Strengths Spotlight: Strategic

Out of the 34 CliftonStrengths, 8 are listed under the Strategic Thinking Leadership Domain. People with Strategic Thinking strengths are able to see what’s possible and can stretch other people’s thinking to see possibilities. They are an asset to our teams. One of the 8 thinking strengths in this domain is actually called Strategic. I know, that’s a bit confusing! I’d like to spotlight this strength today for the benefit of those who have this talent, as well as those who work with or live with others who have it.

People with Strategic in their top 10 strengths are willing to consider all the possibilities so that the best isn’t missed. This strength is known as a sorting ability. You will notice this is a talent that can quickly and easily see many options and can determine which is the best route forward. If you are someone with this strength, you bring imagination, creative thinking, and persistence to your teams. You can see a way when others think there is no way. You have excellent peripheral vision – an ability to see the whole picture. You can easily spot patterns, make connections, and pick up mental clues as you listen and contemplate a situation. 

As I have mentioned before, each strength has blind spots – times when we are overpowering others (or ourselves) with our talent. Two of the blind spots of the Strategic strength could be that:

  • Because we can easily see many options, we can sound critical to others who have already made a decision. We need to take time to appreciate other’s point of view, and to ask permission before sharing a different way of thinking about it.
  • Because strategic is a strength that sees the whole picture, we can move too quickly and skip over details. When this happens, we need to slow down, explain what we’re thinking, and lean on the strengths of others who are more detail oriented.

Strategic is in my top 10 so I’ve learned to watch for times when it overwhelms those around me, and sometimes even myself. I can drift into overthinking with this talent. It’s helpful just to notice when that happens, dial my Strategic down and turn up my other strengths to counterbalance it. I have become more skillful in creating a healthy balance of my 10 strengths as I practice the dialing technique. It’s a daily practice and part of my lifelong journey!

I hope you enjoy thinking about your thinking strengths today! Notice how they serve you well and bring optimal results. And pay attention to when they may be too much. That clue will provide valuable insight as you strategically choose how to move forward.

If you would like to learn more about the Strategic strength, I recommend this Gallup podcast.