Strengths Coaching Blog

Monday, March 20, 2017

Mastery Monday: Understanding Responsibility


By Albert L. Winseman, D.Min


Dependable. Trustworthy. Productive. Reliable. Solid. Owner. All these words can be used to describe those with Responsibility in their Top Five.  Responsibility is one of the themes most likely to show up in the Top Five of the more than 15 million individuals who have taken the Clifton Strengths assessment, which means there are a lot of people out there for whom follow-through, getting it right, and doing it on time are core values. Responsibility is a very productive theme, and it is externally motivated: “If I said I would do it, you can count on me to get it done when I said I would.  I won’t let you down.” It’s not so much the feeling of checking it off the list that motivates those with high Responsibility; rather it is the deep satisfaction that comes from having a reputation as one who keeps their commitments – 100% of the time. “You can count on me” is a phrase those with strong Responsibility talents tend to say often – and like saying it, because it is true.  Utterly dependable is the brand of Responsibility.

In this Installment of Compare and Contrast, I examine the differences and similarities between Responsibility and Maximizer, Belief, and Discipline.

Responsibility and Maximizer

One of the similarities between Responsibility and Maximizer lies in the output of their work – both Responsibility and Maximizer tend to produce work of exceptionally high quality. But the motivation for producing quality comes from a very different place for each theme. Those high in Responsibility produces a high quality of work because they have a commitment to doing what is right; those high in Maximizer produce a high quality of work because they have a commitment to excellence. Those strong in Maximizer talents are committed to turning something strong into something superb, while thise with strong Responsibility talents are committed to taking psychological ownership of what they say and do. Maximizer feels unfulfilled when failing to meet or exceed a standard of excellence, while Responsibility fills guilt when failing to do something right.

Responsibility and Belief

Responsibility and Belief can look a lot alike – especially because there is a strong values component to each theme.  Belief makes sacrifices for things that are important; Responsibility keeps promises and follows through on commitments.  For Responsibility, however, the values orientation tends to be more personal and relational than for Belief.  Belief is driven to act with integrity, Responsibility is driven to serve.  For those high in Responsibility, values are best demonstrated in make commitments and keeping commitments to others; for those high in Belief values are best demonstrated in altruistic acts. Responsibility says, “Others can see my values by the way I keep my commitments;” Belief says “Others can see my values by the causes I am committed to.”

Responsibility and Discipline

Both Responsibility and Discipline have a reliability factor to them. That reliability for Responsibility is more external, and for Discipline it is more internal.  Individuals with Responsibility in their Top Five tend to keep their promises and follow their commitments, and those with Discipline in their Top Five tend to plan in advance and the follow the plan. Both attributes, while motivationally different, make Discipline and Responsibility very reliable. Those high in Discipline meet deadlines because it makes the feel good; those high in Responsibility meet deadlines because it makes others respect them. Both Discipline and Responsibility can be counted on to complete the task on time.

Be sure to catch up on 
Season One and Season Two of Theme Thursday-Responsibility to learn more!


Albert L. Winseman, D.Min., is a Senior Learning and Development Consultant at Gallup. Al brings deep expertise in employee and customer engagement, executive leadership and organizational dynamics to his consulting work with Gallup’s clients. He consults with senior leaders, executives and front-line managers to improve employee and customer engagement and to implement strategic initiatives that drive business growth.

Al's top 5 strengths are: Ideation | Futuristic | Maximizer | Strategic | Command

Register today for the 2017 CliftonStrengths Summit!

1 comment :

Monique Jesus said...

Great insight about the difference between Responsability and Belief. I was seeking for clarity about these two and you hit the mark. Great job!

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