Strengths Coaching Blog

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Learner: The Journey from Ignorance to Competence - 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 Learner with guest Derrick Jack





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You love to learn. The subject matter that interests you most will be determined by your other themes and experiences, but whatever the subject, you will always be drawn to the process of learning. The process, more than the content or the result, is especially exciting for you. You are energized by the steady and deliberate journey from ignorance to competence. The thrill of the first few facts, the early efforts to recite or practice what you have learned, the growing confidence of a skill mastered — this is the process that entices you. 

Your excitement leads you to engage in adult learning experiences — yoga or piano lessons or graduate classes. It enables you to thrive in dynamic work environments where you are asked to take on short project assignments and are expected to learn a lot about the new subject matter in a short period of time and then move on to the next one. This Learner theme does not necessarily mean that you seek to become the subject matter expert or that you are striving for the respect that accompanies a professional or academic credential. The outcome of the learning is less significant than the “getting there.”

As an individual Learner enjoys the challenge of mastering something new. For a leader current challenges and future trends both offer opportunities to master something relevant. There is an emotional aspect to Learner. Everybody could enjoy learning, but those with Learner really feel charged by it. It recharges you, bringing a sense of joy and energy. Find the most natural connection you can create in that emotional charge with others. 

Learner is going to enable you as leader to catch on rather quickly. This also lends itself to adapting to shifting priorities. Because you can adapt quickly to change, you can also quickly acclimate yourself, and then serve others who may not have that same quickness. You can do this by honing your best learning tactics. A Learner needs exposure, and they can take that exposure to create inclusion and acceptance.

Learner can build trust by aiming what you are discovering at people. What can you open yourself up to that’s relevant? A leader could use Learner to provide stability by being prepared in the not knowing. Be prepared to not always be the smartest person in the room. Not always being the expert can create stability and a transparency for others knowing they’re on the same page as you. You can create compassion by understanding that it is important to be patient with people who are thrown by a disequilibrium. Be able to explain to others what you are doing and why you are doing it. Learner can create hope by being able to dive in and letting your followers know that you can find the answer together. It disarms the need to know it all, and picks up the need to learn more. 

How do you feel about the Learner 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.

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

Derrick Jack's Bio Below


Derrick Jack was introduced to CSF when he was in graduate school.  A gentleman by the name of Charlie Baker, Professor Baker, was teaching a few classes the first year he was in school.  Derrick found out he had ran a children’s home in Eastern Kentucky that was state funded primarily.  He was able to take the budget of $450,000 when he began and grow it to $19 million when he left.  When he heard this, Derrick wanted him to tell me everything he knew, what he did, how he did it, and anything else he would tell him.  After a few logistical issues were ironed out and he was able to convince him to do it, they began the journey of sharing knowledge.  

Even before their meeting, he had him take the CSF.  From there, things just grew.  They talked about the CSF at length and discussed how he had used the CSF at his organization and at others.  Derrick then took the information gained and used it at the children’s home he was working in at the time.  They provided the kids with an eight hour learning experience that ended with a 45 minute, unscripted, conversation with a member of the local business community about their Top 5’s.  This was very powerful and basically love at first sight for Derrick and the CSF impact.  

Derrick's top 5 strengths are: Learner | Ideation | Restorative | Achiever | Strategic.

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