Strengths Coaching Blog

Monday, September 25, 2017

Mastery Monday: Understanding Futuristic

By Albert L. Winseman, D.Min


Man looking at a future city“What’s next? … Here’s where we should be in ten years. … Future generations will thank us. … We need to do some long-range planning. … Here’s my vision of what we could become.” These are all statements that individuals high in Futuristic have likely said or thought at one time or another.  Futuristic sees tomorrow in vivid detail, anticipates or imagines what could be, and inspires others with that vision. Futuristic is not content with the status quo, but rather is inspired but what the organization, relationship, the situation can become. Those with Futuristic in their Top Five often spend so much time thinking about and envisioning the future that today can seem like the past.  Futuristic challenges an organization or team to think beyond quarterly results and create a plan that will bring long term success. Forecasts and projections energize those with strong Futuristic talents, and their approach to problem solving is far less concerned with how we got here than with where we are going.

In this installment of Compare and Contrast I examine the similarities and differences between Futuristic and Strategic, Consistency, and Positivity.


Futuristic and Strategic

Futuristic and Strategic, both thinking themes, are very likely to show up together in someone’s Top Five, so it can be difficult to consider them separately. But there are differences, and the differences, when taken together, can make for a very powerful combination. Futuristic can see a better world; Strategic can see the route to a better world. Futuristic anticipates what could be, and Strategic anticipates options. Those high in Futuristic tend to scan the horizon in order to see what is to come; those high in Strategic tend to scan the entire landscape in order to see the big picture. 
Futuristic may have a vivid picture of tomorrow – but no idea how to get there. Strategic, when presented with the vivid picture of tomorrow, can typically envision several ways to get there.

Futuristic and Consistency

While Futuristic and Strategic are likely to show up together in a person’s Top Five, that is not the case with Futuristic and Consistency. The differences lie primarily in each theme’s approach to the status quo. Those high in Futuristic tend to resist – even hate – the status quo. For them, the status quo inhibits creativity and keeps us chained to the present. On the other hand, for those high in Consistency the status quo ensures fairness and provides for the smooth and orderly conduct of the group. Futuristic anticipates and imagines what could or should be, while Consistency reduces variance and increases uniformity. Consistency is focused on the fairest and most orderly way to get things done now, while Futuristic focuses on what the world or our team will be like next year – or ten years forward.

Futuristic and Positivity

The Road Warrior and Star Trek movie series paint very different pictures of the future. Road Warrior is definitely dystopic, while Star Trek is more on the utopic side; one is a negative vision, and one is a positive vision. Those with Futuristic don’t always have a “progress is always better” vision of the future; sometimes that vision is scary. Those with Positivity, however, bring social energy, a contagious enthusiasm, and an optimistic attitude to their work and life – and always see the glass as half-full. Both Positivity and Futuristic impact the emotions of others. Futuristic can create images of the future that inspire others, and Positivity can lift and lighten the mood of others.  When the current situation is negative, those high in Futuristic can lift their own mood by thinking about the future and what can be – while those high in Positivity lift their own and others’ moods by concentrating on the positive aspects of what is happening now.  

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

Catch the latest on all Theme Thursday episodes here

Early bird pricing for the 2018 CliftonStrengths Summit ends December 7th. Learn more here.

Al Winseman bio is below


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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