Thanksgiving allows us an opportunity to pause and reflect on our hectic and hurried lives. To think about the things we are most thankful for in life, and appreciate the ways our lives are blessed. At Leadership Vision, each team member spent time thinking about what they are thankful for over the past 12 months. Read below as we share a glimpse into our personal and professionals lives, and highlight some of the things we are most thankful for this holiday season.
Gratitude is humbling. It requires a stillness of thought. It demands that we ignore the busyness of our life’s periphery and focus instead on our own Purpose. Deep within this, we can see what truly matters. For me, it is about people. I am indebted to those that hold me up, push me forward, catch me when I waiver, make me change my mind and inspire me to be better. Strengths has been a gift to me that I continue to unwrap every single day. And I am forever grateful to be able to give it away to others. Again and again.
Since last Thanksgiving, my life has undergone some significant transitions. Last November I was a mother of two sons, a California resident and a pastor. Now, I have three sons, call Minnesota home, and work with Leadership Vision. Many emotions colored these major life changes – joy, loss, grief, bewilderment, freedom, and excitement.
In times of reflection, I wonder how I made it through the last 12 months. Then I remember that I did it in partnership with others. I am thankful for RELATIONSHIPS. First and foremost, I’m thankful for my relationship with Christ. His patience, grace and faithfulness are gifts to my Activator & Achiever Strengths. I am thankful to my life partner, my husband, Jed, whose Belief and Adaptability Strengths bring steadiness and safety during times of change.
And this year, in particular, I am abundantly thankful for my “sister”, Aly, whose Individualization and Relator Strengths have helped bring out the best in me, amidst a season of deep hurt and uncertainty. Walking shoulder to shoulder with me, she has helped knit an unbreakable bond between us.
I am thankful for our people. We as a team are nothing without one another, we are meant to be together in this endeavor. Yes, my strengths of Connectedness and Competition believe we are all together for a reason, and we are good at what we do. Each member of our team is smart, courageous and generous. I watch our team, listen to them, struggle with them, and follow them as they step up and into the experiences we face… and they have done so with passion and integrity.
Speaking from my Strategic, Intellection and Futuristic, our new team members have brought new energy and professionalism. I believe that people are only as strong as their connection to others. We have become a people of openness, acceptance and understanding because we have been willing to add to our Leadership Vision team. Yes, I am thankful for the work our team does together, but I am most grateful for who we are as a team.
When asked to contribute to this post, I found myself wordless. As a person with the Strength of Communication, it was startling not to be able to articulate my thankfulness. The more I thought about this wordless space, the more I realized my inability to put words to my thoughts and feelings has been because I am overwhelmed by all that I have to be thankful for this season.
I am thankful for this team of people who push me to be a better version of myself and embrace me for me. I am thankful for the freedom to spread my wings into new areas of leadership and creativity.
I am thankful that everyday I get a chance to do what I do best in a variety of environments. Working for Leadership Vision is work that matters in the lives of people and the health of organizations. This gets me up in the morning and keeps me going throughout the day.
With the strengths of Significance and Woo I am compelled to connect more people with our work. Helping people understand the beauty and talent that lies within them is work that is easy to get excited about and be thankful for. It is easy to connect people to something that can affect their life, and work.
Doing this work with my talented colleagues is another reason I am thankful. They make every day challenging and inspiring.
I am thankful for laughter that surrounds our team internally and externally. Laughter by way of inside jokes, non sequitur humor, practicing levity, and exercising an intelligent quick wit is woven into the relational fabric of our team. As I reflect, this explosion of contagious joy heals, frees, lightens, and reconciles. It is an outward expression of our synergy and magic.
My strengths of Connectedness, Empathy and Individualization value what makes people laugh and how they laugh because I wonder, was that just a courtesy laugh or does that come from deep inside? I notice and connect to the cause of why people hold their sides, wipe away tears, or try not to wet themselves.
As someone with the StrengthsFinder theme of Futuristic, I have a difficult time when I cannot see a clear future. When I do not understand what my future may bring, I get stuck in the present, unsure of where to go or what to do. 2015 has been a year when much of my personal and professional future has come into greater clarity and focus.
In both my role with Leadership Vision, and my role as a father and husband, I am thankful that the way in which the future is becoming clearer, has come without the trials and hardships that often accompany these sorts of things. I am excited to begin 2016 with this sharpness of focus.
I am thankful to have been given the opportunity to carve out a place for myself on the Leadership Vision team. It is a tremendous honor to be the first Leadership Vision Apprentice. There are not many opportunities in our adult lives to be the “first” of anything. I am immensely thankful for the support and trust given to me as I have worked to further my craft in teaching and leading through strengths. I am also immensely thankful for the clients of Leadership Vision who allow us to be part of their journey with strengths and who allow us to channel our passion for teaching and empowering. Lastly, I am thankful to work alongside all the members of the Leadership Vision team, all who set out to change the world and to celebrate what is good and right in each of us.
As someone with the StrengthFinder themes of Achiever, Discipline, and Focus I need to be careful to not let tasks dominate relationships. Throughout my personal life I’ve unintentionally surrounded myself with people with complementary strengths that bring balance to my life. I am thankful that the Leadership Vision team is one that puts immense value on relationships first. They are a model for how you can care about and invest in individuals, not be consumed by tasks, and still be successful.
What are you Thankful For?
As you reflect on this past year, what are the things in your life that you need to express appreciation for?