Unique Talents, Strengths, and Values

We talk about unique talents, strengths and values. We rave about following our dreams and passions.

But how many of us really know who we are? How many of us have actually stopped to create a vision, a guiding light at the end of the tunnel that will express our purpose?  Do we stop to ponder, articulate and think about our values while making decisions?  In searching for the perfect job, for example, do we stop often enough to think about what we would do if working for free?  If we desire control over our own life, then we need to be accountable to creating that sort of life.  We need to follow the inspiring story of such single-minded performers as Steve Mazan. who actualized his possibly dying Self from the heart of the concentric circle where his strengths, talents and values came together.

I just finished reading the galley of his touching book, Dying to Get on Letterman, a comedian with cancer, wondering if he would make it more than five years post diagnosis. Here is a man with a passion to make it in stand up. Like most stand up comics, he knew how to measure success in the field: you get the green light to a late night TV show.  Now, not yet in mid life, Steve’s dream became compounded by a deadline now likely needing to be closer than ever before.

He had a passion for making people laugh: to give them a temporary moment to simply forget their troubles. Beyond humor, he demonstrates in this exciting read, many values: perseverance, hard work, reciprocity in relationships, mastery, and unflappability. As the famously successful college basketball coach, John Wooden, liked to say, “failure of preparation is preparation for failure.” Well this performer inspires and touches us in sharing his journey where undaunted, successful preparation was preparation for success.  Read it and weep.

The book will be published in October, 2011 by HCI. And the documentary of the same name has already won awards and hopefully the producers will collect sufficient funds to be shown in cities beyond festivals in New York, Los Angeles and Cleveland. Check out and make a contribution at the following link:


And note my upcoming Career Webinar for Alumnae of Brown University –

 Identifying Your Unique Talents and Values

It takes a combination of self knowledge and relationship building savvy to find the right career path. During this presentation we will talk about how to focus on your strengths, clarify your values and seek a career aligned with your skills. Understanding your innate qualities will prepare you for a successful career search.

Shel Miller ’69, founder, Executive Perspective
Friday, December 16, 12 – 1 p.m. (ET)

Learn more

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