In many life situations, much of our success depends on our ability to understand and act on the personality dynamics of situations. If I am working as part of a team towards a goal, how I work as part of the team depends largely on how my personality fits in with other team members, and how I modulate my communication and actions based on the personality of others. If I am trying to sell someone a product or an idea, my success depends largely on how I pitch to their needs and personality. Because of this, there have been several personality tests developed by various researchers, each with their strengths and weaknesses. Since I plan on using a personality assessment in my work with individuals and teams, I did some research into the most popular assessments and in this series of articles, I'll explain more about the one that I chose and why.
In my last post, I told you about how I found myself ready to be done working and not knowing for sure what was next. In this post, I'll share what and how I decided that.
One day, when I was out for a walk on a clear and brisk Colorado morning and pondering my next move, I got an idea.
You see, in the months preceding my planned departure from my last job, as word started to get out that I was leaving my career to pursue writing and speaking, I often got the same response.
“You’re too young to retire!”
After sharing a laugh, I would respond by saying that I still planned to work, but that I just wasn’t sure what exactly I would be doing. Many would tell me how jealous they were that I had the financial freedom to follow my passions at my age. I didn’t see myself as any different than anyone else and I knew that others could achieve the same thing that I did, if they had a plan for accomplishing it.
As I paused during my walk to reflect on my thoughts, it occurred to me that maybe I could write about and teach people to do what I had done, which was to attain a really big goal—to attain financial freedom at a relatively young age. After all, I didn’t get a huge inheritance or win a lottery. I had actually been purposeful about achieving this goal for about ten years.
This concept set my mind in motion, as I attempted to reprocess exactly how I had accomplished this. After hours of pondering, it occurred to me that the key was leadership. It was leadership that got me here—and nothing else. I further deduced there were two types of leadership involved, personal leadership and people leadership. It was then and there that I decided to write this book about leadership. Striving to reach big goals scares most people. I wanted to empower people to reach the big goals in their lives, financial or otherwise, through personal and people leadership.
In my next post, I'll explain the two aspects of leadership that I discovered that put me where I was on that day.
As I sat at my financial advisor’s desk for my annual review, he started the conversation by stating, “You don’t have to work anymore.”
“Really?” I thought.
At the time, I was an Engineering Director responsible for leading a team of about 50 engineers. Over the previous 30 years, I had served in various leadership roles within corporations. At times, I led teams of over 200 people. Now, at age 52, I found myself a multi-millionaire. I no longer had to work if I didn’t want to, but I did want to. I knew though, that I didn’t want to continue doing the same sort of work. I had been there and done that. I was ready for a new adventure and a new way to make a contribution to the world.
Over the previous six years, I had developed an interest in writing and had published several books. My most successful book was Vertical Mind: Psychological Approaches for Optimal Rock Climbing. I targeted rock climbers with an interest in toughening up their mental strength. You see, I am an avid rock climber with over 25 years’ experience in rock climbing. I really enjoyed the promotional aspects of authoring Vertical Mind, like speaking, writing, and presenting workshops; but I wanted to work in an area where I would have more impact on people’s lives. I wanted to change people’s lives in a much bigger way than I could through climbing alone. What would my new focus be? How could I help people in a bigger way?
In my next blog post, I'll explain how.