How to Identify – and Leverage – Your Workplace Strengths

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Brandon Miller

One of the surest ways to find both success and happiness in the workplace is to play to your strengths. Figure out what you’re good at, and find a role that allows you to apply those skills in a meaningful way. Of course, this sounds easier than it is.

Today we speak with Brandon Miller, one of the first Certified GALLUP Clifton Strengths Finder Coaches in the world, and CEO of 34 Strong, a coaching and consulting firm dedicated to improving employee engagement.

Brandon discusses how, for nearly 20 years, he has helped employees and business leaders identify their strengths and cultivate happier, more engaging, and more productive careers.

Key Points

  • The importance of working within your strengths and how to identify them
  • Workers who work within their strengths are happy workers; happy workers are engaged workers
  • A practical guide on how you can help and support workers avoid the grind and operate at a “Genius Level”

Have you ever pondered the following questions?

  • How do we give people and their happiness the attention they deserve in our organizations and transformations?
  • How do we enable change for people and not push change on people?
  • How do we create the culture and environment we need for people to express themselves?

Of course, you have! That’s why you listen to our podcast. But while podcasts are a one-way street, our Forward Summits are all about interactions.

Anna Löw will present a case study on their move to a 32 hours work week, the pitfalls, and their successes.

So come and join the conversation at our upcoming summit: HAPPINESS AS THE ‘WHY’ IN AGILE TRANSFORMATION, held in Berlin, Germany, and Online from 30 November – 2 December 2022,

You’ll get to hear from our kick-ass keynote speakers Sunny Grosso; Svenja Hofert; Debra Corey; and Fransisco Mahfuz. Take part in our practice, case study, and open, and global networking sessions in Berlin and online!

Go to our designated Forward Summit Website for more info and tickets.


*Please note that the transcript has been automatically generated and proofread for mistakes. But remains in spoken English, and some syntax and grammar mistakes might remain.

Elisa Tuijnder: [00:00:00] One of the surest ways to find success and happiness in the workplace is to play to your strengths, figure out what you are good at, and find a role that allows you to apply those skills in a meaningful way. Of course this sounds easier than it is. Most people might think the difficult part of that equation is the whole “find the job” thing.

But the truth is that most of us go through our entire careers without ever really understanding what we’re good at, what we do that sets us apart from everyone else. Today we speak with a certified coach who has spent more than 15 years helping employees and business leaders identify their strengths and cultivate happier, more engaging, and more productive careers.[00:01:00] 

Before we dive in, you are listening to The Happiness At Work Podcast by Management 3.0 where we are getting serious about happiness.

I’m your host, Elisa Tuijnder, Happiness Enthusiast and Management 3.0 Team Member. In this podcast, we share insights from industry experts, influencers, and thought leaders about what it takes to be happy, motivated, and productive at work. So that loving your job becomes the norm and not the exception. We will be publishing every fortnight on Friday, so be sure to tune in and subscribe wherever you get your podcasts.

Our guest today is Brandon Miller, one of the first certified Gallup Clifton strengths finder coaches in the world. He’s [00:02:00] CEO of 34 Strong, a coaching and consulting firm dedicated to improving employee engagement. He’s also co-founder of an “Incredible Family”, an agency that helps working parents adopt a strength-based approach to parenting, and he co-authored multiple books with his wife, Anna.

Thanks so much for joining us, Brandon. 

Brandon Miller: Thank you, Elisa. It’s great to be here today. 

Elisa Tuijnder: Great. So we’ll get into your work and your experiences with strength finding in a moment, but here on the podcast we always start with the same question, and that is, what does happiness mean to you? 

Brandon Miller: Happiness means contentment.

So satisfied with what one has with the understanding that a person can live to get what they want or to want what they get. And I have found that the latter being content with what one has often in my perspective, equals happiness in life. Happiness with one circumstances and [00:03:00] even in the midst of challenges can bring us back to a place of happiness.


Elisa Tuijnder: And we hope that everybody can find contentment in where they are at this point. So we talk, like I’ve introduced strength finding, so maybe we can get into what exactly you mean by strength finding and how did it come about that you built a career out of it? 

Brandon Miller: Sure. Purely happenstance.

