This is my #1 strength. It is the strength that loves strengths! For me, MaximizerⓇ is a type of perfectionism that seeks to make the most of every opportunity and empower others to do the same. And, it is definitely an anchor strength (a strength that has been prevalent within me since youth) and the reason I feel called to be a Gallup-certified Strengths Coach. In fact, I started coaching youth soccer and basketball teams in 7th grade, and I even got paid by neighbors to give their sons private shooting lessons.


Maximizers can work tirelessly to take people, teams, and projects from great to superb. When Maximizers can support their teams in this way, they are on the balcony. But, when the ability for Maximizers to support and improve is diminished or shunned, that puts them in the basement. If a Maximizer’s feedback for improvement is undesired, but still given, that can also impair a Maximizer’s relationships and put them in the basement.


As a result, Maximizers are attracted to the best, people at their best, and people who want to be their best. Unlike RestorativeⓇ that wants to fix broken things and people (even if they aren’t actually broken), MaximizerⓇ focuses on improvement for greatness. Coincidentally, the two leaders I admire and study most are Maximizers, too—Nelson Mandela and Serena Williams.


One telltale sign of Nelson Mandela’s MaximizerⓇ was his greatest strength and flaw of prioritizing the needs of South Africa over those of his family and self. He always pursued what was best for his country, even if it meant personal imprisonment or family tragedy. Where DeveloperⓇ can be selfless for family members or individuals, MaximizerⓇ can show up as selflessness for the larger whole or greater good.


This similar attribute of MaximizerⓇ has historically caused Serena Williams to take mercy on her tennis opponents and, despite big leads, lose matches. She framed “wanting what is best for we” as not always wining for herself. Reframing the “we” from tennis colleagues to her immediate family (not including sister competitor, Venus) has empowered Serena to win for her family with MaximizerⓇ and without feelings of guilt.


MaximizerⓇ, AchieverⓇ, and CompetitionⓇ are similar and what I like to refer to as the Perfection Package. All three strengths are motivated to reach excellence and meet goals, but are motivated differently.

  • AchieverⓇ wants what is best for me or the task, as it is an executing strength.
  • MaximizerⓇ wants what is best for we, as it is an influencing strength.
  • CompetitionⓇ wants what is best for we, so we beat others. This is also an influencing strength.


Looking towards what is best for my “we,” I am happy to share that my family and I are moving to St. Petersburg, FL where my husband’s friends, family, and business are all based. As a MaximizerⓇ, I am professionally excited for this opportunity, as well, to expand Stronger Not Harder’s reach and impact. To my VA and NC colleagues, I still consider you as part of my “we” and will be returning to the region on a monthly basis for coaching, consulting, and my collective impact research. So, I hope to keep seeing all of you around maximizing your strengths!

Clifton StrengthsFinder® is a registered trademark of Gallup, Inc. The non-Gallup information you are receiving has not been approved and is not sanctioned or endorsed by Gallup® in any way. Opinions, views, and interpretations of Clifton StrengthsFinder® are solely the beliefs of Stronger Not Harder.