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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  • Chad T. Ahern

Strengths Positioning: Holding the Line

Updated: Sep 22

Do you work with someone you just know you can depend on?


They reliably do the background, grunt work that few other co-workers want to do.


They don't let any project fail out of neglect or lack of effort.


They maintain the core operating parts of your business, while everyone else seems to be off creating the "next best thing."


They develop and improve the standard operating procedures that many don't want to follow, but are so grateful for when the same SOPs ensure your organization averts a major catastrophe.


They hold the line. In soccer, you often find these individuals playing the defensive line.


We often think about defenders as those who are the last line before an opponent gets the better of you. But it's not just about playing defense. It's not just avoiding breakdowns and fending off attacks.


If you've ever closely watched the U.S. Women's National Soccer Team, you know what I mean. They routinely "box in" opponents into their own half, and use their defensive line as the base of attack. Sure, they are still marking the opponent's forwards, but more often they are directing and setting up the point(s) of attack. They are thoughtful, careful, and methodical. Check out this 3-minute clip to see how the defense sets up the first goal.


Strengths that Hold the Line

Which brings us to how we can think of how talents from some of the CliftonStrengths themes can contribute to our work teams, as they "hold the line."

  • Analytical -- using data, identifies where the organization can push forward. Is it better to go left, go right, or straight up the middle?

  • Belief - can remind you of the team's or organization's core values.

  • Communication - with the best view "from the back", can communicate where we go from here.

  • Consistency - doing the right things, the right way... every time enhances the chances of success.

  • Deliberative - being calm and patient isn't necessarily the same as stalling; they make sure that an initiative isn't launched forward unless there is a high chance of success.

  • Discipline - taking a methodical approach ensures everyone brings care and attention to the right way of doing things.

  • Intellection - thoughtful thinking as your brining the project forward tends to lead to improved success.

  • Relator - the ability to develop deep trust and tight-knit sub-teams is essential so they can quick distribute or assign project responsibilities and ensure nothing gets by them.

  • Responsibility - their commitment to the team and its projects means everything will get done; one way or another.

  • Restorative - being able to quick turn a project or situation that is not going well into a moment when the team can take the initiative can be game-changing.

  • Self-Assurance - being supremely confident in your abilities to "hold the line" gives the rest of the team confidence to take chances that can make the entire team successful.

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