I was in a role that required me to have many people reporting to me. And one of the leaders, as would not be uncommon, would find a resource or something to look at to further and advance our efforts. And so this came in the form of a book titled, Now Discover Your Strengths, written by Dr. Donald Clifton and Marcus Buckingham.

And the book outlined this idea of using a developmental strategy, focusing on a person’s strengths. Over and against focusing on what they refer to [00:04:00] as the conventional approach, fixing a person’s weaknesses. Further underscoring that this is how most of us were educated. Most of us were parented.

Certainly how most of us are managed, and as I read. It just clicked. It made so much sense to me that this approach was not foreign. This was a very common approach in performing arts, athletics. We position people to do what they do best and thus, I went to the back of the book. There was this little tear out code, and I went online and took this strengths finder 40 minute assessment, and when the results came out, I was shocked.

Literally thought someone had followed me around or been recording my brain thoughts because it sounded so much like me that I was convinced that this would be a good tool to use with our team. And we created some avenues to do [00:05:00] that and the results were fantastic. People really found a sense of purpose, a sense of understanding, increased self-awareness.

Happiness improved and overall, the organization became stronger and more effective. And so this this thought, because at this point I was in my later twenties, this thought occurred, I would love to do this for a job. . Does that job exist? Can someone just get to go into places and help give people this information?

Sadly it didn’t exist outside of the parent company, and I wasn’t ready to make a major transition like that. So I started a consulting firm and began to do that work and that has grown into where I am today. Fantastic. 

Elisa Tuijnder: Yeah, and it’s so important. It’s weird how we tend to judge people, especially in, in, the traditional education system on a set of things, what they might not be good at.

There’s this idiom that comes to mind that, if we [00:06:00] judge a fish on how to climb a tree, you know the one that that I’m talking about. So it’s so important to find 

Brandon Miller: those strengths. It spends entire life thinking it’s ignorant. Yeah, exactly.

Or stupid or incapable. Yeah. It’s, that’s a off quoted medium from Dr. Donald Clifton. He would say, think about. The audacity that people can be good at most of the things. And he said, actually people can only be really good at a couple things. There are very few things that we can really be excellent at.

And one of his not so commonly known quotes was that for every true strength a person has, they have a thousand weaknesses. And so in a lifetime, one is making the most responsible decision. To focus on building up their greatest strength. Yeah. 

Elisa Tuijnder: Yeah, I like that. So obviously at the moment we are, we’re in a climate [00:07:00] that is a bit volatile, let’s just say the least.

We’ve come at the pandemic, then we’ve had, the great resignation. We’ve now got quiet, quitting. We have challenges like the inflation that is getting out of hand and a potential recession that is coming up. Is strength finding I think strength finding at this point is maybe more valuable than it ever was.

So how do you see that for both employers and 

Brandon Miller: employees? I would agree. I think a value system when inside of an organization, it truly treasures it, it promotes, it recognizes it, praises high performing team members. While providing the landscape for each team member to achieve that certainly will add benefit not only to whatever organizations, whether this is in government and they’re trying to accomplish a mission or [00:08:00] purpose, or it’s a business trying to promote it’s wears or services and produce a profit and hopefully do good with that profit. But it really thinks back, it comes down to the space of how do our people who call this their workplace feel, not just think, not just do, how do they feel? About this as their workplace identifying themselves as I work here and all quiet, quitting has exposed is something we’ve been hearing for years and years, is that the majority of workers are checked out on the job.

The vast majority of workers struggle at work. In fact, many despised their jobs. It’s a necessary evil to support their necessities. And this approach really does shift the paradigm to say. We wanna not only engage you, but we’ve done our homework and we know that if you’re engaged at work, you stand a [00:09:00] significantly higher opportunity to enjoy excellent quality of life outside of work.

And we care about you as a whole person. So we not only want you to be amazing here or productive here, or successful, we want you to also have a life outside of work that you can look forward to. And that’s a shift in leadership and where we think strengths finding and a strengths based approach has application across any organization.

