Competition®: C’mon, We Got This!

People with the Competition talent theme in their top 5 CliftonStrengths® are born competitors, and winners. This is a very powerful talent that can easily overwhelm other talents and even the individual with the talent. Learn more about the Competition talent theme and how to make this rare talent win for you…   


“I have a confession…” And thus began one of my most memorable coaching calls. I was coaching a seminary student who did not like that he had Competition in his top 5. He loved to win. He was a trash-talking, dominate at all costs type of player who boasted in victory and hated to lose. He admitted, “I destroy people.” He felt that Developer® was a more suitable talent. I noted that in its strength form, Competition is about improving the performance of everyone. Without Competition, we don’t break the 4 minute mile or put a man on the moon. Competition raises the level of performance for everyone and that can be a really great thing. By the end of our call, he was all in on Competition and we came up with a way to start to control his talent instead of his talent controlling him. 

Only about 11% of the population has the Competition talent theme in their top 5. They can be fairly easy to identify. Here are some signs that a person has a high ranking Competition talent theme:

  • Loves to keep score
  • Turns tasks into games
  • Compares themselves to others or their past accomplishments
  • Enthusiastic winner
  • Crestfallen after a loss
  • Motivates and positions others for success
  • He or she is good at winning and hard to beat!

In its strength form, Competition is about putting together high-performing teams and mobilizing the team to victory. That victory may be in sports but it could easily be in sales, effectiveness, productivity, or anything that can be objectively measured.

When I coach people with a top 5 Competition talent I encourage them to define “winning.” Both as a long-term and short-term goal. What needs to happen today, this week, this month, this year, so that you have won? What does winning look like when you are 50, 60, 70 years old? Competition can provide you with a compelling vision. Competition can help you lead with wisdom, vision, and motivation. 

As you go through your days, and even your life, be mindful that you are motivated to win. Make sure you have identified your definition of winning. You don’t want to win a battle but lose the war. Look for jobs and opportunities that have clearly defined objectives and elements that can be measured. Use that information to motivate yourself and others. Be sure to celebrate your wins as it will motivate you and others for future efforts. As I tell my kids, “set yourself up for success” by finding where you really shine and focus your efforts there.

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

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Do You Have Enough Energy to Grow as a Leader?

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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Unlock your team’s maximum potential and prepare for wild success.