CliftonStrengths®: Ideation® – The lightbulb theme

CliftonStrengths®: Ideation® – The lightbulb theme

CliftonStrengths® defines the Ideation® theme as being “fascinated with ideas. They are able to find connections between seemingly disparate phenomena.”

You love to brainstorm

This theme kind of speaks for itself 🙂 You will ask questions and throw out ideas, sometimes too fast for the people around you. For some, you create overwhelm with all the ideas you offer.

This is my #10 and one of my dominant themes. When I look at friends who have Ideation® in their Top 5, I see the difference in intensity. I can turn it down and zip it, they often can’t.

You love to brainstorm and be with people that want to have fun without ego. To me, that’s key and my Positivity® theme piping in. It has to be fun for me if I’m in a group. My experience is that brilliant ideas often are born out of silly ones, so a free-flowing and open environment is key.

You love to play outside the box

You thrive when you have the opportunity to use your creativity to inspire and energize yourself and others.

In fact, one of your talents is to take what you have and shift the perspectives by looking at it from different angles and offering fresh ideas.

You love to come up with new ideas, hate repetition and doing what you’ve already done.

You need the freedom to explore

This theme has a lot of similarities with the fluidity of Adaptability®. It’s very much now in the moment and on the fly that ideas come when you’re in flow in a conversation or sitting on your own thinking about stuff.

Playing without constraints, limitations or a ceiling of how far out you can go is another need that you have.

Reading is another source for ideas, tapping into other people’s genius can energize you and stimulate more ideas that you hadn’t thought about before.

Quantum leap growth

I think one reason why personal and business growth has appealed to me is that my Ideation® gets sparked. Whether I’m listening to others sharing or reading an article or book I get to tap into new realms and perspectives.

Ideation® is a theme that moves forward, one or several ideas at the time. To me, this theme feels very spontaneous.

Quantum leaps all start from an idea.

You may want to have a notebook nearby or use the one on your phone, where you jot down ideas. I’ve often found that when I’m on my own they will hit when I’m doing something like driving or working out and don’t have the ability to write.

The talk-to-text option on your phone helps me in those situations.

Stay curious and keep exploring your ideas in ways that are intriguing to you. Create a game around it, come up with ten ideas that can contribute to a situation you’re in right now. The next one could be the one that sparks something even greater after all.

Do you have Ideation® as one of your dominant talents? Do you find that you have more ideas than you can handle? Please comment below, I’d love to know.

Are you curious what your talents might be? CLICK HERE for more information about the CliftonStrengths® Assessment or HERE for the BP10™ Assessment.

Lastly, visit Gallup’s YouTube channel for more information on the CliftonStrengths® theme of Ideation® HERE.

CliftonStrengths®: Responsibility® – Can people count on you?

CliftonStrengths®: Responsibility® – Can people count on you?

CliftonStrengths® defines this theme as “taking psychological ownership of what they say they will do, they are committed to stable values such as honesty and loyalty.”

You say yes, or avoid it

Yeah, you’re the one that says yes and takes on whatever that is until completion. For many of you, it’s a life-long lesson to learn to say “no” as you often offer up “yes” and people know they can count on you to get things done.

Balancing the yes and no is super important for you, and you may need help.

To me, it’s been a talent theme that has created an overload in life. I’ve said “yes” to too much and pushed myself over the top to get things done. Again, other themes influence here, like Achiever® which is all about performance and working hard, and Activator® who is always ready to leap and take action.

What I have observed with others sharing this theme is that it’s you tend to be the automatic “yes” people or the complete opposite – the ones not jumping in. You take your word seriously.

Keeping a balance is key

When you take responsibility for the things that matter the most, you thrive. The flipside is to keep a balance because of this. When you say yes to everything it’ll stress many of you out as you’ve given your word to it, and that means that you will do it.

It’s OK to say “no” now and then. Make sure you don’t overcommit to work so you have time for the fun stuff.

It’s so easy to give the “responsible” one the projects or to do’s because you know you can count on them getting things done and consider that spreading the balance on the team is helping everyone grow. Having said that placing someone with Responsibility® in a role where these talents can be utilized as part of their daily “tasks” will help you thrive.

Freedom to work independently is important

Many with the Responsibility® talent have high ethical standards and capacities to function independently. In fact, you need the freedom to take ownership and bring dependability. Not delivering on your word is something you’ll avoid at all cost.

I used to joke about how the word “no” has been the hardest word for me to say, especially at work. In my personal life, I’m not one to be guilted into doing anything–so good luck trying this on me. I feel I have more choice there for some reason.

In my personal life I can easily say no, but at work, I’ve found myself saying yes… because… ownership.

It’s a trust theme

This theme creates trust as people know that they can count on you and that you will communicate if you need help or see something that needs to change to honor the commitment made.

