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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: Discipline®

Updated: Sep 22, 2021

A clearly lined soccer field created within chaotic, unpredictable natural rock formations.
Creating order and predictability out of chaos.

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 Discipline® 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 Discipline® talents.

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

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

Scouting Report

Creator and champion of order, they provide a backstop that ensures the team moves forward.


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.

  • Order maker. Anyone who's watched a youth soccer game, will quickly recognize "cluster-ball"; where every little kid wants to do something with the ball. The same can often happen in work situations; with people often trying to chase and contribute to the newest or shiniest project. Those with Discipline talents provide the antidote. They are quick to establish order and structure. Their ability to devise order and predictability can create a "backstop" for teams. When situations get out of hand, those with Discipline talents will be the first to remind the team of agreed-upon processes that allow the team to stem chaos and methodically move forward. These individuals can be welcome additions to teams that are struggling to find processes that move projects forward. Just make sure not to put these talented individuals in teams or roles where a little chaos is required.

  • Predictable pacer. These wonderful individuals are the tortoise to everyone else's hare. Their methodical approach to work keeps them (and their teams) moving forward at a steady pace. The precise speed and nature of that pace for themselves and for the team will likely be informed and influenced by other themes, but they will bring a cadence that others can can depend on. Find roles where they can help teams move from a "sprint-and-wait" approach to a more manageable, steady work pace.


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

  • Too rigid. Once someone with Discipline talents defines system or approach they can rely on they can be so accustom to it that any deviation or disruption can prove problematic. They may also expect everyone on the team to follow the exact same process, and when other's don't they can become frustrated; particularly if that system has been well thought-out, refined, and proven to work.

  • Perfectly predictable. It is highly likely those with Discipline talents will expect their precise systems and approaches to generate perfect results. Mistakes are for other people. As a team leader, you should be aware of (and sometimes prepared to help these wonderful individuals through) moments when mistakes happen.

Talent Combos / Position Modification

  • Responsibility®: "The Serving Tactician" - Those with Responsibility talents seek to fulfill their commitments to others. Those with Discipline seek order and predictability. Team members with this Discipline + Responsibility combination can bring their powers of building order to their process of serving fellow team members. On the soccer field, you might see this combo in a center-back defender who carries a sense of responsibility to not let the ball by him/her, but who methodically moves the ball to the wing-backs or wing-midfielders so the team can methodically begin its attack. In the workplace, these individuals will help you ensure every projects gets addressed and that every task is accomplished.

  • Ideation®: "The Creative Tactician" - Those with Ideation talents thrive when they can create something anew. Those with Discipline talents bring order and structure. Those blessed with this unique Ideation + Discipline talent combo bring their new ideas to life through a structured process. To picture what this might look like, consider the creative soccer player who dazzles with fancy footwork, but does it within the confines of the laws and boundaries of the game. These are fantastic team members to have in the workplace because they can develop new ideas and ensure that each new initiative gets the same rigorous attention.

Game Film

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