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Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Arranger: Highlights From Your CliftonStrengths 34 -- Theme Thursday Season 5




Join Jim Collison and Maika Leibbrandt as they talk about your Arranger talent theme -- helping you unlock the power of truly understanding yourself through how you get things done, influence others, connect with people and think critically -- on this Theme Thursday Season 5 webcast.






NEW for Season 5: Below is a full transcript of the conversation, including time stamps. Full audio and video are posted above. 

Jim Collison  0:00 
Hi, I'm Jim Collison and live from the Gallup Studios here in Omaha, Nebraska, this is Gallup's Theme Thursday, Season 5, recorded on July 18, 2019. Theme Thursday is a webcast series that dives deep into the CliftonStrengths themes, one theme at a time, and today's theme is Arranger. If you're listening live, we'd love to have you join us in the chat room. Or you can send us an email with your questions if you're listening to the recorded version, coaching@gallup.com. Maika Leibbrandt is our host today, she's a workplace consultant here at Gallup. Maika, always great to see you and welcome back to another Theme Thursday.

Maika Leibbrandt  0:42 
Thanks, Jim. I'm so excited to get to talk about your No. 1 theme today,


Jim Collison  0:46 
it's going to be pretty great. And let me just say this, it's in full force at the moment what we're doing in the community around strengths. And we've just added transcripts to these themes. So if you go over to the recorded versions of them, the edited, we now have full transcripts. That only happens because I'm always thinking about the different things to do. And I just realized, I left -- speaking of that, I left Ralph's message on there the whole time. Ralph, thanks for checking in. But we it is in full force. Let's talk a little bit about it, Maika.


Maika Leibbrandt  1:15 
Sure. So if you possess a lot of Arranger talent, hopefully today's podcast will speak to you. Really our podcast is an exploration of all 34 themes really helping you understand specifically the themes at the top of your profile, that's where you're going to find the most power. It's where you're going to find the greatest description of your type of potential. And so I encourage you to listen to this, if you're an Arranger, like Jim, you'll get to hear quite a bit of great insight around how you can practice that, how you can lean a little bit into it more purposefully. If you care about somebody who's an Arranger, this podcast is also for you.


Jim Collison  1:48 
So what does it mean to have Arranger as my top talent?


Maika Leibbrandt  1:52 
Well, I might have to play this gently because you actually have it. But from a scientific standpoint, Jim, having Arranger, it describes people with a natural talent for sorting toward order. Organizing with flexibility. Typically, Arrangers are excited about moving forward in the most efficient way, and are able to juggle or make necessary adjustments in order to get there.


Jim Collison  2:15 
And how might people with this dominant theme notice this talent in their life?


Maika Leibbrandt  2:20 
You might need to inform me here, but I'll go first, and then I'll throw it back to you. You if you've got Arranger, you might see early, often and very clearly which pieces of the puzzle could move in order to make the whole picture work a little bit better. Maybe it shows up for you as an understanding of the problems through the tasks that need to be completed in order to get there -- almost similar to, previously, we've talked about Analytical, that idea of being able to burn something down to the simplest piece. Arranger can see what's the task that needs to be completed, and how does that fit almost like gears together to help us move a little bit more efficiently into the future. You also might notice Arranger your talent as courage to make change to make change when other people already assume that change cannot happen or that decisions have been locked in. Arranger is the ability to juggle a lot of ideas or a lot of moving pieces. And if you have dominant Arranger, you might also notice that you perform a little bit better. When things are humming, things are circling, things are a little chaotic -- the more inputs there are, the more opportunities you have to interact with those inputs, whether they're ideas or, or tasks or people. And that just creates a more intricate puzzle. more opportunities really to shine.


