My Grandfather’s Secret to Success Revealed
“To really simplify the cause and effect, if you fail to recognize the naturally occurring talents in others, you are creating an atmosphere where growth, in all facets of business, is retarded.”
Sometimes I stay up deep into the evening hours thinking about how the mind operates.
My grandfather used to always say that he was “great at so many things, it was hard to keep count of.”
Pop was far from arrogant. In fact, he cared deeply about the perception others had of him. Not in a way that would lead one to believe he was shallow or vain, but in a manner that almost reminded you of a young college freshman looking to make friends on the first day of school.
He was a sharp dresser, an eloquent speaker, and a man of his word. A trifecta of talent that defines those who understand how simple the mind works. First impressions are so powerful they often linger way past the point when one realizes they were too quick to judge. They anchor themselves deep into our brain, and always seem to surface when others ask for our opinion of another.
That’s why it’s important to place your best foot forward.
The best way to ensure that you shine, even in the shade, is to concentrate your efforts on what it is you do best. My Pop was far from perfect, but he knew how to harness his talents, and expose them to as many people as possible. He took every opportunity to rise up in front of an audience, and share his thoughts. His voice never quivered, and he spoke with such authority, that it was only a matter of minutes before people were looking to him for solutions and guidance. He was a leader, and he understood his ability to present and clearly communicate, would prove priceless in the journey toward success.
Do you do something so well that it grabs the attention of others in a way that can only be described as hypnotic?
My grandfather was a top-notch showman! But he was not void of weakness. Early on in his life, before the understanding of positive psychology and Strengths-based development, he learned how to manage his weaknesses and highlight his strengths. When you grow up in poverty, and have to fight for every dollar, standing heads and shoulders above your peers is not only a necessity, it’s a survival skill. Pop was quick to notice that he performed certain tasks far better than others. Those he was less talented at, would only cause him to blend in with the crowd, or worse, disappear altogether.
I like to think that I’ve followed in my grandfather’s footsteps. My mom always said that I had the “Gift of gab,” but I knew it was something greater than a gift. It was a strength that I would work relentlessly to develop. Every day I look for new ways to use my talents to share messages in the form of a blog, email, podcast, interview, or article. Sometimes the research and prep work can be daunting, but the physical act of speaking comes so natural that it almost seems selfish.
How could I profit from something that never felt like actual work?
Did you know that a mere 20% of employees in large organizations expressed they have the ability to use their dominant strengths in the workplace? That means that 80% of workers, comprised of hundreds of industries, feel that their talents would be best suited elsewhere. That also forces one to believe that these same 80% of workers are actually being less productive which results in problems in employee retention, financial growth, and overall job satisfaction!
To really simplify the cause and effect, if you fail to recognize the naturally occurring talents in others, you are creating an atmosphere where growth, in all facets of business, is retarded. As you read this message, you may have one of your most dynamic presenters crunching numbers behind a computer screen in a back room office, while your least talented communicator is positioned nervously on the sales floor avoiding eye contact with the customers.
Thanks to the “Silo Syndrome,” we decided, as a workforce, that a job description should act as a physical barrier. Four walls and a brutally thick ceiling were constructed to contain employees in hope that their skills would be better managed. As an employer, it’s essential to both recognize, and leverage the talents of others.
When asked what they do best, most people will fail to produce a truthful reply. They simply lack the introspective outlook that focuses on their own abilities. Or…they just can’t find the words!
The Clifton StrengthsFinder assessment was created to help people better communicate what it is they do best! Over six decades of research went in to identifying 34 unique talent themes. Each theme represents a bundle of skills that define your individual strengths. The assessment will distill these talents into five dominant themes. These Strengths are referred to as your TOP 5!
I use the TOP 5 to help businesses, non-profits, and civic clubs identify their potential, both tapped and un-tapped, within their organization. This, in return, allows leadership to ensure their people are set up for success, and are performing at the highest level possible.
My grandfather uncovered his talents when he realized that nothing good would result in trying to go from bad to good, so he focused 100% of his energy on going from good to GREAT! He was poor, hungry, and yearned for something better.
Lucky for you, you have the opportunity to unleash your strengths on a full stomach! Together, I want to help you experience the joy of defining what makes you better than anyone else. The next time someone asks you, “What skills do you have,” or “What is it you do well,” you’ll be able to answer confidently, and in a manner that’s both self-aware and borderline…