The Janus Effect

Janus was the Roman god of transitions, passages, and gateways. He could look forward and backward with equal clarity. As 2016 ends and 2017 begins, many of us feel compelled to find our inner Janus. My inner Janus sees the past progress and the future potential of my clients. I want to share a few compelling stories, and ask you to support one of my customers, Amy Peterson, whose future includes an appearance on the Harry Connick Jr show!

Believe it or not, I found a true Janus in my 2016 mix! Coach Hayes, who helps lead a hockey team, has the talents of Context (looking backward) and Futuristic (looking forward) in his top 5 strengths! This is quite unusual, and I’ve seen it only a few times in the thousands of clients I’ve worked with. Coach Hayes is also a practicing lawyer. In school, Coach Hayes was often told that “he sees things differently.” I’m sure that was a compliment. Think how helpful it is for Coach Hayes to guide athletes to a championship state with a view of the past and a few of the future. Ditto for navigating legal cases. If I could buy one strength, it would be Futuristic (followed closely by Woo). Or, I could partner with Coach Hayes and have him help me see over my horizon.

I met two StrengthsFinder siblings in 2016! One was Dan, a software engineer for a marketing analytics firm. The other was Andrea, an analyst for a large furniture company. The three of us share the same top five strengths but in a different order. With the gift of our Ideation, we could all strongly relate to the story I shared in Destination Unstoppable about being a wild duck in the corporate world. Strengths triplets in Michigan!

Of course, a highlight of 2016 was the publishing of my book, Destination Unstoppable: The Journey of No Teammate Left Behind. It is a Janus artifact in its own right, documenting my past and helping me build a future upon my unique approach to building successful teams. I have some big Destination Unstoppable irons in the fire. More to come on that in 2017.

The best part about my work is meeting remarkable people, leaders, and teams. In 2016, I met Amy Peterson, a Detroit lawyer who co-founded a non-profit charity called Rebel Nell (isn’t that a cool name?) The purpose of Rebel Nell is to support disadvantaged women. They create custom jewelry made from graffiti culled from various sites in Detroit. In the process, Amy and her team transfer business and life skills to the employees so that they can build a better future for themselves and their families. I had the honor of working with Amy and her team, including the first round of women she has supported. It was fascinating and moving to hear their stories, and how the investment in their talents was giving them confidence. They all loved learning about their strengths, and there were a few that could give the athletes I work with a run for their money! Command, Self-Assurance, Woo… it was wonderful.

Amy Peterson

Amy’s strengths include the power package of Achiever, Activator, Restorative, and Futuristic, all wrapped in the beautiful warmth of Empathy. Amy can clearly envision how to swiftly remove the roadblocks to a better future for these women, and is deeply connected to their situation and experiences. I admire her. The great news is that she’ll be in New York City on Tuesday, January 3rd to speak about Rebel Nell on the Harry Connick Jr show! It will air on Thursday, January 5th. Let’s all send her lots of encouragement and positive energy. I know she’ll do great and can’t wait to see her on television! Here is the Rebel Nell website. All of the jewelry is beautiful. I think the cuff links are truly unique and would make a great gift for the men in your life.

http://www.rebelnell.com/

I continue to work with multiple sports teams, including my third Cranbrook Hockey Team. We held two workshops right before Christmas and oh my goodness, what a remarkable group of young men. There are ten new players this year. It is thrilling to watch them on the ice and work with them off the ice. Their team success statement is better than chocolate.

Cranbrook Hockey Team

LOOKING BACK

As I look back on 2016, my go to strength was Achiever. I’ve accomplished a lot since I decided to leave IBM. However, it’s been two years since I had a proper vacation. Remember when I lived in Savannah? That was in the fall of 2014. Since then, it’s been non-stop action.

LOOKING FORWARD

As I look forward to 2017, I will dial back my Achiever just a little bit. I’m going to fill that void with Ideation and Strategic so that I harness the full potential of those irons I have in the 2017 fire. The result, I hope, will be a slightly more focused and prioritized approach to the expenditure of my precious energy. I might even take a vacation and invest in my inner world!

What strength did you use the most in 2016? What strength will you dial up in 2017, and why? What is your inner Janus whispering to you? Are you listening?

Happy New Year to one and all!

Maureen  (Ideation | Strategic | Learner | Achiever | Individualization | Maximizer)

2 thoughts on “The Janus Effect

  1. Maureen, what an AWESOME year you’ve had! It didn’t just happen, that’s for sure… you’ve been taking little and big steps for years that Destination Unstoppable and amazing experiences for clients would be possible. I was thrilled to read that you’ll give your Achiever a chance to recharge and crank the engine on your Ideation and Strategic in 2017!
    What’s with you “might” even take a vacation and invest in your inner world! You MUST! Do I hear you? Say it out loud: “I AM TAKING vacation and AM INVESTING in my inner world.” Make the commitment – YOU deserve it! Big celebratory hug! Vicki

  2. Vicki! You always help me see the light! Thank you for your wonderful remarks. “I am taking vacation and investing in my inner world!” (I just said that aloud). So here’s the interesting thing. As described in Destination Unstoppable, I take “thought walks.” I go for a walk and think. I was on one of those Monday, Jan 2, walking on the sidewalk in my neighborhood, thinking. All was well until suddenly, when a moment before I’d been upright and normal, I was lying on the sidewalk. I’d been attacked from behind by a dog that had escaped from the home which I had just passed. No warning, no sound, I was “tackled” and oddly enough, recall no sense of “I’m falling.” I was lying on the cement. The owner came out and asked if I was okay as he tried to get the dog back in the house. I said I thought I was, and then I remember clearly saying, “You might have warned me.” He said he had tried. I got up, limped home (my right foot and left hip were in pain), and within 10 minutes, I could put no weight on the foot at all. My brother took me to the ER. Serious sprain, no broken bones, and I see an orthopedic guy next week. I’ve been on crutches and in an aircast but still can’t put weight on it. In short, I’ve had some “time to think” on the couch, foot elevated, iced, lots of ibuprofen and I’m waiting to feel a lot better. Tried of crutches and stairs (my two story home), crutches and cooking, crutches and lugging a bottle of water. No shower yet either! Maybe tomorrow… (TMI). We make plans and life changes them. That’s okay – adapt and overcome! Thank you for your encouragement, my friend, now and always. Eager to see the mindfulness movement you are creating in IBM expand even more in 2017. Well done!

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