Jim Collison  3:39 
Yeah, I do think it's one of those where more is better for Arrangers. Now, the other themes kick in; I have to be careful, Maika, on this, and I want others to be careful as well, when we're talking about a single theme at a time, it'd be really easy for me to talk about my own version of it, because it has WOO and Maximizer and Communication, Activator within it. So that makes me very unique in that and so my Arranger is influenced by all of those. So want to be careful during this webcast, and I think we should be careful in our coaching that we don't kind of superimpose our own versions of them. We have to be careful kind of asking that question. And that it does come with some blind spots. I think you you actually described me very accurately, in what you were just saying, but it does come with some blind spots. So can we talk a little bit about those?


Maika Leibbrandt  4:23 
Sure, you know, the blind spots when we released our most recent CliftonStrengths 34 report, we tested it several times, looking for what do people really need from a report that describes their greatest talents? What are people consuming? What's really helpful and helping them perform a little bit better? And one of the areas that you'll find on this report is a nod to potential blind spots. "Potential" is an important word there; there's no guarantee that you're going to experience the blind spots within all of these themes. But it is, I think, our responsibility as talented individuals to acknowledge how we could hold ourselves back. So this is not a diagnosis, but something we need to be aware of. With high Arranger, one of the blind spots might be within your ease of juggling a lot of moving pieces, it could be difficult to drop some of those pieces, right? It could feel like, you know, I have this whole puzzle, if you take a piece, it's no longer whole; that can make delegating really difficult. So when you're thinking of a big task, level-up by identifying the pieces of that task that only you can do, versus the ones that others might benefit from helping you with. Jim, does that resonate with you at all?


Jim Collison  5:35 
Maika, we were just talking about that, ironically, in the preshow, actually talking about it without me reading your notes. I hadn't read these yet. I might have ...


Maika Leibbrandt  5:44 
You know what's funny is as we were talking about it, I wasn't thinking about these notes. I now, I'm reading this, I'm like, whoa, this this goes back to 10 minutes ago, what we were talking about.


Jim Collison  5:52 
Yeah, I have some some things that I've done in the past that I'm now having to delegate out in to others. And in the past, that was difficult. I told you a year ago, I don't know if I could have done this, and through growth and maturity and working on this piece, today, there's a lot I've a lot more comfort in realizing it's actually going to make the team better if I do. And so there's some calmness in that for me. It's kind of actually how I know it's maybe the right decision. It's just because it's calming for me. I am resting it and I'm like, oh, this is this is a good decision to do. So you nailed me right on there. So yeah, nice job.


Maika Leibbrandt  6:25 
That's funny, I kind of didn't mean to ...


Jim Collison  6:28 
But you did.


Maika Leibbrandt  6:28 
What -- because because we're in this moment, Jim, if you don't mind sharing, what allowed you to delegate some of those things?


Jim Collison  6:35 
Yeah. So for me, seeing the benefit of doing that and how those people have -- like, looking at the individual themes, talent themes, talents, success, those people had in the past, and giving that to them, knowing they could take that to an even more arranged level -- right? They could make it better -- plays to my Maximizer, make it more -- plays to my Maximizer, right, in that. That we could continue to have greater influence and giving it to them will actually come back to me and allowing me to do what I do better. More of what I do better. That was an easy decision. You're like, oh, wait a minute, I get to do more of what I do better? OK, yeah, yeah, that's, that's pretty easy to do. But yes, Arrangers, I think sometimes 

have difficulty giving it away.

Maika Leibbrandt  7:18 
That's interesting, because I the second blind spot that I wrote here in my notes is that if you've got high Arranger, you might love the components of a task so much that you fail to describe the big picture. And sometimes in order to win people over to help you out with things, or to think about winning over stakeholders or even customers, you need them to see the big picture. And that can be confusing to people who, let's just say they don't, they don't need to know the ingredients, they just want to eat the cake. So I think it's important to create stopping points where you assess people's level of interest in the detail that you can provide.


