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BK Blog Post
Posted by Christopher Avery, CEO, Partnerwerks, Inc..
Author of Teamwork Is An Individual Skill: Getting Your Work Done When Sharing Responsibility
Guest post from Jessica Soroky
Late last year I completed an intention of immense importance to me, an epic win if you will.
I finished my year long commitment to blog each week. In an attempt to enjoy the journey and not focus on the destination, I never thought about what I would do when I had met my intention. My worst fear was to become stale or stagnant. I began a search for inspiration, a sign for what to do next.
As I have often described in past posts I turn to music and in this case a little bit of Netflix when processing something. It was during a standard Netflix binge of Ted Talks that I started to notice a pattern in many of the presentations.
There was a clear passion and dedication to whatever the presenters’ topic happened to be.
My mind immediately went to a moment, over three years ago, when I felt as if my soul had just been ignited. I had found my thing, what I was passionate about – and lucky for me it was something that could be turned into a career. At the time I remember thinking that I was most passionate about teams, about helping teach and coach people to work more effectively and efficiently while building amazing products. It wasn’t until later in my journey that I had a moment of clarity. The thing that makes me feel alive, that can unleash a drive and determination I didn’t even know I had, is much simpler than I had thought.
I don’t simply mean, “I am a people person”. For me the fire comes from learning about people. Learning about what makes them tick and about how they interact with each other. More than anything I realized my passion lies in coaching. I can’t begin to describe the feeling I get when I go to battle with a team or individual and together we come out on the other side more powerful, free, and at choice.
It really is as if my entire being has been ignited.
Before writing this I talked to a few different people about my breakthrough, my realization that I am passionate about people. To my surprise they weren’t exactly shocked, almost every single person responded, “Duh”. Well s**t, I’m glad it was obvious to them because it was a mind blowing, soul igniting, breakthrough for me. I didn’t care anymore about Agile (though I still love it) I realized that was just a piece of the puzzle, there was so much more out there I hadn’t even looked at.
I came across a quote that very elegantly summed up how I was feeling
“The most powerful weapon on earth is the human soul on fire.” – Field Marshal Ferdinand Foch.
I had found my weapon. Now I wanted to sharpen it. I wanted to learn as much as I could about people, but with billions of people on this planet I didn’t know where to start. I quickly remembered one of the greatest books I’ve ever read, the biography of Steve Jobs. Not only did it give me a glimpse into the man behind the innovation, but also it taught me another view on leadership and motivating people to deliver excellence. Instead of over thinking where to start, I made a choice – to just start somewhere.
My intention was to learn about leadership and responsibility in as many contexts as possible.
Fast forward to today. Over the last few months I have dedicated a lot of my time reading and learning about all types of different people from scientists, technology geniuses, and professors to Navy Seals, Novelists, and World War II heroes. As my library began to fill with books I had completed, I once again saw a familiar pattern in all of these stories.
Each of these individuals is considered extraordinary for one reason or another. It wasn’t until I read “Outliers” by Malcolm Gladwell that I realized what made them extraordinary wasn’t being born smarter than everyone else, or faster, or stronger; it was that passion to be the best, to do the best, and to produce the best that made them extraordinary.
Having found my thing, my passion, it became glaringly obvious that if I wanted to take it to extraordinary lengths all I had to do was choose to do so. I am not entirely sure what that looks like yet but I have never been more excited to find out.
What’s your thing?
What ignites your soul?
Take a second and think about it. Ok, do you have something in your head? Now for the real question…
What are you going to do with it?
Only 21 years old, Jessica is already a Certified Scrum Master with two years of practice in agile delivery and team leadership. She is also the youngest participant in The Leadership Gift™ Program and its growing worldwide community of leaders and coaches. After five years of non-profit development through Nellie’s Catwalk for Kids, Jessica continues her leadership journey in state government, not-for-profit, and private sector leadership studies.
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