Command®: Follow me!

If the Command talent theme is in your top 5, congratulations! You are among the 5% of people who have that talent in their top 5. It ranks 33rd of the 34 CliftonSrengths® themes. When people speak of leaders and mention things such as presence, charisma, decisive, and powerful there is a good chance the Command talent is in play. But there is a difference between being a leader and having Command. Read on…


There is an Afghan proverb that says, “If you think you’re leading and no one is following you, then you’re only taking a walk.” © In fact, the word, “lead,” implies that something, or someone is following. Regardless, you are probably very persuasive and comfortable taking charge.

Words that are used to describe you probably include:

Powerful Persuasive Brave  Leader

Boundaried Clear  Opinionated Brash

Decisive  Resolved Direct Frank 

Honest Outspoken Assertive  Bold

Courageous Charismatic

It is not uncommon for those of you with the Command talent to mobilize others towards a cause or goal. It just sort of happens. Your confidence and candor provide clarity that gives people comfort and a course of action. Challenges tap into your courageous nature. Debates are thrilling. While some people may find your truthfulness intimidating, many also find you very motivating. For some reason, you find that people, whether or not they agree with you or like your manner, follow you anyway.

If a thing is certain in your mind and you are not happy with the current course of action, or inaction you may feel very unsettled. In those situations, your ability to lead can become a need to lead. Your candor, forceful manner, and opinions may be seen as mutinous, disrespectful, or self-serving. Be careful to stay focused on helping everyone achieve. Let others know that your concerns are (hopefully) not meant to be helpful, not disrespectful. Your goal is success. Sometimes that may be hard for others to see. Use your candor and truth-telling to point out the positives in people and situations.

I highly recommend that those of you with the Command talent turn your attention to learning about leadership. It is a wildly popular topic, and ironically, good leadership is in very short supply. You may be the answer to this leadership dearth that plagues our world. Learn to communicate effectively. Learn the art of argumentation and study logical fallacies. Study persuasion, strategy, motivation, credibility. Find ways to strengthen your character. Learn about the most powerful of all leadership traits, empathy. Your ability to lead is truly a gift. The more you train it and hone it, the more precious and powerful that gift will be.

How well are you using and growing your Command talent? What are you passionate about? Are you involved with that? If not, find a way to get involved. If you are involved, explore opportunities to provide input and leadership to overcome challenges and solve problems related to that cause.

The hard thing about this is that it is easy for you to get people to follow you, but to truly lead people is much more nuanced.

A note to readers who are women. Many talents are subject to negative cultural bias. For women, Command is one such talent. It is seen more as a “masculine” talent. This is a travesty and quite frankly, immoral. By all means, nurture, cherish, and grow your ability to Command. You have the talent for a reason. Find that reason and use your gift well.

CliftonStrengths” and the 34 CliftonStrengths theme names are registered trademarks of Gallup, Inc. The graphic elements copyright © CoreClarity, Inc.

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Habits are hard to start or break largely because of the energy required to do so. This Power Bank exercise will help you identify ways to recharge your internal batteries so you can break through to the next level as a leader.

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