Maika Leibbrandt  7:53 
Now, Arranger is different from other themes that deal with detail. What Arranger deals with is sort of the actionable moving pieces or the performers in the circus. But think about if you if you've got high Arranger, and you need to describe something to other people, think about having -- I grew up in western Nebraska, and all over there are these historical land markers. Other parts of the country or other countries in the world, I've noticed them called scenic overlooks or points of interest, where you'll see a note along the side of a road or a walking trail that says, hey, here's something interesting that happened here. Or it might also just be, here's a great view. And you can either keep driving by, or you can stop and you can go a little bit deeper into what's being presented. So if you're an Arranger needing to communicate big ideas to other people, think about those scenic overlooks or those points of interest, where you stop and you assess the interest of the other person has. You might say something like, hey, do you want to know more about how this works? And then I get we've been talking about asking permission a lot, maybe it has my my coaching training coming to the forefront here. But that opportunity to let the person that you're communicating with guide you through just how much detail they need to know.


Maika Leibbrandt  9:07 
It's important, in my case, too, I'm working on this with the team. So what role does Arranger play on teams? ...


Maika Leibbrandt  9:17 
So Arranger is an executing theme, if you flip to page 21, in your CliftonStrengths 34 report, you'll see a beautiful map of your top 10 themes illuminated against the four domains of leadership, and Arranger is going to fall into that executing territory, which means it's really about getting stuff done. Arranger wants to get stuff done efficiently. and Arranger does best when they have access to all the moving or maybe all the codependent pieces within a task to control that, or excuse me, to contrast or compare that with other executing themes. I think about Arranger doing really well when it has a certain degree of autonomy or control, or maybe even permission. But that looks very different from some other executing themes. I want to take a look at Arranger and Responsibility. Arranger sees the full picture and needs permission to adjust the pieces in order to honor the big picture. Responsibility sees the outstanding promises that have been made and might need permission to fulfill expectations before taking on more. So you can see that both of them do really well when they've got some autonomy around what's being done, but they're looking for different things. And if you think about that idea of what do I need permission to go run full force at, they're going to be running full force in different ways.


Maika Leibbrandt  10:38 
To compare Arranger and Restorative, Arranger says, I can tap the edges and make the engine run more smoothly. Restorative says, I can take an engine that doesn't work and bring it back to working order. If you think about the role Arranger plays within a partnership, which could also extrapolate to the role that Arranger plays within a team, what Arranger can do is help navigate the logistics of a problem by considering the ideal configurations. Arranger can handle a lot of information coming at them at once. Think about it as juggling spinning plates. I like that that image there. At its very best, I think Arranger maybe also with help can sort to the most important priorities in order to accomplish a goal. So maybe the extension or that opportunity to really get great with Arranger is to think about that idea of juggling, even juggling plates, understanding which of those plates are made from like crystal china that cannot be dropped. And which of those plates are really like plastic frisbees. So that idea of being able to sort to priorities within the moving pieces that you're looking to move forward.


Jim Collison  11:52 
Maika, I've always said about me is I'm a better firefighter than I am a farmer. So I like to move, lots of action -- moving kind of, in the moment, lots -- you said, plate-spinning, I like that. I like that kind of idea as well. But this also working on teams, you also did a metaphor of tapping, and I always associate it with somebody being on a set of rails. And as it begins to tip, you just kind of tap it back in and tap it back in and kind of help keep the project, the peep, the person, the thing on the rails, right, but not big movements. And not a lot of details. But just a lot of tapping, just kind of tap that on tap, tap, tap. The more projects you have, of course, the more tapping you do, and I think that's one of those kinds of things -- so as we think about communicating with Arrangers, how can we communicate with them to keep that, to make that the most effective,


Maika Leibbrandt  12:43 
I think to follow, to follow the rails, you can set your -- don't leave the rails out, right? Don't leave out details for fear that you might overwhelm an Arranger. Let them navigate the complicated scenarios with you. Maybe ask that Arranger, hey, do you want to know more? Or what part of this do we want to explore first? Also talk about the ultimate goal or the priority. Maybe even discuss the "why" or the reason behind a situation. It's going to help that Arranger sort through what it is that they're juggling. Be up front about your deadlines; be up front about your expectations. Is it OK to keep readjusting and tapping on the rails? Or do we need to lock something in, and and if we need to lock something in, why? Who's counting on it? How does it affect the I think the cascade effect of other pieces that are also moving? Jim, what else would you add, as somebody with high Arranger, great ways to to communicate with an Arranger?


