I was sick of being sick. I was overweight, out of shape, stressed, and worn out. That was me, back in the mid-2000s. I was a partner in a prestigious public accounting firm, but I felt like I needed a change. Actually, my body was telling me I needed a change. Six months with a great personal trainer and I had control of my physical health. However, I was still striving for something greater – that elusive sense of ultimate success. That was when I met Allan Milham.
Although I had first gone to Allan for help with my leadership and influence skills, he kept steering me back to consider my motivations. What kept me working late at night and got me up early? What aspects of my job did I love? What had me feeling BIG in those moments?
Months later, I was staring at a list of my strengths, likes, and values when it hit me. Everything that I had written was about people. I had a passion for coaching, motivating, and challenging people. I loved to inspire people, to help people become who they were meant to be. I loved being able to coach, but it was only an ancillary part of my job, not primarily what I was getting paid to do or rewarded for.
As I pondered that thought, my thoughts drifted to Allan. Could I do what he did? How could I even entertain the thought? He was a Master Certified Coach, at the top of his game. Who did I think I was to compare myself to him?
The next time we met, I tapped into my courage and I asked him, “What about coaching?” Immediately a wave of inferiority crashed into me. “But who am I to think I can do what you do?”
“Who are you to think you can’t?” he countered. Allan then proceeded to show me that, really, I had been coaching people in various capacities for the previous 22 years. This is what drove me at work. This is why I got out of bed in the morning. And I simply hadn’t seen that until that moment.
You see, we take our strengths for granted. After all, how can something so enjoyable, something that gives so much life, be so valuable? We’re taught that passions make great hobbies, but in order to make a living we need to work. I thought the tougher the assignment, the more difficult, the more sacrifices I made, the “yuckier” the role, the greater value I brought. But that’s totally wrong. Our strengths, which seem to come so easily to us, can be at the heart of our jobs.
Can you imagine waking up each morning looking forward to your day at work? That’s what I now get to do every day! I get to watch people’s magnificence emerge! And here’s the best part: Allan and I want to help make leading from your greatest strengths a reality for you, too! So, what do you say? Are you ready to start with your strengths and step into being BIG?