21-22 Leadership Stories Stagen-Geisel Notes

Stagen Notes: Spinning Plates and StrengthsFinders

The best thing to remember about StrengthsFinders, in my opinion is the fact that every person carries all 34 Strengths, not just the five from your initial assessment. That is to say, you may have 5 Strengths that rise to the surface most often in your day to day activities and interactions; however, there are moments when you must leverage any number of the Clifton Strengths.

My school has been utilizing StrengthsFinder since I arrived over 5 years ago. I had to take the assessment when I arrived and have been reflecting as a team ever since. We have found the learning to be very beneficial, and we even use the StrengthsExplorer (kid version) with our middle school students to help them navigate the middle school years with guidance from their advisor. The best thing to remember about StrengthsFinders, in my opinion is the fact that every person carries all 34 Strengths, not just the five from your initial assessment. That is to say, you may have 5 Strengths that rise to the surface most often in your day to day activities and interactions; however, there are moments when you must leverage any number of the Clifton Strengths. If you have not unlocked the report that discusses all 34 of your personal Strengths, I highly suggest doing so.

The first Strength that I can discuss is Connectedness. I see this strength popping up in my daily interactions all of the time. Connectedness focuses on the way people or entities are related and can coordinate. Often I will tell a member of my team, “you know, ___________ has been working on something that has good research you might want to use. I suggest you connect with her as you start your project.” Or, “You need someone pays attention to details and can ensure that you don’t miss anything along the way. I suggest you add them to your committee.”

The best thing to remember about StrengthsFinders, in my opinion is the fact that every person carries all 34 Strengths, not just the five from your initial assessment.

The second Strength that pops up is Responsibility. With all of the moving parts to navigate in a given year within the operation of a division, I often find that I am spinning plates like a comedy routine on television. But I feel responsible that all of these moving parts need to operate at tip top performance. So I am always watching, until I notice one plate slowing down severely (and then I focus on that one for a while). This strength does not allow for multi-tasking (which is good, because it doesn’t exist), but with the right team at the helm, I can “micro-notice” and depend on a great number of superstars who will focus on each of the moving parts to ensure our institution runs at peak performance.

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