Elisa Tuijnder: Yeah, absolutely. So I think with the pandemic as well, and I wanna pick your brain on that, is what we saw that a lot of jobs became almost redundant overnight. I’m thinking about people who organized massive events, or redundant is a big word. Some of them went into virtual, but there was a lot of jobs all of the sudden that weren’t really there anymore.

So my question to you is, did people use strength finder to be redirected or strength finding to be redirected inside their organizations, [00:10:00] supported by some of their leaders and actually maybe found a role that suited them better or found a new passion or founded something that you know they were really good at?

Brandon Miller: Yeah, I think both probably occurred in our context. We definitely met those who took the opportunity, the pandemic provided to reevaluate how they define their value from work. Do I work here to receive value or do I work here to provide value? Or is it a, is it an exchange of this in my life for them?

And if their roles were for a season obsolete they couldn’t function. I love that the pandemic opened people up to the opportunity of what else is out here. What else could I what have I wanted to do? Have I wanted to go back to school? Have I wanted to pursue a different career? And I think that brought about some good.

I also think that [00:11:00] companies who were paying attention while resignations were occurring, became aware of if we don’t provide a way. For people, especially in jobs where there’s movement, you can move people into spaces that really fit their style, their personality, ultimately their strengths.

The wise companies that were looking ahead saw that and began to do that and had great results as a consequence. Yeah. 

Elisa Tuijnder: Great. So we introduced you as one of the first certified Gallup Clifton StrengthFinder coaches on the planet. But let’s, for our listeners, and even for also for me, can you explain what this is?

What is Clifton 

Brandon Miller: StrengthFinder? Sure. So there’s now 13,000 of these Global Certified strengths coaches and Gallup is the parent organization. And they were purchased by the Clifton family [00:12:00] in the 1980s. So Gallup began in the 1930s by Dr. George Gallup. They’re most known globally as a polling company.

So they were this very small brand with a giant, excuse me, small company with a giant brand most trusted company in the world out or around the late eighties, nineties when Dr. Clifton purchased. His passion was human development through the avenue of positive psychology. He wanted to understand why the field of psychology was so devoted to the study of human disease and neurosis with very little attention paid to human excellence, human achievement or accomplishment, meaning how did that person become that level of an educator or that level of an attorney.

So that the study of human excellence was done over the course of decades and it really looked for what we would. Talent in common, parlance, a talent is simply a recurring pattern of how one would think, feel, [00:13:00] or behave. That can be productively applied, so it could be practiced, skills can be added, knowledge can be gained, and then it can become a strength, and a strength is near perfect or near consistent standout performance over the horizon of time. So it’s what we see with the best of the best in any field. So Dr. Clifton studied 2 million people globally, he and his team, and they just simply worked backwards of what were the patterns. And then they built, what they found was lacking was a language.

How could you and I describe an internal talent? To tell a great story, communicate effectively interpret what other people might be saying. And so they called that the communication strength. The communication strength would tell both of us. We are very good at listening, interpreting, connecting replaying, writing the story.

Theatrically presenting the [00:14:00] story, we would share that. So that term provides the basis of a clue. This is where I can look, and now I can probably find where the avenues are to strength. And so this gave way to a psychometric assessment, and there is a myriad of psychometric assessments out there.

This particular assessment as I said, takes about 30, 40 minutes and one gets their results back either in a top five format or a full 34. There’s 34 of these terms, and these terms are meant just to give you a very good idea of where you probably have your very greatest collection of strengths.

And also where you don’t probably have your greatest collection of your strengths. And when a company integrates this, they’re essentially adopting a lexicon. They’re bringing a language in, and this lexicon adds to their existing way that they describe the best in roles and how people do what they do.

And it gives further understanding [00:15:00] of how then you could build on this knowledge of different people’s strengths and different roles that they. Yeah, 

Elisa Tuijnder: that’s always what I really like about some of these psychometric tests. Like it’s it, vocalizes some things that you might know by it yourself.

It sometimes comes up with surprises, but mostly gives you a common language across the organization. And that is, that’s always very interesting. So you employed this for the first time about 15 years ago, I think, when you were working at a non-profit. So what kind of results did you 

Brandon Miller: see?

It’s almost. 

