Leading with the Intellection StrengthsFinder Talent

From unknown to considered

July 31, 2023
Leader with intellection reflecting

Do you hate having to make split-second decisions? You feel rushed, saying to yourself, “I need time to think.” Maybe you sometimes wonder, “Can every problem be solved if we think long enough?”

These are the hallmarks of someone with the strengthsfinder intellection talent. 

When leaders can cultivate their intellection strength, they find opportunities to think deeply and solve big problems.

Your Strengths Have AntiPatterns

Intellection StrengthsFinder TL;DR

The intellection StrengthsFinder talent means you have a strong desire to understand the world or people more deeply. 

You look for introspective time to use your brain to solve critical problems. This time of reflection is also likely a strategy to recharge, giving yourself time to think.

You lead at your best when you have time to think deeply and dynamically.

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.

Intellection 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 intellection in your StrengthsFinder top 5?

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

I call it cave time. I need time where I can pull back and process. Afterward, I emerge with clarity, insight and focus. I seek to cultivate this same experience for others during our coaching sessions.

These are four strategies I’ve seen leaders with the intellection strength use to leverage deeper understanding.

  1. Find a curious crowd.
  2. Journal.
  3. Avoid being rushed.
  4. Drive silently.

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 a curious crowd.

Find people who are also interested in understanding the world or problems more deeply. They don’t have to agree with you, but they should be willing to explore the depths of the issue without judgment or pushing a particular conclusion.

Sometimes you just need people you can bounce ideas off of.

You have a strong desire to understand the world or people more deeply

These conversations can be powerful and lead to breakthroughs that aren’t possible when we try to figure it all out in our own heads.


Journaling is a great way to capture your thinking and process any insights or conclusions you have come up with. 

Writing it down can help bring clarity, so don’t be afraid to jot down ideas as they come to you, even if it doesn’t seem like they’re related.

It's like setting your brain on a mental tumble-dry-low and letting your thoughts come out in their own time.

I recommend going analog here. Gift yourself time to think slowly and form thoughts with a pen.

Avoid being rushed.

When you are given time to think deeply, take it! Don’t be tempted by the urgency of a situation to rush your thought processes. 

Taking time is especially important when making decisions that will have an impact on others or the organization as a whole. 

You lead at your best when you have time to think deeply and dynamically.

Don't be afraid to tell people you need time to think. Engage early in projects when there is more time to think. 

Not only do you need the time to consider all angles and implications, but if you’re rushed in your decision-making process, it can lead to a sense of lack of confidence or ownership.

Drive silently.

For me, one of the best ways I can think deeply and reflect is when I drive alone in silence. 

This strategy may not work for everyone, but it can be a great way to have time disconnected from all other distractions.

It's like setting your brain on a mental tumble-dry-low and letting your thoughts come out in their own time. You won't have this same mental space when you turn on the radio or listen to podcasts. 

Your car is an opportunity to think deeply while allowing ideas to surface in their own time. Once you reach your destination, you can further explore any thoughts or insights that arose during your drive.

As you learn to lead using your intellection strength, you can move topics from unknown to carefully considered.

Whether it’s a drive in the car, an early morning run, a walk around the park or a quiet spot to read, make sure to take some time each day to explore your thoughts and feelings.  Listen deeply to yourself and trust that you have the answers within you—all you need is space and time. 

Action Plan

Leaders with the intellection strength can struggle with an antipattern of inaction, always waiting till they know more. Learning the strengths antipatterns will allow you to continue growing as a healthy, intentional leader. 

You are on an extraordinary journey to living and leading from your strengths. You can explore the list below to learn about the rest of your top 5 strengths.

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!