Archive for the ‘Strengths’ category

Tiger Woods – “Yes He (and We) Can!”

June 24, 2008

OK we’ve seen the great Tiger win and win and win. Some have said he made a mistake to play while injured, I just think he is an animal. Also, for the record, I don’t think he’ll be out the entire season.

Chip Brown went to Florida in March to take a look at the Woods phenomenon. Brown looked at the relationship between Tiger and us, and how Tigers greatness fulfills a need for greatness the many of us have deep in our hearts.

Brown writes, “You’re writing about a relationship, and you’re projecting on to him. It has to do with what we bring to the theater. If we didn’t bring that ache, that hunger to see him prevail, then we wouldn’t find it answered in Woods. It’s an equation.”

“The subject himself is actually fairly mundane, especially when he doesn’t have a golf club in his hand.” He focuses on the fascinating thing that is created between Woods and his admirers.

“The poet David Ignatow wrote about that ‘wild third thing’, that thing that two people make in concert.” Brown says that the thing that drew him was the “strange equation between the champion and those who venerate him.”

“Truthfully, it seems only a matter of time before Tiger will be known as the greatest golfer who has ever lived. We will be watching him, needing him to be exceptional so that we can feel exceptional also. Tiger is that rare champion who can ‘carry us beyond ourselves.'”

Real Success

June 10, 2008

I’m a quote guy. I love quotes. In fact, I think quotes are better than just rattling off some thought or idea because they have come out of someone else’s mouth. How many times, parents, have you told and retold your child something only to have them come back after hearing the same thing from another individual…and doing it.

Somehow hearing things from outside our normal “tribe” gives the words more meaning. David McCullough says that “real success is finding your lifework in the work that you love.”

When you have found a way to do something you love and get paid doing it, you have found true success. Look at your situation right now and ask the hard question, “Do I love, really love what I’m doing?” “Is what I’m doing something I would do even if I didn’t receive a paycheck?”

The answers to those questions will reveal the reality of your situation. It may be that you are not where you want to be. If you are young, you have time to find what really gives you joy. If you are older, you know what gives you joy, but it may not be the same thing you are employed to do.

Re-evaluation is key in all of the processes of life. Culture and time move on and we must adjust to remain relevant and able to contribute. Ask the hard questions and resolve to put action behind the answers. As Rob Schneider says in every Adam Sandler movie, “You can do it!”

How to be a Great Leader

March 15, 2008


I couldn’t resist that title. There are probably a hundred books with at least that concept in the title. Most of them I’ve read, but here is a fact I thought timely.

Next week we will start a new series called, FAQ. We will look at the relevance of having 100% of the information for making decisions. Truth is even if you waited around for a very long time you would never have 100% of the information about anything.

In the Journal of Leadership and Organizational Studies, Michael Harvey wrote that curiosity is a trait that “stimulates learning and concurrently, increases the effectiveness of decision making and quality management in the global marketplace.” It seems that leaders with a bend toward the curious succeed at problem solving by “filling in the gaps between what one knows and what one wishes to know.”

This is where the joy and mystery live. Between what we know and seek to know is where we tend to find ourselves most often anyway. The ability to fill this gap with real life and following our intuition/spirit, I believe is the cornerstone to a well-lived life.

Ben Franklin

March 3, 2008


“The sting of rebuke is the truth.” These words were spoken by Ben Franklin and could not be more true today than they were back in the infancy of the American nation.

Rebuke is something none of us like. To be told we are wrong offends our ego and bruises our pride. However, like Franklin stated, when the comments carry the ring of truth, their pain seeps deeper into our being. We know our own mistakes and hidden failings; and often seek out ways of burying them in the dust of time. When a fault or character flaw – specifically one we thought we had dealt with – is pointed out by a friend or colleague, there is a pain that defies explanation.

The true response can only be honesty at our personal lack and a resolve to continue working on the issue or problem. The great thing about we humans is that we were not created perfect, nor can we be. As the saying goes, “to err is human” is correct. Our imperfections display our beautiful humanness.

Ben had his own issues, but we still choose to remember him as a great American statesman. If you fail, choose to remember the “great” things about you, and if someone close to you fails, choose to remember and help them to remember the beauty of our frailty and their “great” moments as well. 

Make Your Weakness Your Strength – Part 3

February 26, 2008

Is it possible for a weakness to actually be a strength? This is an idea that I have had for a while. There are plenty of people who have become successes at NOT being able to do something. We watch American Idol so that we can see people NOT be able to sing. We watch Jerry Springer to see people NOT get along and resolve conflict. We watch the Moment of Truth to see people NOT tell the truth.

In these situations and others, to NOT be able to do something can be as beneficial as being able TO DO something. Look at the success of the “For Dummies” series of books. These are for people who DO NOT know how to do things. Maybe the very thing you cannot do well is the very thing that you need to do.

I know this is confusing considering my previous two posts, but I always think it is important to look at things from several perspectives. Truthfully, if your weakness turns out to be a strength, then it no longer can be considered a weakness.

Make Your Weakness Your Strength – Part 2

February 25, 2008

What does all this talk about strengths mean to me as I live my life? Primarily, it means evaluating your life and only do the things you are good at instead of trying to improve the things that are weaknesses. When we improve a strength area, we will see a proportionally greater increase in productivity than if we focus on improving our weaknesses. To improve a weakness, we may feel better about ourselves, but the actual benefit to our work and those around us is minute.

Focusing on our strengths brings more simplicity and stability to our lives. We have fewer things to focus on and the things we focus on are things that we are good at and bring us satisfaction. This makes each day something for us to look forward to.

Make Your Weakness Your Strength-Part 1

February 24, 2008

The idea of working from our strengths, for me, originated in a discussion with Marcus Buckingham. He has been involved with the Gallup organization for several years and recently authored and co-authored several books about the idea of working from your strengths.  These are great books that , if you haven’t read them, make it a point to do so.

For the next couple of days I want to look at the word, “strength”. What does it mean, and more importantly what it means about how we should live our lives and interact with people. Finally we will ask the question, “can a weakness actually be a cloaked strength?”

“Strength” is a word that conveys a certain weight. It gives a presence to a given activity or situation. To have strength also conveys some sense of proclivity or talent in regard to an action of some kind. It is typically assumed that a strength is a proficiency in a subject.

These are what we think about when we hear the word strength, tomorrow we will look at what it means for us.