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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.

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  • Writer's pictureChad T. Ahern

Strengths Positioning: Competition®

Updated: Sep 22, 2021

A soccer player dribbling past another player down the sideline; working to beat his opponent the same way those with Competition talents seek to win.
Striving to be the best by engaging in contests.

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 often 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 Competition® talents, as identified via the CliftonStrengths assessment.

If you are a leader or a colleague of someone with 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 Competition® talents.

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

Disclaimer: The following insights represent the author's opinions based on their understanding of the CliftonStrengths® themes. These are not statements created by or formally endorsed by Gallup®.

Scouting Report: Competition

Will keep pushing the team forward with their aspirations to be the best.


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

  • Pulling forward: These talented individuals will keep encouraging their team forward, moving toward their goals. Their ambition and aspirations to be better than the next team or their competition will "pull" their teams forward with them. In soccer, forwards are positioned to "stay up" with the opposition's defense, thus stretching the field. In a similar way, these talented individuals will strive to push up against the last edge of their competition. Consider placing these individuals where they can find the leading edge and put them in position to push through to success.

  • Made to Measure: For these talented individuals, there is nothing clearer than their scorecard. They will look for nearly any way to measure their success, particular in relation to others. Put this ability to use by putting them in roles where they can know and understand where they (and their teams) stand in relation to internal teams and external competitors...even if that information is typically beyond the "scope" of their typical responsibilities. Their understanding of where they stand will inspire action.


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

  • Win at All Cost: These talented individuals might have a tendency to be overzealous in their attempts to win. This tendency could lead them to make less-than-ethical choices in pursuit of the win. Consider pairing them with someone with Belief, Consistency, or Discipline talents to help them stay on the straight and narrow.

  • No game, no play. Because these individuals derive their drive from competitions they can measure, they're not likely going to be interested in roles and projects where there isn't a clear scorecard and/or opponent. If there isn't clarity about goals, don't expect them to stay around.

Talent Combos / Position Modification

  • Achiever: Individuals with this combo will strive to complete as many goals as possible. They drive to get stuff done might come from an internal source, but their drive to compare against others will ensure that they get their goals done faster and better than their competition. This combo helps these individuals be especially deft at providing a "super forward" of sort of their teams. Just as a soccer player with these themes might thrive on checking off the tasks of "beat each midfield," "beat each fullback," and "beat the goalie," and "rack up more points than the other team;" someone with these talents in the workplace will give it their all to check off tasks like "deliver project ahead of time," "save more money than anyone else,", and "complete it faster than any other team."

  • Connectedness: Individuals with this combo is likely to take a broader perspective to "winning." Those with Connectedness talents tend to play more of "midfielder" role, seeing the connection between all the different positions and all the different facets of the game; they care for the entire team. Adding in Competition talents provides a drive for these individuals to think about ensuring their team, organization, or industry win. Consider placing this individuals where they can see and appreciate the entire picture, and then give them the freedom to use that information to measure their success.

Game Film

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