The explosively successful Broadway musical, Hamilton, is an example of many strengths in action by its characters and creators. Alexander Hamilton’s CommunicationⓇ strength is, in my opinion, on fullest display. With multiple songs praising and condemning the talent, CommunicationⓇ turns out to be one of the main themes of the show. The mastery and artistry required to craft these songs, in the same vein, is a showcase of creator Lin-Manuel Miranda’s CommunicationⓇ.
Living the talent as a strength at its fullest on the balcony, “Hurricane” illustrates how CommunicationⓇ can empower one to succeed in 1) trying circumstances, 2) love, 3) society, and 4) faith.
“I wrote my way out of hell
I wrote my way to revolution
I was louder than the crack in the bell
I wrote Eliza love letters until she fell
I wrote about The Constitution and defended it well
And in the face of ignorance and resistance
I wrote financial systems into existence
And when my prayers to God were met with indifference
I picked up a pen, I wrote my own deliverance”
- Hamilton’s writing as a teen caught the attention of people in the Caribbean. Impressed with his writing, they formed a collection to send him to the colonies. “I wrote my way out of hell,” talks about how he was able to use his pen to escape poverty despite being an orphan succumbed to tragedy.
- Alexander’s skill of writing love letters and saying endearing things to Eliza, persuaded her to pursue the match, despite her higher class and stature. Aligning himself with the Schuyler family, expanded Hamilton’s CommunicationⓇ audience and raised his political prospects.
- Writing 51 entries in the Federalist Papers, Hamilton further maximized his CommunicationⓇ strength to defend the Constitution through the power of written word. He similarly did the same thing to develop and defend the new American financial system, including the development of a national bank. His ability to write, develop, and defend these cornerstones of American society proved so effective that they are all still in existence today.
- Writing his “own deliverance” in prayer is a sign of CommunicationⓇ collaborating with Self-AssuranceⓇ simultaneously on the balcony and in the basement. Relying on his greatest talents to traverse through trying times and challenges of faith is certainly flexing strength. Interestingly, many people with Self-AssuranceⓇ have developed this strength and built internal confidence because they have overcome tragedy in their youth. CommunicationⓇ and Self-AssuranceⓇ together can maximize compelling origin and hero stories, like Hamilton’s, to lead themselves and others.
However, to write one’s “own deliverance” is oxymoronic and egotistical. Praying to a Christian God is to submit oneself to divine judgement. To convince God of your “own deliverance” means Hamilton thought he could influence God to have a different opinion of his actions than what is preached in Christianity. Such a move exemplifies why CommunicationⓇ and Self-AssuranceⓇ are influential talents; Hamilton believed his words could change larger-than-life systems like finance, government, and religion. Thankfully, the United States benefited from Hamilton’s audacious confidence and writing, as it gave birth to novel societal infrastructures. However, his irreverence for tradition, custom, and manners also earned him many enemies and downfalls in the basement.
In the basement, “Non-stop” covers how Hamilton self-admittedly “talked too much,” which is a classic barrier label of CommunicationⓇ.
Moreover, Eliza and Aaron Burr express frustration at Hamilton’s obsessive preference to write over all else, constantly saying,
“Why do you write like you’re running out of time?
Write day and night like you’re running out of time?”
Alexander’s penchant for writing over spending time with family frustrated Eliza. This sheds light on a frequent misconception with CliftonStrengthsⓇ CommunicationⓇ, in that it refers to solely message crafting, not two-way conversing. In fact, I have witnessed many people dominant in CommunicationⓇ and lower in the listening strengths of DeveloperⓇ and EmpathyⓇ. I believe this to be the case with the character of Alexander Hamilton. In the play, he frequently fails to heed the advice and requests of others, pointing to his decision to not listen to others. Instead of sharing time with loved ones (an act common in people with relationship building talents), he favored conveying his own ideas to masses of people, another sign of his CommunicationⓇ talent.
Rejecting advice and counsel of others, Hamilton’s excessive use of the CommunicationⓇ talent caused his own self-inflicted political demise via the Reynolds Pamphlet. Believing he could set the record straight if he only explained himself, Hamilton foolishly published his extramarital affair and blackmail scandal to be read by the American public. Such perilous confidence is likely the sign of another of Hamilton’s influential talents—Self-AssuranceⓇ. Believing in oneself despite the odds is how Self-AssuranceⓇ made Hamilton an American success story. Yet as Eliza compared Hamilton to Icarus who flew to close to the sun, Alexander’s excess of communication and confidence was also his mortal flaw.
The complex development of this character’s intertwined strengths and blindspots is expertly executed, nodding to creator Lin-Manuel Miranda’s own lived experience. Miranda rejects previously held systemic beliefs that only White actors can play White characters with his practice of race-conscious casting. Hi mastery of different forms of communication via multiple genres of music and literature are represented throughout Hamilton. Moreover, he confidently shows off his CommunicationⓇ strength with other famous artists in a most meta way be re-writing the “Wrote My Way Out” remix.
Combined with a prolific Twitter account, which boiled over into a successful book, Lin-Manuel flexes his CommunicationⓇ strength daily. In fact, it could be said that Lin-Manuel is a modern version of Alexander Hamilton. Swapping letters and newspaper articles for tweets and songs, Miranda creates his magnanimous impact on society with words just like his alter ego. Gratefully, American culture and society is all the better for the influence of CommunicationⓇ from Alexander Hamilton and Lin-Manuel Miranda.
Do you have or know someone who has CommunicationⓇ? How do you think Alexander Hamilton and Lin-Manuel Miranda’s examples can empower more CommunicationⓇ balcony living?
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