Mostly, I'm thankful that my wife and kids are happy and healthy and that our family "thrives" in a loving & supportive home. I'm thankful for my parents and parents-in-law. I'm thankful for my brothers, their families and my extended families. I'm thankful for my friends. I am thankful for my community. I am thankful to have a great job working with and for great people.
For me, it's all about the PEOPLE. And, I am blessed to be surrounded by great people.
If my thankfulness ended there, it would be more than enough. But, 2012 has also been a particularly memorable year, marked by a few life-altering, if not life-DEFINING milestones.
One of the coolest happened earlier this year when, after years of blood, sweat & tears, my wife, Sara, launched her first book, "You According To Them" along with its companion Career Acceleration workbook. In short, Sara's book helps people to understand themselves, how they are perceived by others, and how to align the two for greatest personal and professional success.
I love this book. It is not only a brilliant reflection of Sara's professionalism and passion for what she does but it is also a spot-on premise - that what other people think, MATTERS, with spot-on, actionable, guidance for how to exploit one's attributes without going overboard.
After all, like with wine, too much of a good attribute, even if it's usually considered a strength, can be detrimental! Ever known a leader whose confidence was perceived as over-bearing & cocky? I have, and I didn't like how it "tasted".
A purposeful BALANCE is the key to success.
It reminds me of a tidbit of wine history I recently read about in Matt Kramer's "Making Sense of Wine". In the late 1700's and early 1800's, at Matt explains it, the rise of the Romantic Movement ushered in an era where "everything had to be louder, brighter, faster". (Sound familiar?)
Fortunately, at this same time, connoisseurship of wines also continued to increase and "the lust for power in wine eventually yielded to a recognition that power without subtlety, depth of flavor without balance, color without underlying substance were unrewarding. At this imprecise point in time...the concept of finesse.....began to make itself felt."
Sara is a vintner of sorts. Instead of working with grapes, Sara works with corporate leaders, teams and individuals, but their objectives are the same - to achieve FINESSE through balance.
I'll Toast to That!
- Hold a Blind Tasting and establish a Rating- Know Yourself - What are your relative strengths and how do others perceive you? If you were a wine, would Robert Parker rate you a 90+? Action: Conduct a thorough, anonymous 360-degree assessment.
- Determine how your strengths can become barriers, or blind spots, if they are overused or Underused? Action: Read "YOU According to THEM".
- Seek to Achieve Finesse - Action: Identify YOUR "blind spots" and build an action plan to close the gaps. Do you need more oak, more acid, less tannin?
- Improve the next Vintage - Action: Adjust & Repeat Annually
"At present, a wine with finesse can be said to be one that has achieved a particularly striking harmony of its parts" - Matt Kramer