Editors Note: We are excited to have Sara, our first Leadership Vision Apprentice, share a bit of her journey.
The Unexpected Prompts the Journey
The winter of 2014 was a defining moment in my life. Within a matter of a few weeks, my father unexpectedly passed away while I faced a life-threatening medical emergency resulting in the premature delivery of my daughter. The following weeks and months were a surreal time of grieving the loss of my life’s greatest champion, fighting for my own survival, and watching in awe as my daughter fought for her life in the NICU.
After six months of many triumphs and setbacks, hospitals stays and innumerable doctor visits, my daughter & I came out the other side. Like so many who have traversed a very difficult time in their life, I was forever changed, my perspective altered. I returned to work after nearly seven months off and quickly realized I’d temporarily lost my natural ability to be with people. Others who had known me for years found it difficult to be with me. My sense of invincibility was lost and my life had a renewed sense of purpose.
The Journey Begins
I, along with everyone else, waited for me to return to “myself”. But the truth was there was no going back and I found that I was grateful, while others were confused and frustrated. I wrestled for several months with how to make sense of this shift, to understand others reactions, and to better understand myself. Why were colleagues unwilling to embrace me when I saw this transformation as having been for the better?
I began to realize that I was at the beginning of a journey of re-finding myself; Sara 2.0. To do this I needed to get back to the basics of my person.
This is when I made my way to Leadership Vision. A former colleague and friend had mentioned to me a year before that she had worked with Joseph, of Leadership Vision. She encouraged me so many months before to reach out, citing that she thought she could see me doing similar work.
I’d been reluctant. What do I have to offer? What if I don’t translate? In the end, I rationalized that what I had to gain far outweighed the fear of being rejected.
A Good Fit
Within the first few minutes of talking with Joseph I knew I’d come to the right place. Here was a group of individuals that are impassioned about living very intentional lives, while imploring others to do the same. Over the last 15 years, I have taken StrengthsFinder numerous times. Not until my interaction with Leadership Vision did I learn the extent of how it could be utilized and what it was truly created for.
All at once I’d found a place that is doing work unlike anything I’ve ever heard of or experienced; giving permission and empowering others to lean into, embracing and offering tools to articulate their uniqueness.
Here are two specific things I have learned about myself as it relates to my strengths since I have been doing the Apprentice Program
- There is such clarity and power that comes with having a better understanding of strengths. I am acutely more aware of who I am, what makes me tick, and how that works in relation to the strengths around me.
- I am called to this work. My story is one that lends itself well to understanding why I am so compelled to do this work, but even in the absence of a life-changing experience I was always destined to serve in this role. For as long as I can remember, I have been searching for a tool to help me help others see what I see in them.
What I am Learning as A Leadership Vision Apprentice
I have been invited on an amazing journey as the first Leadership Vision Apprentice. I am reading and researching everything I can, meeting with the team regularly, observing coaching sessions, and receiving my own individual coaching. In the coming months I will become an even more active member of the Leadership Vision team.
I am also learning that;
- It takes time and great intention to commit to a strengths based approach. We are bombarded with messages that emphasize overcoming and improving upon our weaknesses. Committing to a strengths based approach is to let go of that notion and to truly embrace your uniqueness and the uniqueness of others.
- This work, works. I have been blown away by how even the most accomplished professionals, athletes, and individuals are positively affected by looking through the lens of strengths. Even skeptics experience a shift in their perspective.
Over the last year I have witnessed innumerable transformations through the work of Leadership Vision for individuals and teams, perhaps, most notably my own.
I’m curious what moment or life event prompted your journey to strengths? Please share in the comments below.