top of page

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: Adaptability

Updated: Sep 22, 2021

A stopwatch, inspiring the idea of starting action
Flexing the game plan to ensure success.

Leaders, and colleagues, need to position people on work project teams effectively and efficiently to ensure work gets done and people stay engaged. A lot of leaders spend too much time trying to guess where to put people because they don't have a point of reference.

What follows is a "scouting report" for those with Adaptability® talents.

If you are a leader or a colleague of someone with Adaptability talents, consider how you can best position them in the context of your team and your projects. You can also use this as a discussion piece to find out how they see and use their Adaptability talents.

Each person with Adaptability talents operates differently. Make sure you're not missing out on their unique contribution.

Scouting Report

This theme is key in helping your team "adjust on the fly."


Ways in which this team member can make a direct and immediate impact. Use these insight to consider where you place them on the team or in an organization.

  • Will be the first to play in both directions. They can and will adjust their contribution to provide support (defensive) to ensure projects don't fall through the cracks, or will jump in with an extra set of hands to ensure projects get finished (offense).

  • Can help others re-focus on the "now". This can be particularly helpful when the team is feeling stuck because the overall, long-term plan looks particularly daunting.

  • Can often play a "Jack/Jill-of-all-trades" role, with an easy ability to shift gears frequently and be an excellent problem solver.


Ways in which people with this theme might "overplay" their talents.

  • Be aware that they can become so flexible they might stretch themselves in too many directions all at once.

  • Living and adjusting in the moment is great. Living ONLY in the moment can leave them contributing without any true aim or goal. Be sure to help them moving in a shared direction, even as they adjust. Carpe diem vs. carpe futurum.

  • Might not be adept at creating plans, or sticking with them.

Talent Combos / Position Modification

  • Empathy: "On Field Counselor" - In business and in soccer the emotional scales of a project (or a game) can turn in an instant. Those with Adaptability & Empathy talents will likely sense this switch faster than most. Put them in a position where they have permission to give voice to these emotional swings. Just take care of them so they don't get "sucked" into the ultimate highs or deepest lows; adapting to the prevailing emotional state of the team.

  • Focus: "The Facilitating Attacker" - On the soccer pitch someone with Adaptability & Focus talents is likely to concentrate more on the ball than on the goal net. They would likely look to flex their positioning in relation to where the ball is. The same in business. Look to utilize these talented individuals' ability to keep their eyes on the current state of one or two critical projects; not the end goal. Then allow them flexibility to adjust their role or contribution to the project as they deem necessary or appropriate.

Game Film

Check out these videos from Gallup to learn more

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page