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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.

Gallup®, CliftonStrengths®, and the 34 theme names of CliftonStrengths® are 
trademarks of Gallup, Inc. All rights reserved.

  • Writer's pictureChad T. Ahern

Strengths Positioning: Restorative®

A soccer defender's leg kicking the ball away from an opponent; similar to how those with Restorative talents can rectify negative situations.
Turnaround experts.

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 Restorative® 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 Restorative® talents.

Each person with Restorative® 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

Game-changing ability to quickly turn a project or situation that is not going well into a moment when the team can take the initiative.


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.

  • Problem Seeker. In soccer, many players (and managers) can become unsettled at the sight of the opponent streaking forward on the attack. In the business world, this is akin to "everything falling apart"; resources dry up, employees leaving, systems breaking. In either scenario, those with Restorative® talents are likely to come alive. They live for moments like this. These talented individuals often seek out circumstances like this because they thrive in situations where they can intervene. If you are a leader or colleague of someone with Restorative® talents, consider rotating them to teams with "fires" to put out.

  • Practical. Those with Restorative® talents have a keen sense of the here-and-now and focus on what they can do in the moment to make things better. When others are imagining what's coming next (e.g. Strategic®, Futuristic®, or Ideation®), those with Restorative® talents will often be the first to highlight what needs to be addressed now so that those future visions are even conceivable. On a team, these talented individuals can provide a "guidepost of reality."


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

  • Break It / Fix It. In well-functioning teams, those with Restorative® talents may get restless because there is nothing to fix. In these cases, they may have a tendency to go "create" something to fix. It's unlikely they intend malice toward the team or organization; they are simply looking for an outlet for their Restorative talents. If this happens, 1) help them fix the problems as quickly as possible, and 2) share with them the team's or organization's real problems and then let them loose.

  • Pessimist. Because those with Restorative® talents are often looking for problems (so they can fix them), they can begin to create an environment and perspective of "everything is wrong or broken." Left unchecked this perspective and attitude can bring the team down and limit more positive thoughts and gratitude for everything going right. As a leader, make sure these team members get reinforcement for everything that they help fix and have turned into something positive for the team.

Talent Combos / Position Modification

  • Responsibility®: "A Defender's Defender" - Those with Responsibility® talents are keen to fulfill any and every promise they make. They also rarely let anything slip their attention and get by them. In soccer those with Responsibility® + Restorative® talents might be best epitomized by full backs who aren't just satisfied with making a great tackle to stop the attack, but will only be fulfilled when their team has the ball back across midfield and on the attack. In the working world, these talented individuals are driven to solve any problem they promise others they can fix.

  • Maximizer®: "A Finishing Defender" - Those with Maximizer® talents are driven to make everything they touch as superb as it can be. Those with this rare combination of Maximizer® + Restorative® talents are therefore driven not only by fixing something back to its modest original state, but by also making the end result as grand and perfect as possible. On the soccer pitch, it might look like Luke Shaw's style of play. In the working world, it might look like what Lynne Wester, the Donor Relations Guru, has done in identifying broken donor relations practices and creating an industry best practice model.

Game Film

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