Showing posts from June, 2018

Designated Drivers

I just read the book Drive by Daniel Pink.  In it, he describes the 21st Century worker and what it takes to keep them engaged at work.  The book reminds readers that "management" was originally introduced centuries ago to control the behaviors and output of employees (mostly industrial) and in many ways that formula is unchanged.

According to Pink, there are three elements that drive and motivate 21st Century workers towards being their best;


In a strengths-based culture, team members are encouraged to leverage their unique talents to get to the desired end results.  They collaborate with management on aspects of their job where they can test and strengthen their natural talents while meeting (and often exceeding) designated expectations. Greater autonomy can be achieved when you volunteer for - or better create - projects which align with your talents.  For 2019, consider designing your annual Objectives and Accountabilities (or whatever you…

Responsibility: The Workhorse

Two weeks ago, I dedicated a post to my mom to thank her for passing on the Positivity talent gene to me and my adult children.  Experts tell us that half of our talents are in our DNA (nature) and the other half are influenced by our environment (nurture).

Given today is Father's Day, I began thinking about what influence my dad had on forming my talents; both nature and nurture.  My father will be 87 years old this year and lives comfortably at an Assisted Living Center near my oldest brother in Colorado.  The last 3+ years have been difficult for my dad.  We lost my mom - and his wife of nearly 58 years - in 2015.  He has had four (yes 4) hip surgeries and other ailments that come with advanced age.  I appreciate the care he is receiving at his Assisted Living Center and the love and care my brother and his family bestow on him.

My dad was a "triple-threat" athlete (baseball, football, basketball) and earned a scholarship to play both football and basketball at St. M…

Talents Tested: 360 Reviewed

Dan Donovan - Core Leadership Competencies
"Dan is definitely a strategic ideator which means he not only possesses a talent for innovation but he can also identify the best path to achieve the desired results. He has an innate sense and passion for helping others grow and to become the best they can be.".....

"I would like to see Dan be more timely with approval processes.".....

Late last week, I received my own version of a Yelp Review - the results of a "360" Survey.  Several weeks prior, leaders in my company were asked to submit rosters to include a cross-section of colleagues and reports.  Then, these individuals were sent surveys and asked to provide feedback.  The result was a report generated from multiple levels and perspectives (thus "360 Degrees").

Like most well-designed 360 Surveys, ours aligned well with our core competencies, values and culture.  Unlike a performance review, which is weighted heavily on achieving specific annual obje…

Positivity: Silver Linings

Talents are defined as naturally recurring thoughts, feelings or behaviors that can be productively applied.  When it comes to the "naturally recurring" part of this equation, there is plenty of debate about how much of it is nature - in your genes - and how much of it is nurture - influenced by outside elements.  Most studies conclude that 50% of the way you naturally think, feel and behave is determined at birth and the other half is curated by outside influences like peers and life experiences.

In his book, StrengthsFinder 2.0, Tom Rath sites a study of 1,000 children whose personalities were tested between the age of 3 and the age of 26.  Remarkably, many of the outcomes were similar at the early age and the adult age.  Although people do change over time, core personality traits - namely the ways we think, feel and behave, are less likely to change.

Of all of my Top 5 Signature Talent Themes, the one I know for certain I can trace back through my DNA is Positivity (#4 …