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09-Jul-2014 Gallup StrengthsFinder©
Brings Attention to Positive Traits

If you are telling a story that has a riveting moral, then it’s a good idea to throw in a snarling canine to create a twist to your plot. However, what about when the story you tell is about the “characters” of your business or organization?

What we say leads us to what we do. If organizational language is focused on the positive attributes of the people and the system- thoughts, actions and energy become focused on the positive as well.

Through the work of Gallup, leaders in global business research, there are tools available to identify the talents individuals possess and powerful ideas for maximizing them:

Individual: What are talents?
The Gallup StrengthsFinder© assessment identifies the top five of 34 personal talents which are most prominent for an individual. Included in the results are ideas on how to engage with those talents. Discovering talents such as Connectedness© and Developer© help people become more intentional about their work and lead to greater personal success.

Leader/Manager: How do I maximize the talents of the individuals within an organization?
The book "Strengths Based Leadership" encourages leaders to understand personal talents at an individual level and recognize the four domains of leadership strength identified in the book. Taking the learning further, integrate that understanding to build a strong team, support productivity and be the leader people are looking for.
Personally, I believe that understanding the strengths of our work team allowed us to organize to reach our goals in ways that capitalized on the talents of each individual. Arranging for success in this way took us outside traditional job descriptions and maximized the efforts of the work that we needed to do.

Entrepreneur: What are my strengths with regard to starting/sustaining my own business?
The Entrepreneurial StrengthsFinder© assessment was just released in May of 2014. This assessment provides an in-depth look at the 10 talents of successful entrepreneurs. Taking the assessment will not assure success in personal business ventures, but results provide a thoughtful vocabulary in areas of entrepreneurial success.
One entrepreneur shared, “In my own exploration, the assessment indicated Creative Thinker© and Relationship-Builder© are my areas of strength and that I need to be mindful of maintaining a Business Focus©.”

Tell the story: Who can help maximize the results? 
In order to develop an organizational vocabulary that includes powerful messages of possibility, an outside facilitator can be a highly effective resource. Gallup-Certified contacts are people who work with businesses and organizations to explore the story of organizational success.
What we say as individuals, as leaders and as part of a larger business system tells a story of what we have to offer. These personal professional stories can have an impact on our own “happily ever after.” How are you telling your story?

Recently certified facilitators include Nicole Sedlacek, located in O’Neill, Neb., ( and Stacey Adamson in Cody, Neb., (, Dan Shundoff in Kearney, Neb., (dshundoff@

About the Author

Lisa Smith
Learning Facilitator, Collaborate to Create
Lisa Smith, Collaborate to Create

Lisa’s work is with people. Through facilitation, she brings people together for powerful conversations leading to stronger organizations. She also serves as Assistant Professor of Teacher Ed. at Hastings College. Life became better when she discovered her own talents to be Maximizer, Learner, Arranger, Ideation and Strategic!

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