My top strength as defined by the Clifton StrengthsFinder is called Futuristic.
“People exceptionally talented in the Futuristic theme are inspired by the future and what could be. They energize others with their visions of the future”
Traits of Futuristic People
People who have this strength can see down the road. They could be accurately referred to as a Visionary. They are able to preview, predict and forecast.
If you have this strength, may I suggest that it is super-important that you find out what you have?
Example of My Futuristic in Action
As a Futuristic person, I have always been an early adopter. On LinkedIn for example, I didn’t wait until everyone around me created an account. I created my LinkedIn account in 2004 and I’m now hovering around 30,000 direct connections and I've done a significant amount of business because of LinkedIn. That’s an example of what a Futuristic person does in action.
My Latest Futuristic Project
Recently, I acquired a newly released software product that enables me to build mobile apps. Over the weekend, I build my first Android Mobile App called Jeff Snyder Coaching. It sits in the Google Play store. I’ll build the IOS version of this App this weekend.
Being the Futuristic person that I am, I got excited about my new creation; so excited in fact that I built a sample mobile app for a local Realtor friend. I could see down the road in the sense that I could see the competitive advantages a mobile app could bring to my friend’s real estate agency. I sent the sample app to my friend last night and received this message this morning.
“I received your email on the app. I would really need to think about that and now is a bad time since I'm really turning off for the month of December as much as possible. I did ask my real estate friend in the springs what she thought.”
Long story short, my friend didn’t get it and my friend’s friend didn’t get it either. My first reaction was my old reaction. The reaction I would have had in the past before I understood my Futuristic gift. I suppressed my first reaction and turned on my reality testing to come up with a healthier reaction.
People Don't Think Alike
My reality is that I can see down the road and as a marketing educated and marketing minded person, I can see advantages for my real estate friend. Her reality on the other hand does not include my Futuristic abilities. Rather than asking me how a mobile app could benefit her business, she turned to a friend who didn’t have my Futuristic strength either.
There are several lessons here:
- Since I know my strengths, I was quickly able to recognize what had gone wrong in this situation and I have already changed my strategy because of what I’ve recognized.
- I’ve know this for a while but today’s experience made it crystal clear that as human beings, we do not all think the same way. Where I see competitive advantage, my friend sees her list of Christmas activities. Neither one of us is wrong. We simply aren’t seeing the same things.
- If you have the Futuristic strength near the top of your strengths list, you really should learn what it means. If you don't, you'll spend your entire life living in the future when those around you are living in either the present or the past. In other words, your audience will seldom get you.
- When you learn, embrace and discover how to leverage your personal strengths (yours are different than mine), you can make much more clear and powerful decisions.