Chad T. Ahern
Strengths Positioning: Futuristic®
Updated: Sep 22, 2021
Envisioning the future to pull the team forward.
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 Futuristic® talents, as identified via the CliftonStrengths assessment.
If you are a leader or a colleague of someone with these 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 Futuristic® talents.
Each person with Futuristic® 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®.
Position: Finisher / Forward
Always looking " up field" for the next opportunity or to the next goal.
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.
Picture painter. Those with Futuristic® talents are consistently looking to "what's next." They are drawn to the future at the same time they are drawing their future. As a leader, consider placing these individuals in roles where they can articulate what the team can and will accomplish. Let their aspirational visions serve as inspirations for others to follow.
Momentum creator. These talented individuals rarely remain in frustrating or pragmatic situations. On the soccer field, these individuals might get fed up with the ball simply being traded back-and-forth in stalemate on a single side of the field. In response, they will likely take it upon themselves to "switch field" and find space on the opposite side of the field in an effort to spur a new point of attack. They can provide the same "momentum shift" to work teams stuck in quagmires. Their ability to envision new areas or points of attack can help shift the energy and focus of a team toward positive action. As a leader, consider placing them on teams that are momentarily stuck to see if they can kick-start new action. You might also consider positioning them on a new team that's getting ready to tackle a project or goal that might seem daunting.
Ways in which people with this theme might "overplay" their talents.
Daydreamer. As much as those Futuristic® talents can envision the future, they can also get so absorbed by the ideas and visions they have of the future that they don't take appropriate action to make their vision a reality. As a leader, consider pairing these talented individuals with others who are more action focused (e.g. those with Activator®, Achiever®, or Responsibility® talents.)
Detail Lacking. Those with Futuristic® talents can get wrapped up in their own vision and have difficult translating their vision to others. Similarly, they can get locked onto the vision but dismiss even considering or outlining the step-by-step work needed to get there. This may then frustrate their team members that are inspired by the vision but don't know or understand how to contribute to make it a reality.
Talent Combos / Position Modification
Strategic®: "The Pathfinding Forward" - Those with Strategic talents are keen to identify and consider multiple paths to success. Those with possess this unique blend of Strategic + Futuristic talents are likely to keep their eyes on goals further out than their teammates, but simultaneously identifying the best near-term and mid-term tactics to get them to their goal. On the soccer field, you might recognize this player as a forward who distributes quickly and accurately to those who score the goal they envisioned. In the workplace, consider placing this individuals in places where they have time to daydream AND consider the best paths forward.
Context®: "The Imaginative Defender" - People with Context® talents have a deep understanding and appreciation of where the team has been and where projects originated. People who possess both Context® + Futuristic® talents are more likely to place their dreams of the future in the grander stream of history. On the field, this is the defender who comprehends and considers how the past actions of the team will influence how they move the ball forward to the goal they envision as team success. In the workplace, consider placing these individuals in roles where they can educate their peers about what the company or team has done in the past and how that plays a role in reaching their aspirational goal or future.
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