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The Sideline Blog

Just as sports players come to the sideline for rest and guidance, this blog is meant to provide you some insight and guidance as you explore your Strengths journey.

Gallup®, CliftonStrengths®, and the 34 theme names of CliftonStrengths® are 
trademarks of Gallup, Inc. All rights reserved.

  • Writer's pictureChad T. Ahern

Strengths Positioning

Updated: Sep 22, 2021

Normally at this time of year I would spending some time evaluating youth soccer players in my co-coaching role for the Colchester Youth Soccer Club U12 boys team. With the pandemic still effecting our ability to play, I thought I would explore how my scouting abilities might apply to figuring out how to "position" CliftonStrengths talent themes within the context of business.

Before I begin, I think it’s important to remember that:

  1. Naming our talents shouldn’t become labels, and

  2. No talent is more or less important than any other talent

At the same time, to help us understand out talents, we can consider “personification” of each talent theme; just as Pixar’s Inside Out allows us to understand some of our basic emotions.

With that context set, let’s look at the similarities between how leaders can position their team members and how soccer coaches position players.

Holding the Line / Defenders

In soccer, your fullbacks / defenders provide you not only a last-line-of-defense but also a base upon which to plan your attack. In business, the same is often true in most successful work teams and businesses, you need people who aren't going to let things slip through the cracks, can assess and address risk and who can help reverse course when things start to break down.

Facilitators / Midfielders

On the field, midfielders serve as the transition points; moving the ball from risk to potential. They also often serve as connection points and wonderful communicators, keeping everyone aware of the situation. In professional work, you need communicators, connectors, and conductors to move forward.

Finishers / Forwards

Forwards often get the most notoriety for most frequently putting the ball in the goal. They are also used to lengthen the field, push forward, and keep the opposing defenses honest. In business, you need people to be imaginative, future & goal focused, and be able to ensure the job gets done.

In the coming weeks, I'll share some more about each of these groupings and offer a "scouting report" sheet for each of the CliftonStrengths talent themes.

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