In her hit song “Focus,” Ariana Grande sings out the meaning to this Executing strength.

I know what I came to do
And that ain’t gonna change
So go ahead and talk your talk
‘Cause I won’t take the bait
I’m over here doing what I like
I’m over here working day and night
And if my real ain’t real enough
I’m sorry for you bae


People with this talent are exceptional at prioritizing a single goal and doing everything humanly possible to reach that goal effectively and efficiently. Blocking out people, lower prioritized needs, and the world in general can be part of that bridled vision. Just like Ariana’s song, no person or thing is going to change or stop her. She is a woman on a mission!


Some other famous examples of Focus® in action are Doom videogame creator John Carmack and US Olympic gymnast Kerri Strug. When developing one of the most popular videogames of all time, legend has it that John Carmack closed himself in his room for an entire year. He did not socialize, go out, or do anything besides give birth to Doom. For someone with Focus®, such isolated time and space for a project is a dream come true.


Focus® is also great at telling obstacles, “Not Today, Satan.” Gallup® has confirmed that gold medalist Kerri Strug has Focus®, and she certainly maximized this talent in one of the world’s most iconic sports moments. At the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Strug was the last gymnast up to vault in the team event, and she had just sprained her ankle 5 minutes earlier. While most athletes would nurse their injury, Strug knew her team and country were counting on her. She pushed past the physical pain and world stage pressure to *focus* on her goal of a near-perfect vault. She succeeded! But, as is common with many focused people once they achieve a major accomplishment, collapsed in pain soon after.



Pushing beyond regular limits is status quo for Focus®. People with this talent can be very intense and dedicated. Going too far for a task and damaging one’s health, safety, and/or relationships is the Focus® basement. Unexpectedly, Ariana Grande found herself in another version of this basement after the Manchester Arena bombing. Unable to not focus on the murders she witnessed, Grande, now, deals with anxiety and posttraumatic stress disorder.


If you’d like to learn more about Focus®, also check out my post on how Oprah Winfrey uses the talent to manage her Empathy® basement. If you are someone with Focus®, give yourself time and space to reach your goals. Just remember to take care of yourself, too! And, if you know someone with Focus® and they are locked away working for a year, perform regular, but not too distracting, wellness checks as a way to show you care.


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.