What Significance Really, Truly Means


What Is the SIGNIFICANCE Theme

Those with the Strength of Significance are the success-driven, legacy-minded people in our lives whose focus is singular: to have a maximum impact.  They are capable, outward facing achievers who like for their efforts to add-up to something substantial, important, and noteworthy.  And, they proudly take credit where credit is due.  What this means is that, while, to a degree, they are internally motivated and naturally driven, they do have a core need to be recognized, acknowledged, and seen as significant.  This is the fuel that brings out their best.  Significance is deeply rooted in the need to make a difference.  People with this Strength remind us that living life to the fullest requires sacrifice as well as authenticity.  They teach us about the importance of acknowledging and recognizing others’ efforts, hard work, and strengths.  In their presence we may feel connected to a vision that transcends this moment and taps into a legacy.

Why Should We Care

People with Significance are here to leave their mark.  This means that they instinctually take things to the next level and try to make everything that they do count.  Because of this, they can rally others behind their vision and coordinate individuals, teams, and groups to create epic outcomes.  Those with this Strength want their work and themselves to be noticed, appreciated, and remembered.  The drive to ‘go big or go home’ is present in virtually everything that they do.  And, they are willing to do just about anything to achieve their goals and to have a lasting impact on this world.  They are wired to lead by example and to inspire by doing, as opposed to explaining, teaching, or talking.  They are doers.  Significance people are committed to greatness in such a way that when they win, we all win.  They encourage us to rise up and do big things.

Ten Things to Know About People with SIGNIFICANCE

1. Independence. Autonomy is key for people with this Strength—the ability to make decisions, take action, and create change without having to filter through various other channels is central to their way of doing things, having an impact, and thriving.

2. Workaholism. For them, work and life might not be separate ideas.  In fact, in their ideal world, work and life might be one and the same, and the two would exist in tandem to build mutual momentum and produce dynamic results.

3. Demands. People with this Strength can come across as unusually demanding at times.  While it can run some the wrong way, it is also a great source of their productivity.  They may put the project or the goal above all else.  This quality makes them great allocators of responsibility and managers of people and resources.

4. Personal Affirmation. Developing an affirmations practice can be extremely life giving for them, as it fuels and fills their need for consistent validation and encourages visibility.  The ability to see and honor themselves as ‘good enough’ already is the art that they are always learning, and positive self-talk can really help in the process.

5. Avoiding. Folks with this Strength may have an overdeveloped fear of failure.  This means that they might avoid taking even small risks in favor of sure shots—even if the reward is peanuts in comparison.  For them, certainty is king.  It is the currency on which they trade their name and reputation.

6. Titles. Character and social standing are very important to them and so is external validation—signifiers like job titles, certificates, awards, and degrees are extremely meaningful.  Anything that asserts, proves, declares, or states their credibility, or that of others, will generally be welcomed, understood, and respected by folks with this Strength.

7. Expectations. The expectations of others can be extremely motivating for them.  They are fueled by the notion of proving themselves and gaining credibility.  They may even superimpose, heighten, or perceive expectations that are not really there, which can make it appear as if they are fishing for complements, overly dramatic, or boasting once a goal has been met.

8. Mediocrity. Their aim is exceptionality—not good, not better, but best.  Anything else, even second place, may feel like an utter and embarrassing loss to them.  It can be staggering on the one hand and motivating on the other—either way, they may take some time to process and come to terms with any real or perceived loss, mistake, or failure.

9. Proof. They love experts and people who can back up their knowledge not just with words but with certificates and credentials.  Peer reviewed journals, for example, are far more interesting to them than internet rabbit-holes and the musings of others.  They may be perpetually taking courses, earning certificates, and finding ways of leveling up.

10. Love. Showing and telling are likely to be important when it comes to their closest relationships.  This means, external conventions such as marriage and social media statuses are meaningful to them—as they are things that others can see.  At the same time, in one-on-one scenarios, they will be receptive to affirmations of love as well as praise.  The more the merrier 😉

Zach_Headshot_Edits (2 of 23)

Zach Carlsen is the grateful lead blogger at StrengthsLife.com

His strengths of Ideation, Connectedness, Input, Strategic, and Empathy have taken him all over the world.  He is an inventor, athlete, joyous wanderer/wonderer, translator, poet, and Gallup Certified Strengths Coach.