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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: Developer®

Updated: Sep 22, 2021

birds eye view of soccer fields as an analogy for the blueprints of soccer; just as those with Context love to understand the blueprints of a business.
Cultivating potential.

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 Developer® 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 Developer® talents.

Each person with Developer® 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

It matters little where they "play", just ensure they are given chances to coach and mentor.


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.

This is one of the few talent themes where the "position" doesn't matter quite as much. These talented individuals bring value more through what they offer the team as a whole...growth.

  • The Mentor. Those with Developer® talents are keen to share what they know, and help others grow into their true potential. Ensure they are positioned where they can mentor, teach, and coach; regardless of their age, organizational level, or years with the company. In soccer, we call these contributors "coaches on the field."

    • As a Defender / Holder of the Line. these team members will likely ensure that those colleagues who might be stumbling a bit rediscover their footing and grow in their contribution to the team.

    • As a Midfielder / Transitioner, they are likely to keep their eyes on the entire field (and team) to see where the growth areas are (or could be) and help others take advantage of such opportunities.

    • As a Forward / Finisher, those with Developer talents are likely to serve up opportunities for others to bring a project to completion. Like a forward wing in soccer, these individuals will serve a crossing ball so someone else can head it into the goal. Seeing someone else succeed in bringing all the coaching and mentoring together into a completed project will fill those with Developer talents with joy and drive.


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

  • Those with Developer talents may have a tendency to overcommit time and energy to those that may never be successful in their role. Some people just don't want coaching or mentoring, or won't incorporate the insights discovered via work with those with Developer talents. Help those with Developer talents understand who will most benefit from their efforts and good intentions.

  • Some people with Developer talents may focus too much on developing others and minimize their own development. If you lead someone like this, be sure to have conversations with them about how they want to develop and how they'll measure or record their own growth. They can only offer their best to others if they keep learning and growing themselves.

Talent Combos / Position Modification

  • Empathy®: "The Emotional Aware Coach" - Some team members with Developer talents might help others learn skills and/or knowledge. Those with this Empathy + Developer combo have the capacity to offer their best in two ways:

    • They will be aware of the emotional reservoir others have for growth. They will know, better than most, when to push and when to support someone else's growth.

    • They have a unique capacity to help others develop their emotional awareness. They can help people be more aware of the emotional energy in certain situations and then help their team members understand and learn from each emotional circumstance.

  • Significance®: "The Star Coach" - Many with Developer talents might seek to minmize their efforts or take a backseat to the progress of others. Those with this Significance + Developer talent combo will thrive in circumstances where someone else's performance is critical for the team's success. They can help others lean into critical or high priority situations and help others learn through preparation.

Game Film

Check out these videos from Gallup to learn more

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