“Never underestimate the opportunity that comes from being unique!” – Futurist Jim Carroll
Do you know how unique you are?
Have you ever thought about your real strengths and weaknesses?
Do you know the superpowers to be found in your uniqueness?
Do you feel trapped in your current reality, and are unsure of how to make a leap into the unknown in order to pursue a different future?
If you do feel trapped within your career, are you willing to take the steps to pursue careers and opportunities that align with your true skill set?
Part of the art of navigating the future is finding the courage to pursue your passions – I did that almost 33 years ago when I left a traditional, boring career structure in order to pursue what eventually became an oddball life as a futurist. My good friend Scott Kress came to visit me yesterday; he also rejected a traditional career path decades ago in order to pursue a life of adventure.
We are each unique, and each of us brings unique insight to our clients – and his visit with me yesterday got me thinking about the power to be found in uniqueness. Scott came over to use my home virtual broadcast studio to film a few promotional clips for his keynotes and team-building exercises. Here’s an extract from his work yesterday; at this point, he’s speaking about his keynote topic, Learning in Thin Air.
Scott’s a pretty interesting guy – and he’s definitely not like me! He’s an introvert – I’m a bit of an extrovert.
He’s meticulously organized, while I’m totally scattershot. He’s meticulous, and I could care less about details. Somehow, we get along. I would guess he is very patient. (He also has a ski chalet near mine, and we regularly hit the hills together – until such time that he gets bored with my slow and careful technique and he needs to just go off and bomb a few high-speed runs. I had the interesting experience of going skiing with him once in Whistler, with another mountaineering buddy of his. Let’s just say he’s a bit more adventurous than I am, not to mention fit!)
What’s his passion? Living out on the edge! Scott has summited Mt. Everest (pictured), scaled the 7 Summits (the tallest peak on each continent), has cross-country skied to the South Pole a few times, and has led various winter expeditions as well as climbs to Mt. Kiliminjaro. His book, Learning in Thin Air, does a remarkable job of outlining his adventures, as well as the unique leadership and team-building insight he shares in his keynotes, workshops, and group exercises.
Scott actually spends a lot of his time with his clients working them through the issues of building great team culture, and so as the world comes back from Covid, he’s actually seeing a huge uptick in demand – organizations are seeking how to realign their culture as people slowly come back into the office, whether on a full or part-time basis. Yesterday, when he came to visit me, he was just returning from delivering such a session for Google. The team-building stuff he talks about isn’t just motivational fluff – he shares some pretty powerful insight as to how to forge an effective team to scale a summit at 29,000 feet. If you can’t do this – it won’t go so well. The same insight is used to help a group discover its cohesiveness and abilities.
Back to the topic of uniqueness – Scott and I could not be more different! And that is to be found in the Myers-Briggs assessment that he does within some of his workshops – it’s a powerful way to discover your abilities and strengths.
And this is where each of us is so unique. On the assessment, Scott is an INFP –
A Mediator (INFP) is someone who possesses the Introverted, Intuitive, Feeling, and Prospecting personality traits. These rare personality types tend to be quiet, open-minded, and imaginative, and they apply a caring and creative approach to everything they do.
Me? I’m totally ENTP!
Extroverted, Intuitive, Thinking, Perceiving are the core traits that distinguish an ENTP personality type. Also commonly known as the “debater” personality, ENTPs are confident, outspoken and charismatic.
Give us a room, and I’ll be the loudmouth drawing attention – Scott will be sitting to the side, quietly reflective, taking it all in. I think it took him a long time to warm up to me, LOL.
So what is the point of all this?
Everyone brings their own unique skills to their world, learning how to navigate the trends, challenges, and opportunities it presents. Scott excels at leading complex adventures with groups of people, building an effective and cohesive team as he goes. Me? I challenge people to think about their world and how to get there using their enthusiasm and creativity!
Consider this from two perspectives. First, if you aren’t thinking about your own unique abilities, or aren’t living within them – maybe you should! I remember when I had my first Myers-Briggs back in 1988 when I was going through my career crisis. I was advised that I certainly was NOT like most of the people I worked with in a large professional services firm – I wasn’t even close! – and that maybe I should pursue my passion! So I did!
Second, you need different skills at different times to help you navigate and succeed in our increasingly complex world When it comes to Scott and me – I’ll tell you what your future is going to look like, and how you need to challenge yourself to get there. Scott will help you actually understand how to get there by discovering your own strengths, and how to build an effective team culture that can lead you there.
Be unique – and build your future through the unique skills you need to get there.