Jim Collison  13:38 
I think it depends but keep, keep communicating with them -- lots of communication. I have Communication, so that that fits in nicely with it. But I think that often, early, consistent, I think Arrangers, they need that information to make those adjustments. They would rather make the adjustments sooner rather than later. And not massive adjustments. Let's just do these in little tiny increments as we as we kind of go forward. But sometimes that requires motivation. So how do we motivate and inspire? Or what are some things we can do to kind of keep that rolling?


Maika Leibbrandt  14:07 
Yeah, so I think things that might inspire an Arranger are the authority to make necessary changes without having to ask for permission, access to all the moving parts. That might mean if you're somebody like Jim, you've got Arranger and Communication, that access might mean constant check-ins or lots of lots of words, right? If they're -- let's say, if an Arranger is teaching a class, give them access to the supply cupboard. If they're hosting a radio show, let them sit at the board. Instead of saying, hey, you sit over there with the microphone, we'll take care of the rest of the details -- give them access to everything that they might need. Also, challenge them by by asking for their insight on how a process might work a little bit more efficiently. Be clear on what they have, whether they have to own that that project or whether they're just acting as a consultant who can give their opinion and then fly back out.


Jim Collison  14:57 
In the early days of Called to Coach and Theme Thursday, not all the technology always worked. There's a lot of technology that we have here that makes these things work. But I remember people, and I was  --the windows weren't side by side, remember, we had big picture and then we're down below. And people would comment in the chat room as I would be trying to literally juggle all the pieces, getting them kind of working. And that really charged me up, like that really -- I enjoyed that kind of a piece. So what else can Arrangers do to practice this? That was a great practice for me, by the way. What else can Arrangers do to practice this talent?


Maika Leibbrandt  15:32 
Well, I think you're describing multitasking. Now, it's channeled multitasking; it's all a bunch of different tasks that lead up to one common theme or like one great goal. In that case, it was helping host a podcast. But I would say look for opportunities to multitask, maybe there are work streams that work really well when they're all lining up at the same time like that. Go there, be the air traffic controller, don't just organize for the sake of organizing. There might be, even into your childhood, times when you remember being able to sort through your brain or your ideas of what are you going to wear the next day, or sort through you know, my my daughter really likes are organizing our entire family's shoe bin -- that was a thing I didn't even know existed until she came across the idea that hey, everybody shoes could go in the same place. So I think, look for chances to bring that into your professional life or into more of a purpose or a goal that you have. Can you organize teams? Can you organize people? Could you organize goals? Your excellence in creating order from chaos might be the best way that you lead or contribute to a team. So align your Arranger to your job more on purpose.


Jim Collison  16:46 
I love that line, Order from chaos. Like that -- I just think that speaks so well to Arrangers, giving them those opportunities. We've been practicing a little talent-mindfulness this season. And so, Maika, walk us through this exercise.


Maika Leibbrandt  17:01 
Sure. So we're about to go into a great exercise, it'll take 3 to 5 minutes, and it'll bring us to the end of our podcast around Arranger. This is not meant to be prescriptive to the Arranger theme; it is meant to become a practice that all of us -- practice. Something that we can grow a little bit more closer to the talents that we have. So regardless of where Arranger falls in your profile, this really is something that you can participate in. Now, you might hear whispers of Arranger, but the investment in being more aware of your own talents is really important, regardless of what your dominant themes are. So let's do it. Let's take a really deep breath in. ... And an audible exhale, really let it go! ... Let's be right here. So some of the magic of Arranger is the ability to dance in the moment, to know how much time to spend on one thing before moving to the next -- truly understand the rhythm, maybe the syncopation to your day.


