Leading with the Achiever StrengthsFinder Talent

from spinning to winning

July 31, 2023
Achiever Strengthsfinder Leadership - Leading with the Achiever StrengthsFinder Talent

Do you find yourself gamifying your everyday tasks, keeping a mental score to see if, by the end of the day, you won? If that experience resonates, you’re not alone. 

If you’re like most achievers, you want to Win. Every. Day. 

But this kind of drive, when it goes unchecked, can lead to burnout in your own life and those you lead. And that’s the struggle many leaders with the achiever strengthsfinder face. 

To thrive as an achiever, you must clarify when you will be done to protect yourself from never stopping.

You’re constantly looking for ways to improve and level up, pushing yourself forward to the next thing. Sometimes this drive is powered by the unanswered question, “am I enough?” Trying to answer that question through achievement will stretch you thin and eventually lead to a breaking point. 

I’ve run hard. I’ve burnt out. I get it. 

But I’ve also learned who a healthy achiever can become, and I’ve found a path from striving to investing. And I love helping fellow leaders walk that path to becoming a healthy achiever leader.

Your Strengths Have AntiPatterns

Achiever StrengthsFinder TL;DR

The achiever StrengthsFinder talent means you are self-motivated and driven to get things done. You’re powered by progress at work, home, or even on a Saturday morning. 

If you’re already familiar with StrengthsFinder, you can skip over the next section.

What is StrengthsFinder?

SterengthsFinder, now CliftonStrengths, is an assessment based on strengths psychology. The fundamental premise is you will get farther by maxing out your strengths rather than trying to improve your weaknesses. 

I’ve seen numerous leaders grow as they identified their talents and turned them into well-developed strengths. But you don’t have to be a leader to benefit from StrengthsFinder, and you can apply it to more than just work. 

Understanding your strengths and weaknesses helps you better understand and live out your unique design.

Achiever is just one of the 34 different strengths measured by StengthsFinder. When you take the assessment, you will get back your top 5 strengths. You can pay for an ordered list of all 34, but I wouldn’t recommend that the first time you take the assessment.

Focus is critical to developing your strengths. Keeping just your top 5 in view helps you make meaningful growth in the areas of your life with the highest leverage and impact. 

How do you lead well with achiever in your StrengthsFinder top 5?

So you’ve taken the StrengthsFinder assessment, received your results and found achiever in the list. Now you’re wondering how to grow or leverage this strength in your leadership. 

I have achiever in my top 5, and in fact, it’s at the top of my list. These are four strategies I’ve seen be effective in my own leadership and those I coach.

  1. Find your finish line. 
  2. Distill your goals.
  3. Win at life, not just work.
  4. Build a dream team.

Learn to recognize behaviors when you're over-leveraging your strengths to the point that they become liabilities. And discover the path back to health.

Find your finish line. 

Having achiever in your top 5 can be both a blessing and a curse. Others may describe you as a driven or a high achiever. There will always be more to do, another mountain to climb.

To thrive as an achiever, you must clarify when you will be done to protect yourself from never stopping.

Rest likely doesn’t come naturally, but it can actually be your secret weapon as you recharge before setting out again. But to consistently rest, you need to have a clear finish line where you can say, “I’m done.” When you know you can relax, then go out the next day and race again. 

I’ve seen a lot of impact for leaders who set more significant finish lines for the year and smaller focused finish lines for a given day. But for you to cross the line each day, you need focus.

Distill your goals.

I probably don’t need to tell you to create goals. For most achievers having a list of goals isn’t the issue. It’s having a long list of goals and struggling to do them all now.

Something powerful happens when you prioritize your goals and can say, “if I only got one thing done, it would be this one.” 

Understanding your strengths and weaknesses helps you better understand and live out your unique design.

This clarity illuminates what you should say “yes” or “no” to, allowing you to focus and get the most important thing done. You get the one top priority done that day, and you’re already winning. 

When it comes to daily goals, I encourage leaders to have 1 that you must get done and 1-2 that are also high priority. 

That’s it. 

This constraint can be a challenging adjustment at first, but once they begin to see the compounding success of checking off the top priority daily, they’re all in and see a new level of impact.

Win at life, not just work.

This one can be tough for achievers. Work tends to have much clearer scoreboards than our relationships with friends and family. 

But trust me on this. When you reach the end of the big race called life, it won’t be the work that matters most. 

It will be people. 

Over the past few years, I’ve seen a shift from work-life balance to work-life integration. One of the beneficial aspects of work-life integration is how it recognizes that we’re one whole person and not two compartmentalized ones. 

For an achiever, there is a genuine danger of getting a high score but losing the game.

Remember the daily list from the previous strategy? I encourage leaders just to have one list for their whole life. There have been days when my top 3 contained both “completing a major proposal” and “saying yes when my son asks to play basketball.”

When we as leaders only focus on work, it’s like looking at only half the scoreboard. Can you imagine a coach or player celebrating scoring 100 points, utterly oblivious to the fact that the other team scored 120?

For an achiever, there is a genuine danger of getting a high score but losing the game.

Build a dream team.

It’s a common saying, “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together. Achievers tend to run fast. And this means there’s a danger of running alone.

But to thrive as a leader and finish the race well, you need a team. You need others in your life who know you well, care about your well-being and will be honest with you. Those three characteristics are essential. 

Work tends to have much clearer scoreboards than our relationships with friends and family. 

Maybe you’re thinking, “I don’t have anyone who meets all three of those criteria that I regularly connect with.” It’s not too late. Start by finding one person and ask if you can buy them breakfast every other Friday. Share what you’re learning, where you’re struggling and how you want to grow.

Next steps for StrengthsFinder achievers.

You are on an extraordinary journey to living and leading from your strengths. As you grow in your achiever strength, learn to take a sustainable approach to winning. Explore the list below to learn about the rest of your top 5 strengths.

Action Plan

Achievers can struggle with an antipattern of workaholism. Learning the strengths antipatterns will allow you to continue growing as a healthy, intentional leader. 

As you learn to lead using your top strengths, you can move on from spinning your wheels doing work that doesn’t deliver results. Instead, focus your time on accomplishing the things that matter most to you.

Frequently Asked Questions


So do I totally ignore my weaknesses and just focus on my strengths?

Strengths-based growth doesn’t encourage you to ignore your weaknesses but not to spend too much time trying to turn them into strengths. Instead, you may need to find team members or systems to fill in your gaps.

Learn more about how StrengthsFind influences your leadership.

There are strengths I think I have; why didn’t they didn’t show up in my top 5?

For some people, their strengths ranked 5, 6 or 7 are almost even. You could also be misattributing a skill or behavior to a specific strength.

Learn more about how StrengthsFind influences your leadership.

Should I pay to see all 34 strengths?

Seeing your other 29 strengths can help give you a fuller picture. But initially, someone should focus on further developing those top 5 strengths rather than trying to give attention across the list. Once you have a good grasp on what it looks like to lead from your top 5, it can be helpful to explore the rest of the list.

Learn more about how StrengthsFind influences your leadership.

What’s the difference between a talent and a strength?

A talent is your natural way of thinking or behaving. A strength is a talent developed over time through knowledge, skills and practice.

Learn more about how StrengthsFinder influences your leadership.

Ready to level up your company? Get in touch today!