You bring loyalty and appreciate it in others. Having friends and co-workers that share this sense of commitment will nurture you and create strong bonds.

As a manager and leader with Responsibility®, your ability to be your word can be used to build a team that inspires improvement and performance.

You have their back

To me, this theme is also used to look out for and help the people I care about by having their back, looking out for their blind spots when it comes to commitments made that are about to fall through.

As a manager, and person, you take ownership for your team in addition to what your part is whether it’s work or your family. This helps create an environment where people feel comfortable coming to you for help.

You bring stability to partnerships. You naturally have the ability to gut check and help yourself and others to remember the commitments that have been made. Can you still deliver what was promised as a team or individually? Are tweaks needed due to unforeseen circumstances?

Do you have Responsibility® as one of your dominant talents? Are you a yes person or do you avoid saying yes? Please comment below, I’d love to know.

Are you curious what your talents might be? CLICK HERE for more information about the CliftonStrengths® Assessment or HERE for the BP10™ Assessment.

Lastly, visit Gallup’s YouTube channel for more information on the CliftonStrengths® theme of Responsibility® HERE.

CliftonStrengths®: Relator® – Going deep

CliftonStrengths®: Relator® – Going deep

CliftonStrengths® defines Relator® as “enjoy close relationships with others. They find deep satisfaction in working hard with friends to achieve a goal.”

You thrive when you “connect deeply with the right people to gain friends for life. “

You care

I love to dive deep into conversations in areas of interest. I’ve never been drawn to “shallow” people as I desire to connect more deeply. I will make an attempt to connect with most people I meet to see if I can open you up and if not, I move on.

I build businesses with a focus on the impact of people. I have Relationship as my #1 BP10™ talent (Builders Profile) and Relator® is my #8 theme so this focus is what I bring all across the board.

I’ve always had a fascination in exploring what makes people tick from a curiosity perspective. Some people have loved that, others not. Most people tend to trust me quickly and I think that’s where this talent theme shines and influences.


A small circle of close friends

Many “Relators” have a few friends that they are super close with and may be guarded in letting new people in. Some of us have many close friends (that would be Woo® influencing) or open up to strangers quickly that you then never see again.

When I look at all the places I’ve lived in over the years I definitely have many close friends, yet it’s a couple at the time and some are more active than others.

I think some of that had to do with the BS meter that many of us have. It’s a “trust” theme and once you trust people you’re there for the ride, make time for your friends and have their back.

On the flip side, if you play us, you’re out and won’t necessarily be allowed in again. Next!

People that are shallow or that don’t let you in may evoke the same reaction.

You build long-term

I have friends from early childhood, like my childhood BFF that I met when I was 2 years old. Now, we haven’t spoken or seen each other for many years, we’ll comment on each other’s Facebook walls now and then AND if I saw her today I bet we’d connect in an instant and continue without missing a beat.

The same goes for all of my close friends. That to me is the gold in this theme.

The ones that are in your lives have a friend that has their back.

My Adaptability® theme influences this theme quite a bit. Many years ago I took on the belief and life philosophy of “People come into your life for a reason, season or lifetime”, long before I knew of this quotable.

It has supported my Relator® theme and offered freedom and allowance as you never know who ends up being your “lifetime” friends. There’s been many “surprise” turns along the way and that’s totally fine with me.

Being real

It’s super important for you to be real and authentic. Fake people rub most of you the wrong way as you really want people to be themselves. To me, I don’t really have a judgment of what you choose to do in life unless you hurt people or animals intentionally.


Do you have Relator® as one of your dominant talents? Do you go deep too? How does this theme play out in your life? Please comment below, I’d love to know.

Are you curious what your talents might be? CLICK HERE for more information about the CliftonStrengths® Assessment or HERE for the BP10™ Assessment.

Lastly, visit Gallup’s YouTube channel for more information on the CliftonStrengths® theme of Relator® HERE.

CliftonStrengths®: Adaptability® – Going with the flow

CliftonStrengths®: Adaptability® – Going with the flow

Gallup® defines Adaptability® as “prefer to go with the flow. They tend to be “now” people who take things as they come and discover the future one day at a time.” 

Adaptability® is about being urgent, current, present, responsive, in touch and calm. It could be a protector from chaos. You react, immediately, and can be a positive force for change.

Going with the flow

Yes, maybe it’s a cliche and when it comes to this theme it’s one of your strengths. When you’re taking a spur of the moment action you thrive. And that’s key, you like to have short-term, in the moment goals.

For me rollerblading and sports symbolizes what this theme is all about. You are present in the moment, quickly adjusting to what’s coming at you with little to no hesitation and you’re absolutely not in your head.

You’re fully alive and present, taking in everything around you.

