4 of 5: 5 Steps to Kick-Starting Your Top 5

“If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.

And like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on.” ~Steve Jobs

Whether you know it or not, you’ve just entered into a relationship with your strengths. They will accompany you through both success and failure. They will be by your side when you need them most.

But as Steve so eloquently phrased it above, this relationship will only grow stronger as the years roll on, time passes and you mature.

Curt Liesveld of Gallup refers to this process as “Raw vs Mature.”

A raw talent theme is one that reveals itself in the form of a free-flowing garden hose with no way to control the pressure and duration. While it functions as a natural talent, its force may be too strong for delicate situations that require an adjustment in intensity. Following several years of active relationship building with this theme, it begins to mature. Similar to a marriage, time has allowed both individuals the opportunity to learn more about each other. You are now able to control the aggressiveness of the matured theme, and understand when to sharpen and when to temper.

This stage of maturity is only reached when you choose to acknowledge the rawness of your newly revealed Top 5, and become willing to work each and every day to develop your relationship.


One of the best ways I’ve come up with to foster the growth of your strengths, is to create a “Strengths Mind Map” focused on reaching a specific goal.

Start by writing your goal in the center of a blank piece of paper. Circle that goal, and draw five lines off of that circle like the strands of a spider’s web. At the far end of each new line, write down one talent theme from your Top 5. Now, next to each theme name, create some more lines sprouting off to the side. These will be used to write down ways in which you can use that theme to take action toward reaching your goal.

If this sounds confusing, it’s OK. I’ll provide an example below.

Strengths Mind Mapping is a great way to harness the power of your Top 5. It also forces you to focus on how those specific talents can be used to make massive strides toward success. Visual references are great for the brain! They’re tangible, and can be shared with others to better explain your vision or game plan. There’s a reason every successful sports coach uses a white board and a variety of colored dry erase markers to create plays! His players can make quick work of his scribbles. The information is digested and applied in a short amount of time.

All in an effort to attain VICTORY! Nobody plans to lose.

Below you’ll see my version of a Strengths Mind Map. My goal is to share my strengths story with one hundred people. I’m going to call upon my talents within each theme to help me along the way.


photo credit: JD Hancock via photopin cc



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About The WOO Warrior

Andy is a GALLUP-Certified Strengths Coach, and the owner of UnleashStrengths. He lives with his wife, Marlana, and two children, Adelyn & Drew, in the small Midwest town of Clinton, Iowa. he can be reached at [email protected] View all posts by The WOO Warrior

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