic


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