"I want to leave a legacy.”
This is one of the most misunderstood CliftonStrengths themes and it is not hard to guess why.
People with Significance in their Top 5 CliftonStrengths results are often perceived as attention-seeking, and this is especially so for extroverts. Some of these “attention-seeking” antics can be attributed to the immature usage of this theme. However, in its mature stage, people with the Significance theme leave lasting legacies.
People with Significance can make a huge difference to individuals and the community by the deep impact they desire to create. This desire drives them. They believe in making a difference to people's lives or doing things that can contribute significantly to the success of a team or organization. Their influence spreads contagiously because of their confident nature. They push forward from mediocrity towards the exceptional.
Often, those with Significance can be very charismatic and have a great following. They are usually very comfortable being in the limelight and thrive during stage performances and presentations. One interesting observation of people with Significance seems to be that the bigger the crowd, the better their performance. While many crumble at the pressure of being on stage, a person with Significance simply sees the stage as a great opportunity to impact a crowd.
Ryan was chosen to be the emcee for a concert in Singapore. He was strongly recommended because of his ability to engage a crowd. One of his CliftonStrengths top 5 themes is Significance. Even though he had the makings of a good emcee, Ryan struggled during the final rehearsal. The empty seats in the auditorium seemed to be a de-motivating factor. On the day of the actual concert in front of a large audience, Ryan was a big hit. He carried the crowd and executed his emcee role with a near-perfect performance. His Significance talents were activated simply by being on stage in front of a huge crowd. True story.
Often, those with Significance desire deeply to receive affirmation and be recognized for their contributions. This is the main way they feel their impact is validated. They thrive on the attention given. When they receive positive feedback, they are greatly motivated. While it is generally true that positive feedback works for most, it works doubly for those with the Significance talent. Another way to look at this is that people with Significance are doubly motivated to make a difference and are also less likely to be deterred by the potential costs. With a "We" mentality, people with Significance can be very motivated to do all that they can to see their team become the "DREAM TEAM."
How can someone turn this Significance talent into a Strength? Here are a few suggestions.
1. GO M.A.D - MAKE A DIFFERENCE
People with Significance desire to help others see that they can stand taller, feel more confident, and achieve more than what they believe they can. In other words, they enjoy helping others level up in their performances. To nurture this talent, one with Significance must be very intentional to make a difference wherever they are.
A few areas that can be harnessed include:
- Be intentional to find out what others in the team are good at and inspire them to work towards their goals and dreams. Making a difference is about doing both the small things and creating high impact actions in the lives of teammates.
- Be intentional to give praise and catch others doing GOOD. Most of the world is extremely skilled in catching people doing wrong. Those with Significance can start a movement towards “Catching others doing GOOD” and champion this cause within their own team and organization. Such a cause will create a culture of honour and respect for one another.
- Be intentional to inspire confidence and hope through meaningful dialogues. Asking questions such as “What is one area of success you have had the past month?" or “What are some results that you are thankful for?” are conversational ways to tune mindsets towards success and hope.
2. LEAVE A LEGACY
People with Significance desire to leave a legacy behind. Useful questions to start off such a process include, "What will people think of me when I leave this organization?”, "What will people say of me at my deathbed?” or “What will my children and grandchildren remember me for?"
Searching questions can lead one with Significance towards crafting a life purpose. Such a purpose in life can springboard into action steps that can help one live out a life purposefully with the end goal of leaving a legacy. An example of a life purpose statement can be “Be a person of blessing, not a curse.”
3. SEEK COMPLEMENTARY PARTNERSHIPS
Partner people strong in Futuristic
People strong in Futuristic often love to envision the future. Partnering a Futuristic person helps the person with Significance to create dialogues and discussions on what a lasting legacy looks like. Such envisioning exercises fuel both the people with Futuristic and those with Significance. With fruitful dialogues, the person with Significance can think of action plans to intentionally build towards a lasting legacy.
Partner people strong in Connectedness
People strong in Connectedness are bridge builders and often see a greater cause ahead of them. They have the ability to think about national, regional and global issues and how these issues connect to the daily work. Partnering those with Connectedness allows the people with Significance to think about and possibly engage in causes that can enlarge the scope of impact. The possibility of engaging in initiatives that have a national or even a regional or global impact will excite people with Significance.
Partner people strong in Deliberative
People strong in Deliberative create awareness of the risks and potential dangers that arise out of actions, behaviours and/or decisions. Partnering a person with Deliberative allows a person with Significance to learn to moderate behaviours that can be high on seeking personal attention (usually self-centered in nature). This can be achieved through meaningful dialogues or feedback. When people with Significance have high influence in a particular environment, such partnerships create a more robust feedback system and help to ensure blind spots can be unveiled and tackled.
People strong in Developer have an innate desire to draw out the potential of people. They thrive on helping others track their growth milestones. Partnering a person with Developer helps one with Significance to identify specific growth steps to help teammates reach their goals and be successful. When people with Significance help others succeed, there is a huge motivation to replicate that process.
Concluding thoughts: Many charismatic people in this world have huge followings. It is important that the community acknowledges the impact that people with Significance can bring. A positive harnessing of these highly influential people can bring about powerful and positive changes to the society and community.