Thursday, April 09, 2009

Tempus Fugit

A old friend called and said, "Michael, do you remember that it was 20 years ago today that we saw the Grateful Dead at Freedom Hall"? To be honest, I didn't remember and his call was a jolt to me. I couldn't believe it had been that long. Now I realize that it has also been 41 years since the first time I saw the Grateful Dead as a young 17 year old hippie. If this realization wasn't enough of a wake up call, when I got home last night I had an email from a high school classmate informing me that we are having our 40 year high school reunion in September. This was another jolt to the brain. Where have the years gone? These reminders gave me a queasy feeling that my life is slipping away from me and that I really am getting old.

Why do short work weeks seem eight days long? Every morning this week, when the alarm goes off, I look at my clock and think, "Are you kidding me? Is it really time to get up AGAIN"?

Yesterday at work I attended a workshop on a book and process we use at work called StrengthFinders. Prior to the workshop we had to read the book and take a test that identifies our strengths as a person. The test reveals your top five strengths. The idea is that we will be come a strength based organization. In previous years we often focused on a person's weaknesses as "opportunities for growth". That might be true but your strengths come naturally and will always be your strengths. Your weaknesses will always be your weaknesses and they will never be your strengths. The opportunity for real growth is to fine tune your strengths. A strength is a combination of talent, knowledge, and skill. Here are my top five strengths in order and what they mean. These are not a surprise to me.

Empathy I can sense the feelings of others. I walk in their shoes but I am not always sympathetic. I have emotional radar and may be emotionally expressive.

Intellection I am intellectually active and introspective. I need time and space to think.

Connectedness I have faith in the links between all things. I believe there are few coincidences. Everything has a reason behind it. I have a global and holistic view of life. I focus on the sum rather than the parts.

Developer I recognize and cultivate the potential in others.

Communication I find it easy to put thoughts into words. I am a good conversationalist and presenter.

It is difficult for me to be passionate about most work stuff but I can be passionate about StrengthFinders. Much of my life has been a quest for self knowledge as well as an understanding of others. StrengthFinder's builds on previous knowledge I have gained from such things as the Myers-Briggs and the Enneagram. It all connects for me. StrengthFinders even has a spiritual element because it reveals your "true self" which is a goal of the spiritual life because your "true self" is who you really are in God. If everyone is faithful to their best and true self, the CASTLE principles, i.e., courage, authenticity, service, truthfulness, love, and effectiveness should come easily. Together they can be a really powerful combination that can truly transform an organization. This transformation cannot happen when the face that people bring to work is the face of the "false self" or the ego.

Today, while I was sitting in my parked car waiting for my wife, a bird egg dropped out of the sky and splattered all over the hood of my car. There was not a tree in sight. Did a mother bird simply drop it accidentally from her claws or was this one unexpected birth and the mother didn't get to a nest in time?

No comments: