Strengths Spotlight: Achiever

by Anna Bradfield, Executive Director for University Initiativesredsox with chris

Top 5 Themes:                                                                                     Learner, Responsibility, Relator, Achiever, Arranger

Q1:  How do you define this Achiever theme of talent for yourself? 

As a late comer to Strength Quests, it has been interesting to look at this particular theme as associated to myself after 40 years of professional work.  Over the years, my supervisors and colleagues have used words like “hard-working”, “high expectations of self and others”, “committed to getting the job done well”, “can be counted one to make it happen”.  I haven’t seen that about myself other than what I feel I need to do to accomplish my work.  I am driven to do meaningful work and when I am not in a position to do that, I feel lost.  As I read about “Achiever”, it appears these characteristics align well with the theme.

Q2: When this Achiever talent is applied, what has this theme enabled you to do in your role at BSU?

When I was hired as the Dean of the School of Education and Allied Studies in 2003, the President and Provost gave me two specific projects that they wanted accomplished in addition to and part of the management and leadership of the School.  Both of the projects were long-term and involved a great deal of personnel management, engagement and empowerment.  This challenge was one of the things that led me to the job.  It exemplified how I felt I could be “value-added” to the institution.  Later in my BSU career I found myself doing work that I had never considered in my wheel house.  However, even on the most difficult days, I got up and came to work with resolve to get the work done.  It kept me going.

Q3: How is this Achiever theme of talent sometimes misunderstood?

Because I know that I can be perceived as demanding of time and effort, I have learned to carefully weigh what I ask of others.  Of course, my husband would dispute this when all he wants to do is spend a lazy Sunday watching football and I am asking him to help with a dozen different “projects”! I do have to say, that this theme can be a curse when it becomes a constant driver and I don’t allow myself to just relax and take it easy.  I have found that a one week vacation isn’t enough…it takes me at least 5 days to slow down.  Of course, who really gets to take a two week vacation!

Q4: What are ways you have helped this Achiever talent to “mature” over the course of your career and experience?

Probably the most important characteristic of Achiever that has matured over time is my ability to focus.  To quieten the noise and make the project accomplishment the most important thing.  I have also begun to feel comfortable in knowing that I have these talents and want to help others get things done that they need help with.  Some examples of this are assisting colleagues to complete their dissertations, helping community agencies to write grants, reorganize and repurpose and, in one case, helped close down an agency that was past its use-by date.  It is also that focus that helps me get through very tough jobs and tasks.   

Want more about Achiever? Check out Gallup’s “Theme Thursday” series and listen to the podcast recording   about the Achiever theme!

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About cindykane

Director of @BSUInvolved and interested in leadership and professional development strategies. Mom, scholar-practitioner, looking to make an impact! http://www.linkedin.com/in/CindyWKane
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