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Monday, May 15, 2017

Mastery Monday: Understanding Maximizer

By Albert L. Winseman, D.Min

The title of Jim Collin’s bestseller, Good to Great, is not particularly inspiring to those with Maximizer in their Top Five. Now a book entitled, Great to Excellent – that would be motivating to a Maximizer! Maximizer is driven to take what is already great and make it superb. Excellence is the standard, and nothing less will do. Maximizer seeks a maximum return on investment, and is choosy in whom and in what to invest. Those high in Maximizer love to take A performers and turn them into A+ All Stars. Maximizers focus on quality over quantity, and would rather do a few things with excellence than be average at a lot of things. Maximizer also sees focusing on building strengths – rather than fixing weaknesses – as the most effective and efficient route to success. Individuals high in Maximizer raise the bar for their teams and drive them to pursue outstanding performance. “Good enough” is never good enough, and is a concept most Maximizers eschew with gusto. Taking the easy route is not the road taken when the more difficult path will yield superior results.  Those with strong Maximizer talents tend to evaluate rather than celebrate; after all it could always be better, and improvement is always an option to be followed.

In this installment of Compare and Contrast, I look at the differences and similarities between Maximizer and Competition, Strategic, and Restorative.

Maximizer and Competition

Competition and Maximizer can look a lot a like – they are both influencing themes, and both have a characteristic driven-ness about them. Competition is driven to win; Maximizer is driven to be the best. In order to be the best, winning over others may have to occur. But it’s not beating the competition that drives Maximizer; it is the assurance that excellence has been achieved. Those high in Competition compare themselves with others to see where they stand and seek to move ahead of their best competitors; those high in Maximizer compare themselves with their own personal bests and look to excellence for comparison. Competition aspires to be number one; Maximizer aspires to meet or exceed standards of excellence.

Maximizer and Strategic

Maximizer is a way of influencing others; Strategic is a way of thinking about alternatives. Maximizer influences by raising the bar, pointing out excellence, investing in talent to build strength. Strategic considers options, anticipates possible alternatives, creates back-up plans.  Maximizer and Strategic both have a sorting aspect to them; Strategic sorts between options, while Maximizer sorts between good and great. When Maximizer and Strategic are combined either in one person or in a dynamic partnership between two individuals, the result can be a focus on excellence that incorporates the best option to achieve it.

Maximizer and Restorative

These two themes are very unlikely to show up together in one individual’s Top Five, and for a very good reason:  Maximizer wants to take what is already working well and make it superb, while Restorative wants to take what is broken and restore it to wholeness. This can create conflict between those who have one or the other of these themes in their Top Five; individuals strong in Maximizer can become frustrated with those with Restorative – and vice versa. But if each appreciates the other’s talent, these two can work together very productively. High Restorative can help high Maximizer to not avoid problems (which Maximizer can do), and high Maximizer can help high Restorative see when it is time to move on. In other words, they can bring each other balance that improves the effectiveness and efficiency of the team. 

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

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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

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dianne h said...

Just want to tell you I love these. I am always anxious to get the email and read the most current post.
Certified Strengths Coach

dianne h said...

Thank you for these. I find them very useful and enlightening.

I find myself anxious to get the email and read these.

Thanks again
Certified Strengths Coach

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