Significance® Theme (CliftonStrengths®, formerly StrengthsFinder®)

Significance 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 Significance® Strength

George Eliot (aka Mary Anne Evans) once penned, “It is never too late to be what you might have been.” People who have the Significance® strength according to the CliftonStrengths® assessment want nothing more to be significant in the hearts and minds of others. They seek recognition. They need to be heard. They want, more than anything it seems, to stand out for their unique talents and contributions.

If you have the Significance® strength, you have a deep need to be admired for your time, talents, and efforts. More to the point, you want the people associated with you to crave the same success and credibility in their professional pursuits. To that end, you are constantly poking, prodding, and driving others to succeed as well.

To some degree, your work is as much a part of who you are as your personal identity. You want to have the power and permission to treat your job as the substantial part of your life it is and derive the greatest fulfillment from employment that allows you to be the captain of your own fate.

Action Items for the Significance® Strength

Success means different things to different people. For those who have the Significance® strength, though, it must come with certain recognition to feel real to you. Keep these things in mind to help you remain grounded and focused as you pursue your vision of success:

Choose the reputation you desire and pursue it with single-minded purpose.

Be purposeful in your objectives. Make a list of goals and use that list to drive your focus every single day.

Tell others about your goals and expectations so you have added incentive to achieve them.

Recall moments where you felt you had the perfect amount of praise and recognition.

Focus on all the details of that moment to identify what is required to recreate that moment over and over again in your life.

Work for companies that appreciate hard working employees in ways you can appreciate (bonuses, awards, trophies, recognition, etc.).

Choose a career you feel is significant.

Ideal areas for careers for people who have the Significance® strength include: Journalism, Emergency services (firefighter, police officer, emergency medicine, etc.), Politics, Public relations, Law.

These career industries place you in the public eye and help you feel significant to others by the work you do and the contributions you make.

How to Manage Someone with the Significance® Strength

People with the Significance® strength do not tolerate micromanagement well. Allow them to have their independence as much as is possible in their roles within your organization. Additionally, consider the following when managing these types of people:

Offer them roles that allow them to stand out. They enjoy being the center of attention. Just make sure to give them an opportunity to stand out for all the right reasons.

Encourage them to praise others within the group. It feeds their need to encourage others to be successful. Their self-esteem may even suffer if they do not receive the recognition they feel they deserve.

Recognize their contributions. They thrive on this recognition and will not feel appreciated without it.

Place them in positions where they associate often with people who are professional, credible, and successful. They like to surround themselves with people who represent what they hope to achieve.

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