Strengths Coaching Blog

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Maximizer: Seeing Improvement in Greatness- 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 Maximizer with Gallup's Jim Asplund, Chief Scientist, Strengths-Based Development and Performance Impact Consulting.





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Excellence, not average, is your measure. Taking something from below average to slightly above average takes a great deal of effort and in your opinion is not very rewarding. Transforming something strong into something superb takes just as much effort but is much more thrilling. Strengths, whether yours or someone else’s, fascinate you. Like a diver after pearls, you search them out, watching for the telltale signs of a strength. A glimpse of untutored excellence, rapid learning, a skill mastered without recourse to steps — all these are clues that a strength may be in play. And having found a strength, you feel compelled to nurture it, refine it and stretch it toward excellence.

You polish the pearl until it shines. This natural sorting of strengths means that others see you as discriminating. You choose to spend time with people who appreciate your particular strengths. Likewise, you are attracted to others who seem to have found and cultivated their own strengths. You tend to avoid those who want to fix you and make you well-rounded. You don’t want to spend your life bemoaning what you lack. Rather, you want to capitalize on the gifts with which you are blessed. It’s more fun. It’s more productive. And, counterintuitively, it is more demanding.


Maximizer is about being pretty picky. It is about an awareness and pursuit of perfection. Maximizer is about noticing what is good, and imagining how things could be better. It is the relentless pursuit of improvement, high expectations and helping people understand that what is good can always be improved upon. There is quite a bit of effort and energy behind this Theme. It allows you to look at an area that is worthy and is already working, and gives you the ability to see how it can work even better.

In great leaders with Maximizer you can use it to influence others at the onset of a project. You can look at something great and see how it can be better. At the conclusion of a project you can stretch expectations even higher. Maximizer has an instinctual awareness of what is best. You can enhance this as a leader by studying top performers. Pay attention and gather information on who is the best, and what kind of products are the best. What is that transformation process of taking something from good, to even better and then to best? It is important for leaders with Maximizer to think about how you translate the upper echelon of performance into your organization. How can you translate this into a reminder of the high value for your own organization?

As an individual with Maximizer you can never be good enough, and that can be okay. Having incredibly high expectations of yourself is just how you operate. However, as a leader this can be difficult to translate towards your followers. What does great look like? What does better look like? As a leader think about how important it is to truly be authentic in your role. When are you offering your very best? How can you be picky about the best of yourself that you have to give? Who can you surround yourself with to truly bring together a team that are all working towards excellence? 

Maximizer can be excellent at building trust by admitting your strengths and allowing for partnership. What is the best use of your talents on this project? Your high standard of excellence can help you spot talents in other people, building compassion. What giftedness does each person bring to the table? This is an area where Maximizer is naturally ahead of the pack. 

You might provide stability by setting early expectations of your polishing process. Ask yourself when you really should be set up for the final say. How do you set yourself up to be the last piece of the process instead of the very first? What is the best way to do that? Find words for excellence. Help people see what’s possible. Help others fall in love with the idea that you have of seeing what could happen if you let go of things that aren’t working. Maximizer can be an impatience with what’s broken. Translate that into the possibility that you see if you move beyond what is broken, and focus instead on the areas where you are already strong. This can be a perfect way to build hope. 

How do you feel about the Maximizer Theme in a leadership role? 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!



Jim Asplund is Chief Scientist of Gallup’s Strengths-Based Development and Performance Impact Consulting. He is coauthor of Human Sigma: Managing the Employee-Customer Encounter, which serves as a guide for leaders and managers who want to dramatically increase productivity, retain high-value customers and enhance organizational performance.

As Chief Scientist of Strengths-Based Development, Jim leads Gallup’s worldwide research on the science of human strengths and the impact of strengths development. He directs all research on Gallup’s Clifton StrengthsFinder assessment, which has helped millions of people discover what they do best, increase their personal effectiveness and improve their organization’s performance. 





Jim's top 5 strengths are: Analytical | Individualization | Ideation | Maximizer | Strategic.

1 comment :

majik said...

We have four strengths in common!
Mine are Strategic, Maximizer, Individualization, Ideation and Command

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