Elisa Tuijnder: Oh, wow. Yeah. The time goes, I don’t realize it’s almost 2023 already. I know it’s September, but I know we’re there. We’re coming up there. Yeah. What results did you see when you started implementing that? Or you started using that common language that you just described.

Brandon Miller: So we believe that any good integration of a [00:16:00] program, especially if it’s brought in by a consultant, so a third party initiated effort needs to have very clear measurements or key performance indicators. And so we like to partner with our clients to help them build their strengths based organization.

And as we do that. We agree with them. What are we going to look back on as our, what we call our lag measurements? What are we gonna look back and see? Is it working? And so what we help them to think through is the lead measures, the things that we know we’re going to do. So for example, we could make sure that every people leader knows their strengths.

We could make sure every people leader knows how to coach as a mindset for how they manage. We could make sure people, leaders know how to proportion time to understand. A given person like you, Elisa, we would want to know during your week, what percentage of your time are you working in your strengths and what percent [00:17:00] of time are you.

What we call grinding at work, you’re just doing the job and keeping track of those statistics to help us. So when companies, if even if they just start with strengths or they do that and learn some coaching for their people leaders we’ve seen incredible outcomes. We’ve seen employee engagement as it’s measured through different surveys rise significantly.

We have seen their retention numbers. Improve dramatically. And then certainly we get into their productivity and for businesses very much increase sales and future profits.

Elisa Tuijnder: Have you ever wondered about one of the following questions, How do we give people and their happiness, the attention they deserve in our organizations and transformations. [00:18:00] How do we enable change for people and not push change on people? How do we create the culture and environment we need for people to express themselves?

Of course you have, that’s why you listen to our podcast. But while podcasts are a one-way street, our summits are all about interactions. So why don’t you come and join the conversation with our kick ass keynote. Sunny Grosso, Svenja Hofert, Debra Corey and Francisco Mahfuz. Take part in our practice sessions, case study sessions, open sessions and global networking, both in Berlin and online.

Go to That is For more info and tickets and as a podcast listener, use the Code ForwardPod [00:19:00] at checkout that is ForwardPod to let us know you are a friend of the pod and receive some special Martie the Management Monster goodies.

Yeah. So that’s, can we dive a little bit deeper into that connection between strength finding and employee engagement. So I think what I get from you is that. You identify what the times are that people aren’t using their strengths and they’re grinding. So basically they’re not actually enjoying or not as engaged.

Do you then try and shift that or how does it work practically and how does that connection go deeper? 

Brandon Miller: This is the best question because at its core, an organization, a company that identifies as a strengths based organization, it will always come down to time and activities. Always come down to do people get to do what they do best every day or play to their [00:20:00] strengths.

So we created a paradigm, and the paradigm is called grind, greatness, genius and all work tasks can go into one of those three boxes. When am I grinding? This feels like work . It doesn’t add energy to me. It doesn’t make me feel really invigorated. I procrastinate these tasks often because they’re just necessary parts.

But it’s why it’s called work and nobody gets a pass. Everybody’s going to grind at work. When we go to greatness, now we’re being energized. Now, we’re looking forward. We might stack these first or save ’em for last because it’s the best part of my job. It’s the best part of my day. I love this part. I get up in the morning excited.

I get to do this thing that day. So we identify what are those things? Cause that’s often why someone signed on for a job or they found inside of the job something that fit that. And then genius. Now we’re talking about career developed strengths, meaning this is the gift of time and experience and success.[00:21:00] 

All forming together to create the reputation, the brand the calling card of someone that we know, Oh, you need this done, You call Elisa, because she’s the person that, she’s the rockstar, she’s the expert, She’s the, in some places. SME, you’re the subject matter expert on this. Come on in and share your genius.

Okay. So when a person can measure, and this is very subjective, because each one has to identify for themselves. When am I doing something that I feel strong doing it? And when am I doing something that I, eh, I either just eh or no. I really hate this, I don’t like this. Whatever that is, it’ll fall in one of these boxes.

And so when we train organizations, we give them the ideal ratio. You wanna know what it is, this is it. This is love to, If you can live here, your chances of engagement are off the charts. If you can create a space, [00:22:00] We’re two thirds, 70% of your time, you’re working in your strengths and a third of your time about 30%, you’re working in your grind.

