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 
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  • Chad T. Ahern

Talents & Burnout: Focus®


"People exceptionally talented in the Focus theme can take direction, follow through, and make corrections necessary to stay on track. They prioritize, then act." - Gallup CliftonStrengths® Themes Quick Reference Guide -

Burnout Concerns

Those on your team with Focus® talents can bring amazing levels of intensity and stamina to their projects. At the same time, their single-minded drive may cause them to burnout because,

  • They are trying to define and act on the one or two critical “to-dos” they should/need to invest in. With so many initiatives, plans, and goals being reworked in response to the world around them, they may over exert themselves trying to consistently commit to a single project in a sea of constantly changing priorities.

  • Those with Focus talents may start to burnout as they try to manage and fulfill two to four critical life roles -- parent, caregiver, teacher, and employee. Because they are all (likely) equally important they could become emotionally exhausted, or feel conflicted, by not being able to completely invest in a single role.

Addressing Burnout

To alleviate potential burnout risks, you as a leader or teammate could help your Focus®-talented team members by:

  • Helping them break down their day into shorter “focus periods”, each aimed at a specific task that ties to a specific role. Going one step further, help them set expectations with your team or organization. Team members may need to respect that to get the best from those with Focus talents, that such individuals might need to use 1-2 hrs. in the AM to help their kids with homework, then a 1-hr slot to move a work project forward, then 1 hr. for personal care, and so on.

  • Being clearer about work expectations and timelines. Some with Focus® talents will keep a project front-and-center until it is complete; forsaking most/all other roles or projects. By being clear, you can help them break down projects into smaller “focus sprints”; thus providing them logical conclusion / recognition stages that could allow them to more easily transition between projects.

As with coaching any individual, their combined set of talent themes will effect how their Focus® talents show up, and how to best manage them. As a beginning, next time you check-in with them, ask,


How are you assessing, keeping track of, and adjusting your priorities during this time of change?


Photo by Paul Skorupskas on Unsplash


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

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