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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

Talents & Burnout: Maximizer®

We recognize that communities throughout the United States are working hard to address longstanding, systemic racial inequality and injustice. Even as we join in the efforts to support such initiatives, we also believe continuing to share perspectives via this #talentswithoutburnout series can help people better understand one another as unique, talented individuals who should be celebrated and supported, regardless of their skin color or national origin.

"People exceptionally talented in the Maximizer theme focus on strengths as a way to stimulate personal and group excellence. They seek to transform something

strong into something superb."

- Gallup CliftonStrengths® Themes Quick Reference Guide -

Burnout Concerns

Those with Maximizer® talents want to set and achieve the gold standard; the best of the best. They will look to maximize efficiency of time and people. They will look to perfect their systems, messages, and approaches. At a time when our world of work is being redefined those with Maximizer® talents may become frustrated and experience burnout because:

Solutions need to be workable but not perfect. They can become emotionally and mentally exhausted trying to perfect solutions that are still morphing. This could apply to:

  • New work policies

  • Their at-home office set up

  • Organizational outreach messages (e.g. newsletters; where the message needs to be more important than appearance).

A diminishing workforce has forced people to work in roles or on projects that don't fit their natural talents. With so many people being laid off or furloughed there is a greater chance that remaining staff members will be assigned tasks or roles that don’t necessarily fit their talents. This has the potential to frustrate those with Maximizer® talents as they want to see everyone’s responsibilities best matched to their respective Strengths.

They are striving for a "perfect world". With so much of our society “broken” or “below the standards were used to”, those with Maximizer® talents may be struggling to exert their best efforts. These talented individuals would prefer to be taking something good and making it great, rather than fixing something subpar.

  • For the ongoing pandemic, this has meant having to re-engineering work instead of finding small tweaks to improve a working system.

  • Within the context of recent #blacklivesmatter efforts, those with Maximizer® talents may be struggling that our country, even after 200+ years, still has not achieved a "more perfect Union."

Addressing Burnout

As the world reinvents itself, there is a role for those with Maximizer® talents. We need these individuals to keep pushing us and our teams forward. To ensure they do so in ways that don't burn them out, consider taking some of the following actions:

Provide them with some time to sit back and take stock of what and who is working better within our new work paradigms. Doing so will allow them to watch for, appreciate, and find ways to further enhance the:

  • re-imagined operational processes working better now than before, and

  • people who are finding and utilizing their best talents in our new world of work.

Give them opportunities to study how other organizations are successfully managing recent changes. Encourage team members with Maximizer® talents to study who’s doing it the best and figure out if similar or the same approaches will work within your organization.

Engage them in discussions about how to re-delegate work within the context of a smaller organizational workforce. They likely have already studied their colleagues for longer and deeper than most, and can, therefore, provide you insights how to best re-position people for the greatest effect. Bringing them into this process will allow them to tap into their talents and allow them to feel some sense of control over improving their environment and colleagues.

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

What are you working on improving today?

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

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