You will engage at a dramatically high level. You will look forward to your job. You’ll be more engaged with your team members. You’ll have a better attitude. You’ll be more resilient when challenges come your way because you have intuitively something that’s gonna drive you back. Build your energy. Now if a person is somewhere around 50 50, most of us can manage that.

Most of us can go. Okay. It’s just, it’s why it’s my job when it becomes past 50 grind. 55 60, 65, 70. It’s just a job now. It’s just a job. I just work here. I’m just, I just, I’m here for the paycheck. I’m trading you time for money gets much higher than that. I may actually turn on you. We call this active disengagement.

We actually have a, an acronym for this. [00:23:00] Cave dwellers. Consistently against virtually everything you’re trying to do. And so we’re gonna work, we’re gonna actively work against you now. And these, if you’ve ever worked with these people. They are very difficult coworkers, and if you manage one of them, you’ll never forget it because they drain resources from all of us.

So very practical. Let’s say that a person finds themselves more grind and strengths. Now the manager has a job to do right now. We have to ask some questions around, can we help this team member reduce time and grind? Can we get it down? Without jumping to are they in the wrong job? Did we mishire them? Don’t start there.

That’s scary stuff. Now you’re creating a space of a fear culture. Instead it’s, can we do that? And that’s a big part of what we do. So I’ll pause. I know I shared a lot there about grinding greatness and if you want, we could jump into just how that works. How do [00:24:00] we decrease grind time? 

Elisa Tuijnder: I do in a second, but I kind of wanna one of the things that popped into my head as well is what happens if it’s the other way around?

So if you’re always working, in genius because I know there’s all these theories that say if you get too good at your job, you’re also bored, you also get disengaged. Or do you feel like there’s, or is genius defined differently. I dunno, Can I have your take on that? 

Brandon Miller: In almost 20 years of this work, I’ve never met the person

That is always in genius because they’re well either always in genius, unless they’re a founder level, they’re independent entrepreneur, they’re brilliant. And even those people, their genius is finding more genius. Usually, yeah, they’re gonna find and expand. Frankly, there are some of us that can be amazing at more things than others of us.

That’s [00:25:00] just a reality of brain science, how we’re built, how we’re raised, where we come from, our opportunities, frankly, our resources available to us, and so that can occur. So I have yet to see the occasion where someone working. If we combine grind, excuse me, greatness and genius, that’s really your strength zone.

We’ve yet to meet the occasion where someone in strength zone at more than that, you know, 60, 70, 80% level was disengaged without something that was a catalyst. Meaning you could be in your strengths and have a really bad boss. Jealous boss, competitive boss. Inexperienced. That can set a person into disengagement, that can cause that person more vastly, more ever than too much strength.

Could make them bored much more. Yeah. 

Elisa Tuijnder: Yeah it’s interest. It just, sometimes it’s nice to twist things on their head because to see [00:26:00] what we can come from that as well. So yeah. You said, okay, we identified the grind and let’s get into, Yeah. I wanna hear about how you get into that practically. Do you then shift this towards other people where this might be the strength in their teams of how does that work really?

Brandon Miller: Yeah. Yeah. You’re on the right track. So here are the four ways, very simple to decrease time in one’s grind. The first one. Is the one we most often fail to look, and it’s simply stop it. What is it that you’re doing that if you stop doing it, no one’s gonna miss this. And we encourage them to look at reports, look at meetings.

Look at common, archaic, outdated practices. Look for the things that are being done that do not need to be done first. That’s number one. Dig in and almost every time Elisa, we find them. I don’t care if the company’s two years old or 200 [00:27:00] years old, something is built into a process that now has become obsolete and it needs to just be sunset.

We just need to let that go and for many just meetings alone, decreasing meeting time, we’ve seen decreased grind time significantly. I will add one common grind is email traffic. Too much included on too many emails. Responsible and so finding ways to stop some of that policy around being copied on everything, too much interdepartment that’s causing traffic jams in people’s boxes.

It’s a simple stop area that’s a common one. 

Elisa Tuijnder: I was wondering what do you see differences there between people who work in the office and who work remotely or are hybrid? Because obviously we’ve got all these tools nowadays with a Slack or a Teams and that some companies have gone very much the other way.

