Highlight on Command – Strengths 101
What does it mean to have Command?
Are you unintimidated by conflicting situations, fearless in your ability to take charge and resolve a situation? If this sounds like you, you might be among the few that have Command as a CliftonStrengths® theme. According to Gallup, “People exceptionally talented in the Command theme have presence. They can take control of a situation and make decisions.”
Those who lead with Command are viewed by their colleagues and friends as courageous, persuasive, and decisive. These socially bold individuals are assertive and transparent in their views and do their best to turn debate into decision. Command is one of the rarest of the CliftonStrengths® as it is typically the least common or second-to-least common among people globally year-over-year. Command is so rare that it only shows up in the top 5 talent themes of less than 5% of people worldwide.
Command Mindset and Antics
Like every Strength, Command can play out in different ways depending on the other set of Strengths you have. Churchill CEO, Jayne Jenkins, shared an anecdote of how she utilizes her Command as one of her top 10:
“My Command kicks in where I can see an opportunity and feel I/we can make a positive difference. The opportunity might be problem-solving or opportunistic. My mindset is when I see it, I say it. Therefore I am often the first to speak and act. I know I don’t have all of the answers but I know I need to move “us” to think and act. Moving to action for me might be voicing the opportunity I see and exploring what others see. It might be sharing an idea or inviting ideas from others such as “How might we approach this problem?” I can easily take control of a situation, help get us clear and to make a decision and commit. At times when there is confusion, uncertainty or fear this can be helpful for others, at times it can be overwhelming for them and that is where I need to keep practicing using my Command value a better way. I practice my words, tone, and techniques so that my confidence and ability to confront a situation is positively persuasive or collaborative. Combining it with my Includer and Connectedness to ensure conversations are inclusive and collaborative is when it works well. I have to remind myself of this quote: ‘If you want to move fast go alone, if you want to go far go together.’”
Command lives in the influencing domain, which is an interpersonal based domain. While it might initially surprise you that Command is not in the executing domain, remember that Command is about moving people toward a decision, pushing them forward. Command is less about concluding, more about progressing.
Command’s ability to propel people instills a sense of confidence and leadership. Because they are unintimidated by others, they are not afraid to entitle themselves “group advocate” on a subject matter. Others trust that Command will stand up to say what needs to be said and take charge of the entire group. Coupled with Includer, Command is strong at ensuring everyone’s voice is heard and everyone’s needs are addressed.
However, Command might get into trouble when trying to be resolute unnecessarily. Some situations can work themselves out on their own or do not require someone to take charge in the way that Command does. Because of this, Command might be seen as too assertive at times. Someone with Command should recognize their willingness to step to the plate as a potential blind spot and look to increase self-awareness to read the audience and direct their talents in a purposeful and relevant way.
Those with Command not only want to be influential, they also aim to speak the truth. In a work or personal setting, go to someone with Command when you want an honest take on how to handle a situation. They will not sugar-coat their opinion and will unapologetically advise you.
If you manage someone with Command, be sure to leverage their talent because of how rare it truly is! Put them in a position to have presence and autonomy. You also may want to partner them with someone who has Woo or Empathy. These people will help one with Command understand which obstacles need to be confronted and which will work themselves out. Woo and Empathy will also aid with preserving interpersonal relationships.
If you work with someone who has Command, you can look to them for help when you are in a rut. They will not only help you stop feeling stuck, but they will also help move you to action. If you have an opinion or idea that might be unpopular with the group, someone with Command can help you deliver that message since they are unfazed by confrontation and social discomfort.
If you have Command, you can learn even more about how to hone in on the Command strength.
Churchill is certified and highly experienced at delivering the Gallup programs including Building a Strengths-Based-Organization. Learn more about our Strengths-Based Organization program here.
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