Maika Leibbrandt  18:09 
Today is about acknowledging that we all have rhythm to our day. And this exercise is going to help you look forward more purposefully to the next half of your day. We're going to explore what you have coming up and how you might move through it with slightly more gracefulness and agility. We're going to use a mantra that mirrors some of the magic of Arranger but again, can be applied to your themes. I see. I sort. I choose. I act. Your natural talents act as filters to what you notice, what you prioritize and what you do. Take another really deep breath in right now. ... And then press that breath all the way out, really emptying your lungs. ...


Maika Leibbrandt  19:10 
You can resume your normal breathing as you continue to listen and I guide you through this. I want you to think about what you'll face in the next hour of today. Imagine if that entire hour showed up in your lap right now. You see it. You sort it. You choose what to do. You act. Now, what if the next two hours of your day showed up, all in your lap, all at once. Everything you need to do, know, feel or see -- it's all there. It's starting to get heavier. And still you have the talent to handle it.


Maika Leibbrandt  19:54 
I see. I sort. I choose. I act.


Maika Leibbrandt  20:04 
Whatever you have coming over the next half of your day, let's say, the next four to five hours. There's a lot filling that time. Right now, I want you to imagine one big messy pile, it all shows up right here in your lap and it spills off of your lap onto the floor, maybe even as splashing onto anybody within arm's reach. You can still get through it but not without being thoughtful.


Maika Leibbrandt  20:36 
See it, take it in, acknowledge all that you have in front of you.


Maika Leibbrandt  20:45 
You sort. Pay attention to what your talents are sorting toward -- what makes something feel worthy of your energy.


Maika Leibbrandt  20:56 
You choose. Say "yes" to those parts that resonate with your goals, that make the most of the talent that you have to give.


Maika Leibbrandt  21:10 
You act. Suddenly, this pile doesn't matter anymore. You've said "yes" to the most important priorities. And you've left the rest to sort of dissipate into the atmosphere. There's no longer a pile on your lap; you're left with only those most important priorities. Lean into those moments of flow, of greatness, when how to act just make sense to you. That is moving forward from a place of talent, acknowledging that you know best how to proceed throughout your day.


Maika Leibbrandt  21:46 
Let's take one more deep breath in. ... And as you exhale, know that whatever the rest of your day has to bring to you, no matter how structured it is or how full or relaxing it is, as you go throughout your day, notice your filter is working for you. I see. I sort. I choose. I act. ...


Jim Collison  22:19 
Maika, any final thoughts on Arranger?


Maika Leibbrandt  22:22 
Just that it's, it's really beautiful. And you know, all of these themes can serve in any one of those four leadership domains. I think about what does Arranger offer as a leader, it's really stepping into that ability to sort and there's an extension of that where you can help other people do that as well. So we need  -- the world needs Arrangers and we're thankful for you, Jim.


Jim Collison  22:47 
Ah, well, it's good to be good to be thought and thanked for, so I appreciate that. We'll remind everyone to take full advantages of all the resources we have available at the Gallup Strengths Center -- just gallupstrengthscenter.com. Send us your questions questions or comments -- coaching@gallup.com. That's the right email address to get that done. If you're interested in becoming a Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach or any of the courses that may lead to that, you can see a full list of all the courses we have available -- and we have a bunch of them available now -- head out to courses.gallup.com. If you want to keep track of all the webcasts we do, join us live, get a schedule for that, they're on our Event Brite page, just go to gallup.eventbrite.com. And join us on Facebook, go to facebook.com/groups/calledtocoach. Many of you have done that, and we appreciate you guys doing that. Look forward to the next one. In this case, just a few minutes for now but with that, we'll say goodbye, everybody.


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