That there’s [00:28:00] very little meetings whilst others are like even increased the amount of meetings because they can’t see each other in the office. So I’ve wondered what you thought about that. 

Brandon Miller: I think it, it comes down to the conversations. It comes down to, Is this frequency is this way that we’ve set up our system is this effective?

For most of us, it probably won’t ever make all of us ideal, but is it effective for most of us? And if it’s not, let’s ask the question, what are we doing that we can help bring out the engagement of most of the team, if not all the team? And if we invented new cycles of how we meet because we think we need to see you more because now you’re at home and we wanna make sure you’re working.

That’s an implied mistrust. That’s an implied, that’s a lowkey because we really don’t trust you and we wanna make sure you’re not out walking the dog when you’re supposed to be, running this report and that lowkey mistrust. [00:29:00] Nobody, doesn’t see that coming.

Oh, you don’t think I’m working? You think I’m just playing a game? Or surfing the web? Like you think I’m starting a new business, whatever. So when we start with that specific premise on, we trust our people and can we then create a meeting rhythm that’s effective and works for us because if we want loyal folks, gotta be loyal to ’em.

Absolutely. Yeah. Absolutely. I’ll give you the second one. And this one really is for the people managers more than anybody else. People leaders, because they’re the worst at it. Subbing it out. I.E delegation. Delegate people. So two strengths are really common for people leaders. Out of the 34 Clifton strengths, responsibility, and achiever.

And if you think of those two, right? Strong work ethic high endurance, go-getters. These are the people that make stuff happen. Like they, they are the [00:30:00] get sh* done . That’s their. High responsibility, accountable, loyal, committed, faithful, follow through. When they say they’re going to do it, they can not, not do it well.

If a leader has a combination or one of the other or both. They can very much hoard because it’s, Oh my gosh, if I give a Elisa this job, she might not do it as good as I do it, so I gotta take it back. And then they swamp themselves. So their grind really is because of over commitment. They may be great at the stuff they’re taking on, but they’ve taken on too much.

So this is where something I’m good at can start to become a grind. Because I’m tired now I’m burning I have decision making fatigue. That’s a huge one. It doesn’t only exist with people leaders, but we do dive in quite a bit with people, leaders, ie. Micro managers. 

Elisa Tuijnder: Yeah. 

Brandon Miller: the worst. You said [00:31:00] you, you already brought up, you already got the third one.

Which is sharing, so shared projects. So identifying you’re great at part A, I’m great at Part B. Let’s, yeah, let’s do what we do best. You do a i b, Let’s partner, let’s share. The responsibility and hopefully because we’re both doing our best, it’s not when you were in college and you had a group assignment and one person did all of it, because everyone else was like, Oh, Elisa, will get it done.

Why do we have to sweat ourselves? She’ll end up doing it anyway. This is good partnerships. This is where you’re gonna do your part. Amazing. I’m gonna do mine. And we both feel really good that we’re getting to piece. So piecing work projects. Wow. Takes so much grind down.

Big time can help. And the fourth one I’ll mention if you don’t have a question is systems. So this is where we get into technology and processes and take the activity of email I [00:32:00] was sharing in our company at 34 Strong during the pandemic, we tripled in size. In fact, we almost quadrupled.

And as we grew, as you would expect, email traffic became just too far outta hand and what we realized is a lot of the conversations were redundant being repeated because the right people weren’t on there. And so we went a technology route. We found an application based communication tool very commonly known, created subgroups, gave room for communication, and voila.

We’re much more efficient. The same thing that would take much more time is now happening with much greater efficiency. We found a system to help decrease everyone’s grind time. So the good news, they’re always making new advancements on different ways we can make grind work more efficient.

Elisa Tuijnder: It’s really important, especially when a company grows, but even, even if it’s the same size after five years, you should really [00:33:00] look at all the processes and tools that you have and see whether they still work for you and what they’re doing.

That they’re doing the right things. The last thing also made me think of we at Management 3.0 are organizing a conference all about happiness as the why in Agile transformations. Because what we’re seeing is that a lot of companies are using Agile to update their processes and, but they’re often doing it.

