Donald O. Clifton

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Donald O. Clifton (February 5, 1924, in Butte, Nebraska[1] – September 14, 2003)[2] was an American psychologist. He developed the eponymous Clifton StrengthsFinder, Gallup’s online psychological assessment. Clifton was professor of educational psychology at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln from 1950 to 1969[2] when he founded Selection Research, Inc. (SRI) that grew to the point where in 1988 it acquired the Gallup Organization and took on the older company’s name.[3] Clifton was a World War II veteran and recipient of the Distinguished Flying Cross.[1]

Quote “As my mentor, Dr. Donald O. Clifton, used to say, the American Management Association has got it wrong. The AMA's slogan, "Getting work done through people," misstates the essence of great management. To capture this essence, they should change it to "Getting people done through work." (cited by Marcus Buckingham in 2005, The One Thing You Need to Know[4]).

Published works[edit]

  • Soar With Your Strengths with Paula Nelson, ISBN 0-385-30414-5. Delacorte Press, 1992.
  • Now, Discover Your Strengths with Marcus Buckingham, ISBN 0-7432-0114-0. Free Press, 2001.
  • How Full Is Your Bucket? Positive Strategies for Work and Life with Tom Rath ISBN 1595620036. Gallup Press (2004)
  • StrengthsQuest with Edward "Chip" Anderson


  1. ^ a b "Clifton Strengths School". Archived from the original on April 15, 2013. Retrieved March 24, 2012.
  2. ^ a b "Dr Donald O. Clifton". Find A Grave. Retrieved March 24, 2012.
  3. ^ Buckingham, Marcus (2012). "Strengths Campus History". Strengths Campus. Archived from the original on June 19, 2012. Retrieved June 15, 2012.
  4. ^ Buckingham, Marcus (2008-09-04). The One Thing You Need to Know: ... About Great Managing, Great Leading and Sustained Individual Success. Simon and Schuster. ISBN 9781847396235.