Craig Trombly, owner of CJT Strengths Consulting, became a member of Outlet on December 6th of 2017. He remembers the date specifically because it was the day after he retired from his 36 year career with the Department of Water Resources. “I got my fictitious name two or three years ago, but I really opened my doors in an official way and updated my website on that day, December 6th (2017).” he tells me. “I wanted to have an ‘Encore Career’ is what they call it. So when people ask me if I am retired I tell them, ‘not really.’” he says. He wasn’t ready to stop working, but he was ready to start following his own path.

“I wanted to have an ‘Encore Career’ is what they call it. So when people ask me if I am retired I tell them, ‘not really.’”

As our interview gets started I ask Craig to tell me more about CJT Strengths Consulting. “I provide workshops and individual coaching and team building using an assessment from Gallup, that I am a certified coach in, called Clifton Strengths,” Craig explained. Clifton Strengths, formerly known as ‘StrengthsFinder’ is an assessment that is designed to help identify an individual’s highest competency. “I use that assessment as a tool to help groups and individuals perform, work better, work more effectively, grow in their career. Develop world class performance really.” I ask him for more specifics about what kind of services he provides. “I don’t have a package that I drop on them and say, ‘I do this for this much and this for this much.’ To me that is too cookie cutter. So I look to find out a lot of where their pain points are, what the good is in their organization, what the areas for improvement are and then propose something… I am very much individualizing what their needs are and trying to really help them with the things they want to improve or grow in.”

“I went into this because, in April of 2006 when I attended a Gallup workshop, I pretty much was inspired that I wanted to be a person who had an impact on other people’s lives like my own trainers were in that class and I wanted to be one of those.”

 I want to know more about Craig’s previous career at the Department of Water Resources, so I ask him about how he got started there. “I am a civil engineer by profession. Graduated from UC Davis in 1979 and worked for almost 3 years at a structural engineering firm. The work was interesting, the pay was horrible. I say that on tape but it's true,” he says with a laugh. “So I sought and got a job for the Department of Public Resources and very quickly became involved in the field called hydrology and flood forecasting. From there I grew in my technical career to really want to be in management and leadership.” After having such a long and successful career in public service, I ask him what made him want to go into this business for himself. He tells me, “I went into this because, in April of 2006 when I attended a Gallup workshop, I pretty much was inspired that I wanted to be a person who had an impact on other people’s lives, like my own trainers were in that class, and I wanted to be one of those.”

"They are great because they help themselves, and especially their staff, focus on what they are already naturally best at.”

After hearing about Craig’s background, I am curious to know about what his interactions with his clients looks like. “I teach a couple different all-day classes using StrengthsFinder as a focus to help the groups understand their talents and strengths and go through a number of activities to grow that,” he says. “I also have a small private company that I have as a client. Who was a company of one and she wants to grow to having team members and she knew about StrengthsFinder and having a strengths approach being a world class performing way to approach managing and having a firm operate. So she hired me to coach the individuals and to do team building and we are in the middle of that now.” He goes into more depth about his program and what the reasoning behind it is. “Instead of focusing your whole growth and career development where you try to fix your weaknesses, that is really just a strategy for being barely good enough, what Gallup has found through analyzing great managers, great companies, great leaders is that they are great because they help themselves, and especially their staff, focus on what they are already naturally best at.”

"Whereas downtown wasn't in such great shape 15 or 20 years ago, it’s really changed. It has a kind of a community, upbeat feeling to it and there is lots of good food to be had.”

To close our interview I ask him about how he ended up in Sacramento. “I applied to UC Davis and got in. While I was there I met my wife at the church that I still go to, where we got married and all 3 of our children got married now. Because of our church community I could honestly say, we decided, a whole bunch of us when the church was still small and we were all young and just getting married, that we were gonna try to put down our roots down and find our jobs in this area,” he says. I ask him about why he loves Sacramento, and why he chooses to work here. “I think that Downtown Sacramento is starting to have some pretty cool restaurants and places to eat, its developing. Whereas downtown wasn't in such great shape 15 or 20 years ago, it’s really changed. It has a kind of a community, upbeat feeling to it and there is lots of good food to be had,” he says. “And because I work with the public agencies around here a lot and the businesses that support them, its very natural for me to feel comfortable here in Downtown Sac.”

 

Learn more about Craig and CJT Strengths Consulting at

https://cjtstrengths.com