What is your Greatness?

 Simple question, “What are you great at?” Some can sing and others are great with relationships. Solving complex math problems is easy for another, while growing plants is someone else’s sweet spot. We are each endowed with “gifts” that are ours to polish.

It took me some time to understand what my gifts are. For starters, I was quickly relegated into thinking about my life in terms of roles. “What do you want to be when you grow up?” was a question asked often by well-meaning relatives and adults. Usually they brought a set of approved of answers with the question. The problem is, this was the wrong question to ask.

I was on a track that was guided by others early on. By junior high, I was sure I wanted to be an electronics engineer. It was an improved version of my dad. Coming out of high school, I switched to being a business person. I wanted to be someone who managed and led people. This orientation was amplified in college.

So off I went on my life’s journey with my programming loaded. I had success and failure along the way. This was measured by the financial outcome of the businesses I started or managed. Deep inside, I felt a rumbling that this was the wrong way to think about myself. Yet, it persisted for many years.

As I slid into my 50s, my restlessness was pretty intense. I was reasonably good at the business game, and still, something felt off. I didn’t feel particularly energized by each win or loss. This unrest reached a crescendo a few years later. With the assistance of some wonderful teachers, I began to ask of myself the questions that the adults of my childhood didn’t know to ask.

I wondered what my purpose was. What was calling me to service? I also began to unearth what I loved to do. Most of my revelations were what I already knew. I held it in a new light. I realized that these things I did well, like understanding others concerns, seeing the truth of a situation, and clearly communicating were not fully developed.

Gifts are like precious stones, they are valuable in the raw form. Their real value though, can be more readily seen when they are polished and their facets are revealed. For the past ten years, I’ve been working on polishing my gifts and finding that they become great when I do.

Recently, I embraced writing as a gift and I have been exploring the craft of writing. It is exhilarating mostly and frustrating at times. Walking this track is honing my understanding of deepening a gift through recognizing the craft that surrounds it.

I am finding my greatness. It’s different than I thought and not about being better than anyone else. It’s polishing those stones and appreciating their facets.


Author: Thomas White

Over the past thirty-five years, Thomas White has created and led private and public organizations that initiated breakthroughs in areas as diverse as computer software, publishing, printing, market research, leadership development and organizational change. The common ingredients in his success are simple. He looked beyond the limitations that others believed and found real solutions to needs that business leaders have. He attracted the best talent to translate these innovative solutions into practical products and services that were of high value to customers. He created cultures where people love what they do, work at their best and produce extraordinary results. In addition to his role as a business leader, Thomas has been a pioneer and inventor of technologies in the computer-networking field. He is a patent holder for innovations in business process and workflow technology. As part of his passion for educating others about the interface of human and computer systems, he was the co-author of “New Tools for New Times, The Workflow Paradigm”. He has also written articles for numerous publications. In 2001, he turned his attention from leading companies to supporting leadership teams in creating organizations of excellence. After many years of being a part of the machine of change, Thomas recognized that business is the most powerful force in the world. It has a major impact on public policy and governments everywhere. It is a key influence on how we use our resources and sets an example of the values that shape communities from local to global. He formed the consulting firm of Profoundly Simple to be a guide for exemplary leaders - leaders who wisely uses the power they are entrusted with to serve their constituencies first and themselves second; leaders who know that it is good business to treat people with respect, honor the environment and act with impeccable integrity – leaders who inspire greatness in those around them and by doing so create great organizations that are notable examples of success. Feeling the itch to get back into the game again, Thomas joined with two long time friends, to start the C-Suite Network. This network of business leaders offers an online network, events, services, and insights to its 500,000 member community. In addition, the C-Suite Network produces and distributes television and radio content to an audience of over 5M per month

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s