Competition® Theme (CliftonStrengths®, formerly StrengthsFinder®)

Competition Theme CliftonStrengths StrengthsFinder
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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 Competition® Strength

Herbert Hoover, who served as our 31st President, is known to have said “Competition is not only the basis of protection to the consumer, but is the incentive to progress.” People who score high on the Competition® strength on the CliftonStrengths® scale are people who want to be on top and are willing to dedicate themselves to honing their crafts, so they can do just that.

Not only do people who have the Competition® talent seek to win in everything they do. They also know, intuitively, how other people are performing and how they measure up. If you are someone who has the Competition® strength, be aware that you likely need to be able to compete with others consistently and outperform them to feel truly victorious.

In fact, victories where you achieved your goals but did not perform better than coworkers or peers may feel hollow to you.

Your biggest competition in many cases, though, is yourself. You’re constantly seeking to outshine previous performances, to prove you can bring your talents to the next level.

Action Items for the Competition Strength

To really feel valued in the workplace while feeding your need for competition, you need to choose your vocation carefully if you have the Competition® talent. Keep these things in mind to enjoy greater success and fulfillment:

Choose work environments that measure accomplishments.

List your own performance scores daily so you know where you stand at all times.

Celebrate wins. The celebration helps fuel your fire.

Look for friends and coworkers as competitive as you.

Turn everyday tasks into competitions. (Think Rowdy and Cole in wheelchairs in Days of Thunder).

Learn from your victories as well as from your losses.

Choose your key competition wisely (whether one or more). Size them up and measure yourself against them consistently.

Ideal careers for people who have the Competition® strength include careers that offer performance-based incentives (trophies, bonuses, promotions, cars, rings, etc.). For example: sales, marketing, media/journalism.

The important thing is that the jobs you choose have objective measurements and metrics that can be used to determine how well you perform day to day or month to month.

How to Manage Someone with Competition® Theme

Managing someone who has the Competition® strength can be as fun as it is challenging. By capitalizing on the power of employees who excel in the Competition® strength, your business too can excel in the competitive marketplace.  

These tips will help you get more productivity and better performance from competitive employees and to make them feel valued and important within your organization.

Create a spirit of competition that feeds their need for it. Set goals with quantifiable results and offer a little something to those who achieve them.

Pit them against people close to their skills levels with planned competitions and contests.

Allow them to win, occasionally. No one likes to lose all the time. Especially someone who is competitive. Create competitions they are capable of winning on occasion too.

Help them focus on areas where they have notable strengths, so they can refine those and compete on higher levels.

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