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Tuesday, November 14, 2017

A Look Back at the 2017 CliftonStrengths Summit: Gaining a Global Perspective

By Bruce Young

Many of today’s workplaces find themselves operating in a global village, where the need for cross-cultural collaboration is becoming more critical. As coaches, we have the unique opportunity to guide our clients through the transition of becoming a global workplace using the tools CliftonStrengths gives us. 

We often refer to CliftonStrengths as a universal language. Despite growing up in South Africa, working for nearly 20 years in London and visiting clients all over the world, I knew that to increase my effectiveness as a coach and consultant I needed to further invest in my understanding of strengths on a global perspective. And so I decided to attend, and present at, the 2017 CliftonStrengths Summit.

Attending the CliftonStrengths Summit was a peak experience that solidified my understanding of what having a global perspective truly means, both in my life and in my work.

When I
left South Africa, and even after seven years with Gallup, I could not have conceived of a gathering like the CliftonStrengths Summit. Here I discovered a community of over a thousand passionate strengths coaches — many from different countries and cultures — all wanting to learn from and network with each other. It was truly inspiring to be around such mission-filled people aligned around the desire to get results for their clients, organisations and communities by focusing on what is right with people. 

The diversity at the summit was a highlight for me. Having worked in diverse cultures around the world, I’ve learned that strengths are strengths no matter where you come from or what industry you are in, and we can learn to work together better when we focus on strengths instead of differences. It was encouraging to see people and organisations from around the world taking hold of that concept and creating strengths-based workplaces to achieve more on a global level. 

Another summit highlight was having the pleasure of leading the breakout session “The Thriving Self: How the Mind Works, the Power of Thinking and How to Thrive.” With close to 200 people in attendance, my Maximizer was truly “topped up” as we explored the insights I’d gained through my 20 years of experience in a highly interactive and impactful 60 minutes. The audience was so hungry to learn and participate — a dream for any facilitator and an experience I hope to repeat at next year's summit.

Outside of the impact of the sessions themselves, I have to mention the social gatherings and meetups — what an atmosphere, what a buzz! There are not many events in the world where everyone genuinely wants to meet everyone else. The social gatherings offered plenty of free networking time, while the Gallup facilitator-led meetups provided opportunities for people to learn from each other about the topics coaches presented on during the breakout sessions. I helped facilitate the “Leading Impactful Strengths Sessions” meetup, and can tell you first-hand that the insights that the attendees gained from each other were remarkable, and they all left with practical actions to build on their strengths mastery.

The summit capped off with strengths impact stories from around the world, something highly appreciated by the international audience. My colleagues shared incredible stories from countries including Australia, Kenya and Mexico, and I had the honour of sharing two stories from organisations whom I'm working with; one from the Middle East and one from the Netherlands. It was a great ending to a peak experience in my career and life, and I am very proud to have been part of it. And I can't wait to meet you all there next year!

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Bruce Young is an Advanced Learning and Development Consultant at Gallup. He has 18 years of experience in the learning and development and client development fields, working with clients in diverse cultures around the world.  Bruce supports global clients who have the desire to transform their results by inspiring and developing leaders, managers and staff to capitalise on their strengths. He consults with companies to build high-performance leadership teams through individual and team coaching, strategic consulting sessions and executive coaching. He is a frequent speaker at company conferences and events, capturing the imagination of participants to help support positive change. 

Bruce's top 5 strengths are: Maximizer | Strategic | Arranger | Achiever | Responsibility.

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

1 comment :

Kimberly Svoboda said...

You did a fantastic job presenting at the Summit and brought so much value to all who attending your session on the Thriving Self. Your maximizer is always finding ways to help you contribute greatly to every setting you are in. Thanks for being a great coach, leader, and someone who is making a big difference n the world. You are a great example of Strengths based development at it's finest. Keep up the good work and hope to see you at Summit 2018!
Kim Svoboda

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