Chad T. Ahern
Strengths Positioning: Input®
Updated: Sep 22, 2021
Collecting knowledge from which to launch.
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 Input® 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 Input® talents.
Each person with Input® 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: Hold the Line / Defender
Building a knowledge base from which the team can launch 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.
Archivist. Teams often need to glean insights from what's been tried (success or failure), ideas considered, and industry patterns. Those with Input® talents may make for great resources to access such insights. They are often keen to collect and keep a wide variety of resources (items & ideas); many of which may not provide an immediate application, but down the line are precisely what the team needs. As a leader, consider positioning these talented individuals in teams or roles where they have access to a wide array of people, discussions, and materials. These are not individuals you want to keep closed off and to themselves.
Explorer. Those with Input® talents may also serve their team well as "explorers." Their willingness to delve into the unknown and collect a wide range of information, ideas, treads, all with little focus on immediate application, could provide a team with a new sense of what's possible. In the game of soccer, these players might start to collect and notice new formations, defensive/offensive strategies, or how club managers may reimagine the responsibilities of certain positions. In the workplace, these talented individuals might be some of the first to notice shifting industry trends, new markets, or new data sets to consider. As a leader, put them out on the leading edge of major projects, while also considering pairing them with someone that can help them focus. Their insights could serve as the ultimate backbone for future projects.
Ways in which people with this theme might "overplay" their talents.
Pack rat. Those with Input® talents are keen to collect - whether it's reports, books, travel experiences, or a series of similar items. If they don't consider how they organize their collection(s), then it can quickly become a disarrayed mess that doesn't help them or their team. As a leader, help these talented individuals find ways to archive everything they collect.
Aimless collector. Left to their own devices, team members with Input talents may not end up collecting information or experiences that don't ultimately help the team. While some complimentary talents may give their Input® talents direction, there is a chance for some people to be aimless. As a leader or colleague, it may serve the team well if you help pair their interests with the team's goals.
Talent Combos / Position Modification
Intellection®: "Deep-thinking Defensemen" - Team members with Intellection talents are keen to think deeply about nearly everything. They want to consider and ponder. Those with Input talents are very adept at collecting a lot of things to think about. Those with this unique Input® + Intellection® talents combo are likely to want time to really consider, discuss, and debate the interconnections of everything they collect and store. Their unique power, however, is in their ability to sift through everything they've stored to find the most important nuggets to share with their teams. Their "defensive" prowess is in considering and reviewing all the approaches before sharing their final thoughts with the team.
Self-assurance®: "The Stopper" - In soccer, there is a position called the Stopper. This team member is often positioned at the top point of a 4-person, diamond-shaped, defensive formation. They are the leading edge of the defense and have to be one of the most confident, self-assured people on the field in order to dictate the direction of play for the opposition. Those with Self-assurance® talents are comfortable and confident standing alone. Those possessing this unique Input® + Self-assurance® talent combo are likely to be well-equipped leading the charge for new knowledge, tools, & experiences. Their ability to also confidently stand against the onslaught of outside pressures is informed by all they have sourced and collected over the years. As a leader, don't be afraid to let these individuals operate "on an island", or dictate the team's course of action...it will be well-informed.
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