By just adopting some tools, but not actually adopting the engagement and happiness that people first persona from behind that. So wanted to see whether you come across that. What are, how you feel about it really? 

Brandon Miller: Yeah. When we think about efficient processes, thinking about those who are paying attention are understanding that the human reality at work has been pushed to the front of the conversation.

And how we feel about our jobs and do we resonate with this from a value standpoint, from a mission [00:34:00] standpoint? Or am I here just to collect a paycheck? There’s a huge variance there, obvious as one would expect. So with significant variance comes opportunity, and the opportunity is: do we want to send the message to people who join our organization, that we are invested in your happiness.

We care about you having great quality of life. Therefore, we’re gonna invest in our people processes to help accentuate that. A strengths approach is one of the ways. We can help an organization get there. But to be candid, it almost always is going to come down to how you train middle managers more than anything else.

And so efficiencies help them. But more than that, how to talk to people and training how to coach and how to engage and how to stay in a space where I’m positioned to do you great good. Elisa because when [00:35:00] you do. I do good and we do good as a team, which means the company does good and we all continue to grow.

This is a wonderful shift. We’re starting to watch happen. It’s moving slow. It’s a big boat. But as it does I’m honored to work with people first, leaders that start to move in this direction and think down this path. 

Elisa Tuijnder: Yeah I had a very optimistic moment for some time around that.

And unfortunately, I see a little bit of a bounce back again after the pandemic. Where on the one, at the beginning of the pandemic, there was so much empathy. There was so much, we’re all in this together, the key phrase. Whilst now there’s all these voices around, workplace surveillance and the, taking back control.

Because I think some leaders and those are not the right leaders I completely agree with you there. They seem not to deal very well with that loss of, with that trust base and with that loss of control and think they’re gonna be able to do better if they [00:36:00] have more, more processes and more surveillance and all of these things in place.

I know, I see your positive point, but I also see a little bit of a bounce back, and obviously you and I are those people who are pushing for the human centric first, but I wondered if you saw that as well, a 

Brandon Miller: little bit. There are more voices pushing the human-centric button right now than I think I’ve ever noticed at any time.

 And it’s starting to shift in some cases. And I think if we both as students of people behavior people don’t change that much. . So your greatest opportunity to help them to grow into a better version of themselves, not a new version of themselves takes time and their commitment.

And so I will agree with you that leaders who are profit, not people first, and they think in terms. It’s either [00:37:00] profit or prestige, right? So we do a quite amount, quite a bit of work in government. Government. The carrot is prestige, it’s notoriety, it’s getting up to a place where I can publish, I can be known maybe politics.

In private, it often comes down to both or mainly profits. I too have noticed a reverb of some of those leaders. Going back to who they are, it’s just who they’ve always been. But what I’ve also noticed is that under them, that in the executive space, in the leadership space, there’s pushback happening.

There’s pushback to say, I’m very loyal to this cause, but I can do this somewhere else and I can bring my gifts. If we’re gonna just go back to being. EBITDA focused over human engagement focus. If that’s gonna be the carrot, is we all gotta fight for your EBITDA and give you another zero on the end of your bonus.[00:38:00] 

I’m out. And I think you think is that starts to move. I think we start to see the grassroot, but I call it the mid route. It’s the executives and directors saying, Wait a minute I don’t have to, I don’t have to, fill your coffers more. I don’t need to satisfy your stockholders while we’re gonna just completely create a space that’s untenable for most of our workers.

Try somewhere else. And I love that I’m hearing more of those decisions being made. 

Elisa Tuijnder: And that’s also where that quiet, quitting, et cetera, comes in. People setting their boundaries and saying, This is where, this is what’s important to me. And Exactly. If I do, if I can do this same thing somewhere else, but people are gonna care about me more there, then I’ll go and do it over there.

Brandon Miller: I’m more of a fan of loud quitting. Not that I don’t understand quiet and I understand being checked out on the job. I do respect [00:39:00] when you’re disengaged and you’re now starting to look and you need to be clandestine because you don’t wanna, create a disruption to your home and your your pipeline of revenue, right?

