Don Clifton, PhD (Father of the Strengths movement) wondered if someday a million people would know what their strengths are — last month, Gallup passed the 16 million mark.
And now Gallup CEO Jim Clifton is setting Gallup’s sights even higher.
Jim believes that, while it may someday be possible for Gallup to help a billion people in the world discover what their strengths are, there is a right way and a wrong way to do it. The right way involves coaching.
Therefore it involves certified coaches like me…..
I don’t know about you but I am a “learning lifer”!
I have discovered over the years I need to mix up the way I learn and grow. Some times it is in a stuffy classroom with an equally stuffy trainer (honestly I really try to say NO to this one). Other times I fly to an exotic location and take in equal amounts of R&R and study. However, my favourite way to learn is always accompanied by a road trip with my BFF, Janet Frood of Horizon Leadership of London, ON (http://www.horizonleadership.ca).
This year we ventured to Omaha, Nebraska past endless swaying fields of corn planted like rows of little soldiers in the vast landscapes of Iowa and Illinois. Destination: The world headquarters of the Gallup organization (Gallup Poll, Strengthsfinder 2.0) for it’s Second Annual Gallup Strengths Summit. All I had to hear was their opening line the day they announced the conference: The 2017 Clifton Strengths Summit focuses on maximizing strengths in individuals, teams and organizations. In its second year, NETWORKING and LEARNING unite to shape the future of productive coaches, organizations, schools and faith communities.
Networking and Learning unite! Sign me up!
I have been an entrepreneur for more than half my life. The Gallup Strengths Summit was like candy for entrepreneurs. They even created an app for the Summit and I used it from the moment it was introduced. Everything I needed to know was found on the app including the speakers, the agendas for the day, all the workshops I had pre-booked to attend with immediate feedback for each session, downloadable notes and slides from all the speakers (including the ones I could not see when I was booked elsewhere) and parking or shuttles times. These guys were organized and to an Arranger (one of my top five strengths learned through Gallup’s Clifton Strengths-finder leadership assessment) it was music to my soul.
Over the three days we heard volumes about the Gallup philosophy – properly implementing strengths requires effective personal 1:1 coaching, so that individuals truly understand their strengths and learn how to use them. It requires training, so that managers know how to work with each individual in a group, and so that teams can maximize their productivity. It requires a culture where strengths are championed by company leaders and they permeate the entire organization.
If you want to see an energized, strengths-based company, just look at Rackspace, a world leader in Web hosting. Robert Scoble describes it in this way:
“At Rackspace Hosting we’re religious about using Gallup’s StrengthsFinder 2.0. Every employee has their five strengths on the back of their badges and if you ever meet our chairman, Graham Weston, don’t bring this up, because you’ll end up with a multi-hour interesting conversation about corporate culture, people, and how to build great teams using this system.”
We listened many interesting presenters including the State of Rhode Island described their astonishing climb from 50th place on Gallup’s State of the American Workplace in 2013 to #15 in 2017. Over 180,000 people across Rhode Island have discovered their strengths and are using them everyday in the workplace. The change was so profound, the Gallup number crunchers even went back and checked their work, according to Jm Clifton, CEO. This is a true success story and there are dozens more like it within the walls of the Gallup.
I went to Omaha as a Strengths Advocate and I came home a Strengths Evangelist.
Now I am looking for entrepreneurs with between 5 to 50 employees who are interested in changing their struggling culture to a healthy strengths-based culture. If you are one of those give me a call 1.705.790.9682!