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Joe Franz

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Archive for September, 2008

Do you know your Strengths?

Sunday, September 28th, 2008

Below you will find my Top 5 Gallup StrengthsFinder ”Themes of Talent”.  A few years back, I had the opportunity to study and collaborate with some of the brightest minds at The Gallup Organization.  During that time I became a Certified Gallup Strengths Coach and personally coached dozens of people as they explored their dominant themes of talent – their areas of greatest potential.

In 2005 I was asked by Gallup to be the keynote speaker at a Gallup University Roundtable in Omaha, Nebraska.  The attendees consisted of pastors and other church leaders from across the US.  I continue to be a student of the strengths revolution that is sweeping across the business and non-profit leadership landscape.  Won’t you join me on the journey?

You’ll gain some valuable insight into the what I’ll call Joe’s “Special Blend” of talent by reading the definitions below.  If you’d like more info about this as you investigate your Life Purpose and Personal Position… just visit this website to get started.  You’ll want to get a copy of Now, Discover Your Strengths or StrengthsFinder 2.0 to get your online access code so you can take the StrengthsFinder for yourself.


Excellence, not average, is your measure. Taking something from below average to slightly above average takes a great deal of effort and in your opinion is not very rewarding. Transforming
something strong into something superb takes just as much effort but is much more thrilling. Strengths, whether yours or someone else’s, fascinate you. Like a diver after pearls, you search them out, watching for the telltale signs of a strength. A glimpse of untutored excellence,
rapid learning, a skill mastered without recourse to steps-all these are clues that a strength may be in play. And having found a strength, you feel compelled to nurture it, refine it, and stretch it toward excellence. You polish the pearl until it shines. This natural sorting of strengths means that others see you as discriminating. You choose to spend time with people who appreciate your particular strengths. Likewise, you are attracted to others who seem to have found and cultivated their own strengths. You tend to avoid those who want to fix you and make you well rounded. You don’t want to spend your life bemoaning what you lack. Rather, you want to capitalize on the gifts with which you are blessed. It’s more fun. It’s more productive. And, counterintuitively, it is more demanding.


The Strategic theme enables you to sort through the clutter and find the best route. It is not a skill that can be taught. It is a distinct way of thinking, a special perspective on the world at large. This perspective allows you to see patterns where others simply see complexity. Mindful
of these patterns, you play out alternative scenarios, always asking, “What if this happened?
Okay, well what if this happened?” This recurring question helps you see around the next corner. There you can evaluate accurately the potential obstacles. Guided by where you see each path leading, you start to make selections. You discard the paths that lead nowhere. You discard the paths that lead straight into resistance. You discard the paths that lead into a fog of confusion. You cull and make selections until you arrive at the chosen path-your strategy. Armed with your strategy, you strike forward. This is your Strategic theme at work: “What if?” Select. Strike.


Your Responsibility theme forces you to take psychological ownership for anything you commit to, and whether large or small, you feel emotionally bound to follow it through to completion. Your good name depends on it. If for some reason you cannot deliver, you automatically
start to look for ways to make it up to the other person. Apologies are not enough. Excuses and rationalizations are totally unacceptable. You will not quite be able to live with yourself until you have made restitution. This conscientiousness, this near obsession for doing things right, and your impeccable ethics, combine to create your reputation: utterly dependable. When assigning new responsibilities, people will look to you first because they know it will get done. When people come to you for help-and they soon will-you must be selective. Your willingness to volunteer may sometimes lead you to take on more than you should.


You are fascinated by ideas. What is an idea? An idea is a concept, the best explanation of the most events. You are delighted when you discover beneath the complex surface an elegantly
simple concept to explain why things are the way they are. An idea is a connection. Yours is the kind of mind that is always looking for connections, and so you are intrigued when seemingly disparate phenomena can be linked by an obscure connection. An idea is a new perspective on familiar challenges. You revel in taking the world we all know and turning
it around so we can view it from a strange but strangely enlightening angle. You love all these ideas because they are profound, because they are novel, because they are clarifying, because they are contrary, because they are bizarre. For all these reasons you derive a jolt of energy whenever a new idea occurs to you. Others may label you creative or original or conceptual
or even smart. Perhaps you are all of these. Who can be sure? What you are sure of is that ideas are thrilling. And on most days this is enough.


Your Achiever theme helps explain your drive. Achiever describes a constant need for achievement. You feel as if every day starts at zero. By the end of the day you must achieve something tangible in order to feel good about yourself. And by “every day” you mean every single day-workdays, weekends, vacations. No matter how much you may feel you deserve a day of rest, if the day passes without some form of achievement, no matter how small, you will feel dissatisfied. You have an internal fire burning inside you. It pushes you to do more, to achieve more. After each accomplishment is reached, the fire dwindles for a moment, but very soon it rekindles itself, forcing you toward the next accomplishment. Your relentless need for achievement might not be logical. It might not even be focused. But it will always be with you. As an Achiever you must learn to live with this whisper of discontent. It does have its benefits. It brings you the energy you need to work long hours without burning out. It is the jolt you can always count on to get you started on new tasks, new challenges. It is the power supply that causes you to set the pace and define the levels of productivity for your work group. It is the theme that keeps you moving.

More insights about Joe can be found here.

If you’ve taken the StrengthsFinder, why not share your Top 5 themes here.

Your Personal “Position”

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2008

In their marketing classic, Positioning – The Battle For Your Mind, Al Ries and Jack Trout explain that, “Positioning starts with a product.  A piece of merchandise, a service, a company, an institution, or even a person.  Perhaps yourself. But positioning is not what you do to a product.  Positioning is what you do to the mind of the prospect.  That is, you position the product in the mind of the prospect.”

Colours         10.000+ View, 150+ fav, 100+ comments.

This is an interesting concept – and one I’ll explore from time to time via this blog.  Your personal “Position” – have you ever thought about this?  If you were to ask a half dozen people in your life, those who know you best, to describe “what makes you unique, or different?”  What would they say?  If you don’t know the answer to this question…maybe you should try it.

Being a student of how God created you uniquely is not self-centered.  Instead, it is one of the most God honoring things you can do.  Each one of us is created uniquely and each of us has a purpose to live out.

When you live out your God-given purpose, your personal “Position” becomes obvious to those around you.

Is this something you’ve thought about before?  Do you know your position?  Why or Why not?
Why not share your position here.

Coffee Breaks, Blogging, and You

Tuesday, September 16th, 2008

You might say, I’ve been on an extended coffee break. In reality – a new “Cup of Joe” has been brewing.

I haven’t posted to this blog since
August 31, approx 2 weeks ago.

Reason—as many of you know—I’ve been in transition.  I recently began a new career as an Account Executive with Innis Maggiore, the Nation’s Leading Agency in the Practice of Positioning.

As such, I’ve been focused on absorbing as much knowledge and information as possible in an attempt to “get up to speed” on agency initiatives and client partnerships.  It’s been fun.  But, it hasn’t allowed me much time to update or educate you, my blog followers and friends.

So, I’m pleased to say that I’m back.  Like most people – I’m busy.  And, it would be easy for me to justify not blogging.  However, that said, I look forward to being more intentional with regard to my blogging.  Not only in terms of how frequently I post – but more importantly with regard to the content and direction of this blog.  I’ll undoubtedly share more about “Positioning”… what it is and why it matters, as together we continue as students of this revolutionary approach to marketing strategy.

If you want to get a jump start… I’d suggest reading Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind by Jack Trout.  I’m just about finished with it myself.  Stay tuned…