Growing the StrengthsFinder ‘Achiever’ Talent Theme

Growing the StrengthsFinder ‘Achiever’ Talent Theme

‘Achiever’ in a nutshell…


People exceptionally talented in the Achiever StrengthsFinder theme work hard and possess a great deal of stamina. They take immense satisfaction in being busy and productive.


Theme Description

Your Achiever StrengthsFinder talent theme helps explain your drive. Achievers have a constant need for achievement. You feel as if every day starts at zero. By the end of the day you must achieve something tangible in order to feel good about yourself. And by “every day” you mean every single day — workdays, weekends, vacations. No matter how much you may feel you deserve a day of rest, if the day passes without some form of achievement, no matter how small, you will feel dissatisfied. You have an internal fire burning inside you. It pushes you to do more, to achieve more. After each accomplishment is reached, the fire dwindles for a moment, but very soon it rekindles itself, forcing you toward the next accomplishment. Your relentless need for achievement might not be logical. It might not even be focused. But it will always be with you. As an Achiever you must learn to live with this whisper of discontent. It does have its benefits. It brings you the energy you need to work long hours without burning out. It is the jolt you can always count on to get you started on new tasks, new challenges. It is the power supply that causes you to set the pace and define the levels of productivity for your work group. It is the strength that keeps you moving.

What’s the power of the Achiever talent theme?


The genius of Achiever talents is your sheer ability to push hard to get things done. You are known for that.


The genius of your Achiever StrengthFinder theme begins with your tremendous motivation, drive and determination. You are in constant motion to reach your goals.  The second aspect of your genius is found in the types of goals you set. You have daily goals in the form of lists of things to do. Then you have future goals tied to your daily goals.  Finally you have ultimate goals.  Your ultimate goals are always tied to excellence.  So the genius of your Achiever talent is the tremendous amount of motivation and drive you have to reach your goals and to move your goals toward being excellent in terms of performance, productivity, effectiveness, and efficiency. No wonder this talent is called Achiever.

How do I grow the Achiever talent theme?

1. Design a system to track production.

Since those with the Achiever StrengthsFinder theme derive energy from accomplishing tasks, the first step to growing this theme is to devise a system to track progress. Simple measures such as checking things off to-do lists, number of clients served, number of files reviewed, or milestones reached can help give more definition. The more things the Achiever gets done, the more fulfilled the Achiever feels. And the more fulfilled the Achiever feels, the more momentum they gain in getting more things done.

2. Break down larger projects into smaller, measurable tasks.

As an example, when my job scope at Strengths School™ changed and I began to focus more on writing articles as part of our marketing strategy, I realized I felt incredibly drained with my new job scope. Even though I love writing, doing it on a full-time basis was taking a lot out of me. Why? Because a single article would take me a few days to complete, given all the research, writing, and then proofreading involved. Achievers are energized when they feel they’ve gotten a lot done. A single article every few days just wasn’t cutting it.

Then I changed the way I tracked my progress. I broke down the writing of each article into smaller tasks: research, outlining, writing by sections, and then proofreading. That way, when I completed each smaller task, my Achiever would get a little boost of energy that would keep me going. This system has worked much better for me ever since!

3. Set challenging goals for yourself.

When Achievers complete a project, a rest or an easy assignment is rarely the reward they want. Instead, they get a kick out of achieving more and pushing themselves to get to the next higher level. If you’ve got the Achiever StrengthsFinder theme, challenge yourself by setting a more ambitious goal that will stretch you to achieve more. This doesn’t necessarily have to be work-related, by the way! It could relate to personal development, a fitness plan, or even a goal to become a better leader.

How could this theme be overplayed?

Since the hallmark of the Achiever is in their internal fire to get things done, they can sometimes go overboard with this tendency and become “workaholics” or “slavedrivers.” One of the key ways to growth, therefore, is for the Achiever to recognize this tendency and channel this energy into all areas of their lives.

Three Practical Ways to Manage This Theme:

  1. Decide on your greatest priorities. As an Achiever, you have an incredible stamina to get things done, and you may very well work longer hours and sleep less than most. However, a life well-lived is a life purposefully lived. Take some time to think about the few key areas and overarching life goals that are most important to you, and where you’d like to channel your Achiever talent theme. Is it in excelling at your studies or workplace? Giving back to your community through volunteering around your local neighborhood? Or perhaps being a good father and team leader? Whatever these areas are, determine where you’d like to focus and whenever possible, limit your commitments to tasks aligned with your highest priorities.
  2. According to your priorities and commitments, be intentional about setting tasks for yourself in the various areas of your life. For example, because the well-being of my family and friends is important to me, I direct the energy of my Achiever theme to making sure that they know I care for them. I’ll do this in little ways: setting a reminder for myself to buy little gifts for them just before I go home, taking care of various errands for them, or making sure I check in with my loved ones from time to time. As an Achiever, one of the things I’m most aware of is my tendency to neglect core relationships in favor of clearing the million things to do at work — so I manage this by setting relational tasks for myself in addition to work tasks.
  3. Become a cheerleader and source of energy for others around you. Because of your Achiever theme, you are very likely to get a lot more things done than most people around you. Where others would complete perhaps 3-5 tasks in a day, you may well complete 10 tasks. This does not necessarily mean that others are slacking off; it simply points to the genius of your Achiever theme. But none of us are solo operators, and the strength of the team is in the strength of its relational bonds. For your Achiever theme to grow, you need to recognize your tendency to ‘judge’ others with this lens (of hard work) — and instead become their encourager and source of energy that spurs them on to work hard and give their all for the team.

Concluding Thoughts: The Achiever talent theme brings a tremendous stamina and sense of productivity to their respective communities. At times, those with the Achiever theme may be misunderstood as workaholics and slavedrivers, particularly if this talent theme is in its infancy and they tend to derive comfort and their sense of self-worth from their work. However, at its maturity, the drive of the Achiever stems from a deep sense of purpose and commitment to their communities, bringing initiative and zeal to all that they do.

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Written by Tan Meiling

Responsibility • Learner • Relator • Belief • Harmony

Meiling is a writer, editor, and Gallup-Certified StrengthsFinder Coach based in Singapore. As a StrengthsFinder® Coach, she is passionate about helping people discover their innate potential and celebrating who they are. She enjoys reading, learning, and sharing her knowledge through writing articles. Meiling is also actively giving StrengthsFinder coaching to individuals and facilitating workshops in Singapore.


Copyright © 2000, 2012 Gallup, Inc. All rights reserved. Gallup®, CliftonStrengths®, StrengthsFinder®, and each of the 34 StrengthsFinder talent themes are trademarks of Gallup, Inc.


About Meiling | Meiling is a freelance writer, editor, and Gallup-Certified StrengthsFinder® Coach based in Singapore.

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