You need to protect that. But I also appreciate, and I’m seeing more of this one, this is actually really cool leaders that are coming forward and stating, this is where I’m at. And if we don’t change, you might think that I’m locked in, but I maybe Go ahead. I’m gonna go ahead and make a search. You have to be really secure to do it.

But I welcome, encourage, and I try to support as best I can, leaders that get to that point of I’m gonna speak truth to power and I’m gonna make it clear that this isn’t okay. And I have great respect for those that enter that fray. Who can. Yeah, absolutely. 

Elisa Tuijnder: Here on the podcast, we always end with a question that kind of plays into this tangible practice as well.

Cause we’re really big fans of those and we’ve mentioned a few of them, but I really wanna see [00:40:00] what advice would you have for those of us who want to uncover and understand our own strengths and use those strengths to build a happier and more satisfying career. Let’s summarize some of what we said and if there’s anything else that you want as a tangible practice to add to that last bit for the podcast here.

Brandon Miller: Sure. So the first place anyone can begin to think about their strengths, it’s called strength spotting. And Strength Spotting is free, and it’s a resource all of us can engage. So I’m gonna give this to you as a person listening. I’m also gonna say, if you have reports, you can practice this. And if you’re a parent, this is also a very interesting place to look at your various ages of kids in your life.

Strength spotting looks at a very simple question I mentioned earlier. What is it that you did today that made you feel strong? And feeling strong usually has five, five elements, enthusiasm, things you look forward to doing. Ease, it’s something that comes natural or you [00:41:00] drawn to it because it just feels right.

Excellence. You do it with standout ability. Other people comment, as I said, with genius and greatness. Then it’s energy. I feel more uplifted when I’m done than down or enjoyment. I do it so well that I have endurance to keep going. So that’s a resource that either I can begin to track myself, what is it that I do that does that, and start to become more familiar and more aware and more centered.

It’s easy to find the things you don’t do well. That’s not hard. Just ask anyone. They’ll tell you like, that’s easy to find that, that’s the human condition. It’s called negativity bias. We all see it. We all get it. It’s more interesting to find the pearls, find the things we do great. Number two. If you are curious to learn the language I talked about the 34 Clifton strengths, or the strengths finder themes, couple different names that have been out there over the last 20 years.

We do love to share with [00:42:00] listeners of podcasts that would say, I’m curious. I’d like to know and we’re happy to provide a resource if that is something that someone like would like to. Fantastic. 

Elisa Tuijnder: So Brandon, where, how, what , give us the plug. Where can we reach you to get 

Brandon Miller: that?

So Brandon, and that’s B r a n d o, the number three, the number four and the word If an email comes into that box, I know that it is usually a request for a code. We’ll send you a code. There are no strings attached. You could take the assessment if you would like to follow up and.

Ask one of us to meet with you. We can do that also complimentary for 20 minutes or so, just to give you an overview. But it would be our gift. And that assessment comes with the most amazing 26 page report. That is, it’s, as I [00:43:00] described at the start of the show, it’s like reading your thoughts.

It’s a blueprint of how you show up. And the good news is you get to validate it if you think you got it, got. If you don’t think it did, that’s okay too. Not every assessment’s a hundred percent. This one’s pretty darn accurate. You can have a go. 

Elisa Tuijnder: I look forward to to emailing you cause I do need to now check what my strengths are and whether those are the ones that are that I have or that I think I have.

And I really wanna thank you today for making me think about those strengths and the things that I kind of might be really good at and what energizes me especially when you were talking, I was very much thinking about what’s the grind for me and what is the one, where am I in genius level, and where am I not.

So thank you for giving me that time and thank you for coming on the podcast. I really appreciate all of the great information and the insights that you’ve delivered today. 

Brandon Miller: Thank you. It was great to be here, Elisa. 

Elisa Tuijnder: Thank [00:44:00] you 

Brandon Miller: again,Brandon.

Elisa Tuijnder: You’ve been listening to The Happiness At Work podcast by Management 3.0 where we are getting serious about happiness. Be sure to subscribe wherever you get your podcasts, and if you enjoy our shows, don’t be shy. Write us a review. Share the happiness with your colleagues, family, your friends. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn under Management 3.0..

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