"I can foresee that..."
Those with Futuristic in their CliftonStrengths profile enjoy thinking about the future. They love to dream. They love to envision what the future would look like and are inspired by what it has in store for them. If you want to get those with Futuristic excited, ask them what they think the future looks like. The genius of Futuristic talents is in the ability to describe a vivid picture of a better future, which gives people the hope of seeing that dream become reality. People with Futuristic often think beyond a couple of years. While others see 5 years ahead, they tend to see futures which involve the next generation, and possibly more!
In 1965, the then-Prime Minister of Singapore, Mr Lee Kuan Yew, said to a group of people: "Over 100 years ago this (Singapore) was a mud-flat; a swamp. Today, this is a modern city. Ten years from now, this will be a metropolis. Never fear!” Back in 1965, such a statement may have been brushed off by many as arrogant and unrealistic. But to his listeners, it nonetheless carried hope for the future. Fast forward: Singapore leapt from being a third-world nation to first-world within a single generation. Many attribute this remarkable transformation to Mr Lee Kuan Yew, who painted that picture of hope for the citizens of Singapore. While there isn't proof that Mr Lee has the Futuristic talent theme, what he did is exactly what people with Futuristic do best: they inspire others with a clear vision. They are not consumed by the current problems most people see. This quote probably sums up the belief of those with Futuristic: "The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”
How can a person with Futuristic turn this talent into a Strength? Here are a few suggestions:
1. Hone THE DISCIPLINE OF CLARITY
A vision is a clear mental portrait of the future. Creating clarity of vision among people takes time. It first takes faith to personally believe in the vision. It takes skillful, hard work to craft (and re-craft) the statements and explanations used to communicate the vision, so that others can grasp and buy into it. It takes wisdom to know when to paint the vision as a whole and when to break it down into bite-sized sections in order to cater to different listeners. It takes humility to ask for and receive feedback from others. If a person with Futuristic wants to grow this talent (a seed) and turn that into a strength (a fruit), this person needs to develop the discipline of creating clarity.
In building this discipline, ask questions:
- Why is this vision important to me?
- What is this vision essentially about?
- When is a good time for me to share?
- Whom should I share this vision with?
- How can I make this vision easy for others to understand?
- From whom can I get feedback regarding this vision?
2. INVITING OTHERS IN
A vision is powerful because it can give people a sense of purpose and hope. A vision can powerfully unite a team. It lifts up the human spirit, challenges a team to rise above the status quo, inspires people to make sacrifices for the greater good, draws new people in, and enlarges the pool of human resources. But a vision has no power or impact until it spreads from the visionary to those seeking a purpose. When people with Futuristic actively seek to create engagement and dialogue with others using their vision, they create impact. When a vision becomes something larger than one individual's dream and transforms into a common dream that the entire team owns, the impact multiplies.
The process of inviting others in is the process of turning "my" vision into "our" vision. To grow the talent into maturity, part of the process is for those with Futuristic to intentionally invite others to share their own visions and create a common dream.
3. SEEK COMPLEMENTARY PARTNERSHIPS
Partner with Activators
Activators are people who have a natural ability to put plans into action. They are fire-starters and they act as catalysts. Partnering with Activators encourages those with Futuristic to put their vision into action. People with Futuristic believe that having a clear vision is about creating a better future - and it is a leader's job to bring the future into reality. Activators are key partners in this aspect.
Partnering those with Strategic
People with Strategic have a unique ability to quickly weigh various alternatives and determine the best route to reach a goal. They are eager to explore new and better ways to achieve an outcome. Partnering those with Strategic challenges those with Futuristic to figure out how the vision, which tends to be conceptual, can be worked out practically. People with Strategic can help to map out the best way to move forward.
Partnering with Developers
Developers are people who enjoy seeing growth. When they observe progress, whether big or small, they are encouraged to push on for more. As such, Developers create milestones to track progress along the way. They create awareness whenever a milestone is reached by having celebrations. These signs of progress motivate people to push on towards the goal. Partnering with Developers helps those with Futuristic to plot out key milestones in the developmental journey of the vision. These milestones are important in helping people to appreciate the progress that is made towards the vision and help people to stay on track.
Concluding thoughts: There is a saying that "Without vision, people perish." Many people live and work without a sense of purpose. Many organizations struggle to move forward without a clear vision. People with Futuristic are precious gems. You can count on them to paint a picture of hope and a brighter tomorrow.
Written by Victor Seet
Activator • Communication • Strategic • Self-Assurance • Command
As a Gallup certified StrengthsFinder coach, Victor is passionate about strengths engagement and now runs his own training company, Strengths School™ (strengthsschool.com). He has been actively giving StrengthsFinder leadership and team building workshops to businesses and schools in Singapore as well as Hong Kong, China (Shanghai) and India.
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