CliftonStrength: Achiever

Have you ever been around an Achiever?  They are driven people, forging ahead, making goals, attaining those goals, a force of nature!  Exceptional in a team setting, they drive the team forward.

Nina Simone, one of the most influential and iconic musicians of the 20th century.  

Nina Simone
Musician, Activist

Throughout her career, Simone was known for her intense and dynamic performances. She poured every ounce of her energy into her music, and her passion and enthusiasm were contagious. One night, Nina was performing when a woman in the audience fainted from the intensity of the music. Rather than stopping the show, Simone continued to play, saying “I didn’t come here to play lullabies.”

Simone was a fiercely independent artist who was determined to create music on her own terms. She had a clear vision for her career and worked tirelessly to achieve it. In the early days of her career, Simone struggled to find a record label that would sign her because she refused to conform to the industry’s expectations of what a female musician should be. Undaunted, she continued to perform and record independently until she eventually gained widespread recognition and success.

Simone was a self-taught pianist who honed her craft through hours of practice and experimentation. She was driven by a deep internal desire to create music that was both artistically and socially meaningful. Her song “Mississippi Goddam,” written in response to the assassination of civil rights leader Medgar Evers and the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, was a powerful example of how Simone used her art to speak out against injustice.

Simone was fiercely competitive and was known for her high standards. She was not afraid to speak her mind or challenge authority, even when it put her career at risk. In one famous incident, Simone was performing at the Montreux Jazz Festival when she noticed that some members of the audience were talking and laughing during her set. She stopped playing and demanded that they listen, saying “I’m not about to play to people who don’t show respect.” The incident became known as the “Montreux Jazz Festival Incident” and is now legendary in music history.

Simone had a reputation for being a perfectionist, and she held herself and her bandmates to incredibly high standards. She was known for her meticulous attention to detail and her insistence on rehearsing until every note was perfect. In one anecdote, Simone’s drummer, Bobby Hamilton, recounted how she once made him practice a particular drum pattern for six hours straight until he got it just right.

She was a true embodiment of the Achiever strength through her tireless work ethic, intense passion for music, and unwavering commitment to creating art that was both artistically and socially meaningful. Her legacy continues to inspire generations of musicians and activists, and her impact on the world of music and culture will never be forgotten.

While the Achiever strength can be a powerful asset, it also has its basement (Remember, the basements for a theme are the potential vulnerabilities of a theme, when misapplied or managed in an unhealthy or disengaged manner). Achievers can become so focused on achieving their goals that they neglect other important areas of their life, such as relationships or self-care. They may also struggle to delegate tasks or ask for help when needed, as they prefer to take on everything themselves. If you have the Achiever strength, it’s important to recognize both its strengths and weaknesses. By balancing your drive to achieve with self-care and taking time for relationships, you can harness the power of the Achiever strength to accomplish great things while also living a fulfilling and well-rounded life.

For you Achievers out there, here is are some questions for you to think on today:

What do you want your legacy to be? What are you doing to achieve it?

About the Wayfinders' Blog

The Wayfinders’ Blog helps individuals, teams and organisations discover and develop their unique strengths. I provide valuable insights and practical tips to my audience empowering them to develop their talents into strengths and achieve their goals.

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