"Change, when it comes, cracks everything open."
Dorothy Allen

Tuesday, February 28, 2012


I have been involved in some leadership training at work.  I have done many, many, MANY different leadership training sessions over the years.  Some have been good, other's ...well, maybe not so much. But I always try to take something away from it, something I can learn and work on, and work into my life.

In my current sessions, we recently had to complete a Strength Analysis.  I like the concept it was promoting.  Basically, the book we read talked about how we, as a society, focus almost exclusively on what we do wrong, what we are weak at, and what we need to improve.  It is promoting playing to your strengths, finding what you are good at and most importantly, what you enjoy, and doing that for a living.  Or finding ways to incorporate that type of work into the job you are doing now.  Lightbulbs went off.  Sounds good to me. 

So, I did the Strength Analysis, and got my top 5 strengths, in this order:
  • Adaptability
  • Achiever
  • Belief
  • Developer
  • Ideation
So, what the heck does this mean?  Those are pretty words, and, to be honest, I didn't really know what Ideation meant.  Fortunately, they also give you a detailed breakdown of how this applies to you. 

Adaptability- Basically, I am chill and can go with any flow.  I bend, but don't break with change.  When others around me lose their minds, because the world has been turned upside down, I buckle down and git 'r done.  I don't focus on the future, because I know that it is fluid and always changing.  So I don't hang my hat on a definite outcome, and then become bitterly disappointed when that doesn't happen.  I am a person that likes to deal with stuff as it comes, but can't be rushed headlong into it. One of the comments that resonated with me was "By nature, you rely on your intuition to make the right decisions as events unfold".  God, I go with my "gut" so often, it's kinda crazy.  But since my gut seems to be more right than my head or my heart, I feel good with that trust. The report also said "The present- not the future or the past- captures your attention."  Sebastian drives a lot of that.  I live in my moments.  It's not a bad thing to do. 

Achiever- Plain and simple, I am a worker.  I am doer.  I like physical work (even though my job has none of that) and I don't mind long hours.  I want to understand  the facts and concepts that I am learning about or working with.  I will take my time to make sure that I get it.  It can make me hesitant to respond or commit right away, until I have had a chance to review all the facts, but once I am solid in them, I am unshakable.  I want to be the expert.  I know that I have a strong work ethic, and can get irritated with those whose work ethic and commitment doesn't match my own. This sentence from my report made me smile. "It’s very likely that you usually consider what you need to do better as a person or as a professional. You are surprised when you realize how much time you have spent thinking about an important problem, issue, or question."  That's me to a tee, stuck in my own head.

Belief- My belief.  Huh.  I was surprised to see this listed as a strength, until I read the description.  I believe that I am the best (yep, I am conceited!) and I like to be recognized for this.  Being the best and winning can mean more to be than money, or my paycheck.  That explains why I used to work so much overtime for free!  I also believe that I can contribute to making the world a better place. I will work as long and as hard as I can, to give my family what I think they need.  This next sentence is a perfect description of me- "Instinctively, you place more importance on the purpose and value of what you do than on the monetary rewards that accompany success." I often talk about how I feel that my job, in the grand scheme of things, is ridiculous.  It can frustrate me, if I let it.  I am concerned for others, that struggle or are disadvantaged, and I am motivated to help.  My ideals and my core values influence how I spend my time and use my talents. 
I think I will have that as my epitaph.  I am proud that this is one of my strengths, more proud than you might ever realize.

Developer- I can be in tune with how others are feeling.  I have empathy.  I don't drive my agenda ahead, in spite of the feelings of the people around me, and I have little respect for those who do.  I can inspire others, by taking an active and personal interest in them.  I can help people feel good about themselves.  I have a knack for talking to people.  And, my favorite quote from the report- "It’s very likely that you might inspire different sorts of people by welcoming each individual just as he or she is. Perhaps your words of approval fill some individuals with courage, a renewed spirit, or a sense of hope."  Seriously- who could ask for more than that???  Yeah me!

Ideation- Huh.  This was the one that stumped me.  Until I read it.  I am an idea person.  Getting a good idea can make my day.  Being able to sit down, and let my mind run free, to brainstorm and ruminate, until that little germ of an idea comes is one of my ideas of heaven.  I like to innovate, try new things.  I can see the unfolding of a plan in my mind.  Now, this doesn't necessarily mean that I like the minutiae of detailing and completing that idea.  It is the idea itself that inspires me (see Cracked Lens and the Special Needs photography).  And this absolutely rang true for me "You refuse to be stifled by traditions or trapped by routines. You probably bristle when someone says, “We can’t change that. We’ve always done it this way.”  It's this thinking that opens me to try all of the different therapies for Sebastian, instead of sticking with traditional western medicine, that allows me to want to change my way of life and consumer driven ways, to think about homeschooling and homesteading.  I love, truly love this about myself.

So, that's me.  Those are my strengths.  It feels nice to brag about myself a little.  The next time I am feeling a little down, or discouraged, I think I will re-read this post, to remind myself that I am a little bit awesome.

Rosie N. Grey
The N stands for "new outlook".

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