My first encounter with Curt Lisveld was in a classroom on the Gallup Campus. Curt is the guy that taught me everything I know about strengths. He made it real for me.
I was seated in the last row for the first ever Gallup Accelerated Strengths Coaching Course in the world. Curt was up front facing all of us. To this day, I can still hear that distinct voice of his. It is uniquely Curt’s with that gaspy tonality.
“Your talent themes shape you and it makes you who you are,” Curt would say. And that is true. Even more so for the many of us who are in this strengths journey. We realized that we cannot become who we are not, but we can become “a bigger, better version of who we already are.” Yep. That’s another Curt quote.
This reminds me of when I saw and touched ancient wood in some of the most beautiful temples in Kyoto, Japan. Looking at this wood that’s been exposed to the environment for many years, I realized something. The environment hadn’t changed the wood, but rather, it defined the wood. Through the years of facing the elements of the environment, cracks had formed and they were etched deep into the grains of the wood. And by gosh, they were beautiful!
I saw the cracks as a metaphor for the things and elements we face in life. There is no running away from them and the best way to face them head on is to be true to who we are. Only then can we stand our ground and deal with them in the very best way we have been uniquely fashioned to do.
So from the ancient woods of Kyoto to the world: Stay your shape, no matter what.
Do Love. Do Best.