Achiever® Theme (CliftonStrengths®, formerly StrengthsFinder®)

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Achiever® Theme CliftonStrengths® StrengthsFinder®
Image Credit: shutterstock/d8nn

Gallup CliftonStrengths® is an assessment of personality, rooted in the theory of positive psychology. Research indicates that people who know and use their strengths every day are more likely to experience positive emotions (energy, happiness, respect) and less likely to experience negative emotions (stress, worry, anger, sadness). The assessment identifies an individual’s top five “Signature Themes” from a list of 34 common talents. Individuals can then develop those talents into strengths, and apply those strengths in all areas of their life.

Overview of the Achiever Strength

Workhorse or workaholic? You’ve been called both– and sometimes it’s hard even for you to tell the difference. As an Achiever, you are driven by an insatiable need to accomplish something tangible every day, including weekends and vacations, or you consider the day wasted. Your formidable stamina enables you to move at a pace most people cannot keep up with, and you have little tolerance for those who fall behind. You derive immense satisfaction from being busy and productive. Without a new challenge or task, you feel lost.

Action Items for the Achiever Strength

Choose the right job. A standard 9 to 5 is not for you. You need a demanding, fast-paced position with challenging goals. Ideally, this position will offer you the flexibility to work independently with minimal supervision so you can move at your own pace and not be held back by coworkers you consider to be less industrious.

Accept that you are more driven than most. Even at a highly demanding company, you may still put in longer hours than your colleagues, need less sleep or require less downtime to “blow off steam.” Resist the urge to judge coworkers who need time to recharge.

Pick the right partners. When working in teams, seek partners who have complementary traits, such as the Discipline or Focus themes. These coworkers will help you use your energy efficiently and multiply your achievement potential.

Create a “scoring system” to count professional and personal achievements. Do you find yourself feeling discontent even when you do reach a milestone? Quantify your accomplishments productivity with a scoring system: how did your performance on this project compare to previous work? Don’t overlook personal accomplishments: include these in your scoring system to bring better balance to your life.

How to Manage Someone with the Achiever Strength

Have you ever looked at an employee and wondered, “How does this person manage to accomplish so much every day without ever pausing to come up for air?” That’s a telltale sign you have an Achiever on your team.

Your Achiever is in constant motion and can be incredibly generative. They give 100 percent to every project, elevate group productivity, and power through tasks with their heads down until all work is complete.

Once their work is finished, your Achiever will become restless if you encourage them to take a break. To them, a break is not a reward but rather wasted time: they’re eager to start on the next big project. Sitting in meetings or facing a lull between big assignments can lead to frustration and disengagement. To keep your Achiever engaged and leverage their talents, try the following:

Help them bond with coworkers. Your Achiever has a natural disdain for “low-producers” and is frustrated by coworkers who underperform on team projects. Pair them with team members who also thrive by working hard in the trenches. This will help them bond with their coworkers, fostering a strong sense of camaraderie and employer loyalty. Earn their respect by proving you are not just a manager who sits in meetings all day, but an equally industrious worker committed to achievement.

Help them track cumulative accomplishments. In addition to tracking end deliverables, like completed projects, help your Achiever identify and measure cumulative successes. Depending on their role, measurements such as the number of customers served, files reviewed or prospects contacted will help them appreciate their hard work– and show them that you appreciate it, too.

Help them stay engaged. As a rule of thumb, your Achiever considers meetings to be unproductive and unnecessary. Their frustration over meetings is heightened when they include individuals the Achiever considers to be “low producers.” Whenever possible, only include the Achiever in meetings where their presence is absolutely necessary.

Help them grow. While praise for a job well done is nice, what your Achiever really craves is a new project goal that will stretch them. Acknowledge their commitment to going above and beyond – staying late, arriving early, completing tasks ahead of schedule – and push them to do even more with their next assignment. Resist the urge to promote your Achiever simply because they are a self-starter, especially if such a promotion would lead to more “time wasting” meetings. Instead, keep them plugged into opportunities where their passion for achievement will translate into success for them, your team and your company.

Gallup®, Clifton StrengthsFinder®, StrengthsFinder®, CliftonStrengths®and each of the 34 CliftonStrengths theme names are trademarks of Gallup, Inc. For more information, or to take the CliftonStrengths assessment, visit www.gallupstrengthscenter.com.

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