When I’m blading, especially when I’m on the beach, I’m in the zone. I experience an inner freedom, joy, and flow when I’m gliding along the ocean, with no other sounds than the wind. Ah, it’s just the ultimate feeling of peace for me, I feel so expansive yet alert and not missing anything around me. Being in nature is another one.

You thrive on change

You don’t do well in a rigid structure as you thrive on change and easily adjust.

While you may be able to manage long-term projects due to your other themes, it doesn’t nurture your Adaptability® theme. What has you thrive are the constant changes, a loose framework, and short-term targets.

You’re calm when there’s chaos around you

You react and then quickly change course. It’s a very fluid theme, and for me who have moved a lot and been in environments with constant change, one that I’ve tapped into a lot.

I was a Scout growing up and the motto of “always be prepared/ready” was one I often found myself quoting. It’s been part of my life motto and one I credit to the Adaptability® theme.

To outsiders your constant need for variety, and talent, to easily change course may occur as you not sticking to things. In a way, you’re like a butterfly going from one flower to the next, or a squirrel going from nut to nut, abandoning what you were focusing on. I’ve learned to trust the nudge, change course and take action (hello Activator®).

Do I have abandoned projects? Yep, in my personal life mostly. And that’s OK with me. It may call me another day so if it’s important it gets done.

You’re calm in chaos

Adaptability® is my #7 theme. I personally thrive on change and even when there’s chaos around me, it’s the theme that helps me adjust quickly and move forward while focusing on right now. My Strategic® (#1) and Futuristic® (#4) themes influence this theme in addition to Activator® (#5).

And that’s the kicker, while there’s power in separating your strengths out so that you can strategically focus on different aspects of yourself to create different results, they still all influence each other.

So for me, with my talent blend, I focus on the now and am also tapped into the future. I am not drawn to revisit the past other than to clear it or learn from it.


Do you have Adaptability® as one of your dominant talents? What creates a flow for you? When are you in the zone? Please comment below, I’d love to know.

Are you curious what your talents might be? CLICK HERE for more information about the CliftonStrengths® Assessment or HERE for the BP10™ Assessment.

Lastly, visit Gallup’s YouTube channel for more information on the CliftonStrengths® theme of Adaptability® HERE.

CliftonStrengths®: Self-Assurance® – The built-in compass

CliftonStrengths®: Self-Assurance® – The built-in compass

Following your instincts

Do you follow and trust your inner guidance, gut, instincts?

I remember how I, as a kid, was the one in front guiding the family safely back to the hotel when traveling to new cities. I just knew where to go despite never having been there before.

There was no need for a map, and long before cell phones and the internet existed.

I don’t think I’ve ever gotten lost, except that one time in South Central, and that’s another story that worked out in the end.

Nowadays I’ve refined it and play games with myself when taking off on unfamiliar routes in the spur of the moment, just for fun mind you. I know my theme of Adaptability® (#7) is influencing here too and several others.

You just know

Self-Assurance® is my #6 theme and for me, it occurs as another intuitive theme. I just “know” and follow my inner guidance/awareness even when I don’t know where I’m headed.

For many, this theme will show up as someone who is self-confident, it’s connected, after all, our inner and outer reflections. We can be a calm presence in the storm, both for ourselves and others, and people are often drawn to us for that reason.

What others may consider being “risky” is not for someone with Self-Assurance®. If it’s something we believe in we go for it and trust our inner guidance.

It could be a move across the country, creating or joining a startup or simply daring to say no when others say yes because we “know” that it’s not aligned with our desired outcomes at that moment.

Because the inner compass is strong, we’re not easily persuaded when it’s an inner “no” and may choose a different path. Telling us what to do doesn’t fly very well either, and then again I think that applies to all of us, right?

We focus on moving forward

Our focus is on making decisions/taking action and moving forward. We anticipate risk and take the actions needed to solve or clear it. We are not afraid of going solo or creating our own path, walking to the beat of our own drum.

Gallup® defines people high in Self-Assurance® as “feel confident in their ability to take risks and manage their own lives. They have an inner compass that gives them certainty in their decisions.”

We bring the ability to lead the way and take the necessary actions. I personally have no problems asking people for help or directions if needed, others may find that more challenging.

Living life on your own terms

Where Self-Assurance® thrive and what we need to do is to: Trust our gut, and live life on our own terms. We also need the freedom to act independently.

Because we trust our gut, have the ability to take action and lead we’re well suited for entrepreneurship, especially the startup phase. I can attest to that as that has been my path and thriving phase.

Do you have Self-Assurance® as one of your dominant talents? Do you recognize any of this in you? How do you express it in your life? Please comment below, I’d love to know.

Are you curious what your talents might be? CLICK HERE for more information about the CliftonStrengths® Assessment or HERE for the BP10™ Assessment.

Lastly, visit Gallup’s YouTube channel for more information on the CliftonStrengths® theme of Self-Assurance® HERE.