In my last blog, Taking Your Executing Strengths from Raw to Refined (October 14, 2020), we decided that we would take some time to go through each of the CliftonStrengths Leadership Domains to see the difference between the strengths in that domain when they are raw and when they are refined.  Our reason is it is crucial in your and your team’s growth in your strengths to know what you are shooting for in your strengths.

Don’t forget to download your Maximize Strengths Worksheet.

This week we will look at the Strategic Domain.  The themes in the Strategic Domain answer the question, “How do you absorb, think about, and analyze information and situations?” They help you work smarter.

When teams need to focus on what could be, they turn to people with Strategic Thinking themes to stretch the team’s thinking for the future.

What do we mean when we say Raw to Refined? Raw talent is uninformed, inexperienced, more self-oriented, and unproductive. Refined talent is well informed, more practiced, more others-oriented, and highly productive.

What does it mean when a strength is Raw? What does it mean when a strength is Refined? Let’s take a look at what raw and refined looks like for each strength in the Strategic Domain, so you will know what you are aiming for.

People with the strength of Analytical® search for reasons and causes.

Analytical Raw: Constantly questions & is seldom satisfied with answers.

Analytical Refined: Makes meaningful sense of complex realities.

People with the strength of Context® enjoy thinking about the past.

Context Raw:  Love of yesterday keeps me from moving forward.

Context Refined: Insures that the best of the past will be preserved.

People with the strength of Futuristic® are inspired by the future and what could be.

Futuristic Raw: Escape the prison of today by living a dream world.

Futuristic Refined: Creates imagination to cast a vision of a better tomorrow.

Someone with the strength of Ideation® is fascinated by ideas.

Ideation Raw: I am fascinated by a world of fantasy.

Ideation Refined: I use my ability to imagine and innovate to make a reality better.

People with the strength of Input® need to collect and archive.

Input Raw: I collect stuff.

Input Refined: I collect stuff that has utility & share it for others’ benefit.

Someone with the strength of Intellection® is characterized by their intellectual activity.

Intellection Raw:  My need for introspection keeps me from interaction.

Intellection Refined:  My deep self-reflection is a prelude to deep conversation.

People with the strength of Learner® have a great desire to learn and want to continuously improve.

Learner Raw:  Curiosity that dissolves into fickle boredom.

Learner Refined:  Fully explores the new to fully explain to someone.

People with the strength of Strategic® create alternative ways to proceed.

Strategic Raw: Pursuit of the best path delays the start of the journey.

Strategic Refined: Broad consideration, rapid elimination, real initiation.

What is your action plan to get from raw to refined?  What’s great about having everything listed down on one location is that it makes it easier to track progress and effectively plan things out. Planning helps you prepare for the obstacles ahead and keep you on track. And with an effective action plan, you can boost your productivity and keep yourself focused.

Now that you know what each strength looks like in its raw and refined form, you have a clear direction of where you need to go.

  • Have your goals written down and planned out in steps.
  • Highlight exactly what steps you need to be taken.
  • Track your progress.

Start by asking yourself the following questions about your Strategic Theme strengths.

  1. Which of your top 5 talents are too raw in the workplace, and why?
  2. In what ways does the raw talent get you into trouble? In what context does it hinder success?
  3. What knowledge, skills, and practice could make these talents more refined?

This is challenging but very rewarding work.  Are you ready to have a conversation with me about creating your action plan or how to help your team members develop their action plan?  Then schedule you free Ask Brent Anything call.

Check out my website at for more ideas and classes that will help you on that path. Click here if you need to purchase a CliftonStrengths assessment code for you or anyone else. I am looking forward to working with you as you grow your and your team’s strengths from raw to refined.


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