Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Strategic: The Road to the Vision


People exceptionally talented in the Strategic theme create alternative ways to proceed. Faced with any given scenario, they can quickly spot the relevant patterns and issues.
Clifton StrengthsFinder

TeamMates Executive Director Suzanne Hince calls her Strategic theme her “playbook to find solutions”. Hince, who leads with Strategic (#1), Self-Assurance (#2), Achiever (#3), Futuristic (#4), and Ideation (#5), states that she uses her Strategic theme each and every day, often in harmony with her other themes. One current use of her Strategic theme is through the chapter strategic planning process. Appropriately named, Hince travels to chapters to vision with them about their future, then decide what the best steps are to get to that desired future.  In terms of her leadership within TeamMates, Hince says Strategic helps her to find the right people the right seat on the bus, as well as understand her role within that dynamic. She explains, “I think the Strategic helps me understand where my leadership role is in different situations. Sometimes it’s empowering others, sometimes it’s taking a step back and letting others lead, and sometimes you need to be the leader.”


Gallup Strengths is a wonderful tool to help us all understand ourselves and those around us at a deeper level. Hince understands that although she leads with Strategic, there are many other themes that blend well with Strategic to help her daily. One of those themes is Futuristic. Coming in at her #4, the theme of Futuristic blended with Strategic could sound like this, “My mind’s eye sees clear images of a better future and detects the best paths leading to future dreams” (Expanding Your Strengths). Like all of us, though, Hince has had to work on developing her strengths, and learning that not all people are wired the same way. She explains, “It’s been a learning experience for me as a leader…There are times where you really need to communicate and really paint the picture of what the future looks like so that other people can capture that vision and be motivated and inspired to move towards it.” We are so thankful to have a self-aware visionary leader who understands her own strengths and takes the time to cultivate the strengths of others.  


According to Gallup numbers, Strategic is the 5th most common theme to appear in a Top 5. TeamMates numbers mirror this high frequency; Roughly a third of our mentors (28%) and mentees (30%) who have completed StrengthsQuest have Strategic in their Top 5. Although we cannot put Strengths in a box, it may be fair to say that many of those involved in TeamMates understand the relevant issues and have taken action to impact the world through mentoring. 

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