Significance®: Change the World!

If “Reject Mediocrity” is your motto there is a good chance that Significance is among your top 5 CilftonStrengths – read more about this elusive talent in this week’s blog post.

Last week we looked at Self-Assurance® one of the five talents least likely to show up in a person’s top 5 CliftonStrengths® results. This week we look at Significance, another very rare and easily misunderstood talent theme. 

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A person with Significance as a top 5 ranked talent is not just motivated to make a difference, they are energized by the opportunity to do significant things. Yes, it may be nice to be noticed by others, to be “in the spotlight,” but Significance is about much more than getting noticed. At its heart, Significance is about making a difference in the lives of others; aspiring to do great things that make the world a better place. 

It is not uncommon for people with high-ranking Significance to be rather independent. That said, don’t be afraid to let your supervisor know that you work well on a team, but are often at your best working independently. On teams, you are likely to inspire a corporate appreciation for and pursuit of outstanding results. You may also have an innate desire to work around and with high-performers. They can help you be at your best and maximize your impact on others.

Too often we withhold praise and compliments from others in a bizarre attempt to “protect them” from becoming conceited. In my research of leadership and best management practices, recognition is a great way to motivate employees. So, don’t hold back. Let people know when they perform well. Everyone on the team will benefit, and those with Significance in their top 5 talents will be even more productive when they are specifically acknowledged for the gifts they bring and the difference they make.

Here are some other words that may describe someone with highly ranked significance:

  • Admirable 
  • MVP (Most Valuable Player)
  • Rock-Star
  • Difference-Maker
  • Purpose-Driven
  • World-Changer

Ideas about how to grow your Significance talent…

  • Since you want to make a difference, take some time to reflect on your values and top talent themes to develop a clear picture of your particular area of significance.
  • A lot of fuss is made over the topics of values, mission, and vision. Tending to those and finding clarity for you personally will enhance your chances of achieving your Significance.. 
  • Reflect on times when your were deeply gratified by the difference you made. What did you do? What strengths were involved? Who did you affect? Those answers will help clarify your unique Significance path.
  • Share your dreams and goals with your family or closest colleagues. Their expectations will keep you reaching further, higher, and longer.
  • Keep your top talents front and center. On those occasions when you hit a speed bump or set back remind yourself of those strengths and what you are best designed to do.
  • If you are not surrounded by people who regularly remind you of the difference you make, create your own “Council of Advocates” who know you well and who will provide positive reinforcement of your talents.
  • Complete this sentence: I want to be known for a legacy of

I encourage you to embrace your Significance talent, even your desire for recognition. Recognition is something all people need, although how they prefer to be recognized may be different than what you need. To that, I add that while what you do is significant, what you do does not define you. Resist basing your identity in what you do and instead focus on who you are: your values, your top talents, and your relationships.

Please leave a comment if you have Significance in your top 5. How do you experience Significance? What do you need in order to feel acknowledged? Where does it help you and where does it slow you down? What are you doing to strengthen it?

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

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