posted on Monday, July 23, 2018
There are many short lists that are used to describe people’s personalities. Things like, the glass is half full or half empty. I always liked it when Ed Thomas described personality traits as two types of people: givers and takers.
Today I’m asking you, and I, to take a moment to think about what type of person we are by picking from a list of three choices. Let’s ask ourselves (honestly) which of the following statements best describes our self-talk or who we are most often. If that’s too hard, think about what others would describe you as.
- This will get me by, or "good enough."
- I will do whatever you ask.
- I will do everything you ask and more.
OK, yes, answers may vary depending on how important we perceive an individual task to be. We also may prioritize our tasks on a “to do” list and some tasks may get done at a #1 or a #2 level so that we can complete our list. That all seems normal. And I’m sure we all like to think we fit option #3, but is that really true for us all? The reason I’d like to be able to pick #3 to describe myself is that of what I have observed in others from working with people over many years.
When asked, “How would you describe the best students you ever had?” #3 would be a quality that all of the top students demonstrated. When asked, “How would you describe the best teachers you ever worked with?” #3 would also be a quality that the best teachers share. The most successful teams and athletes that have come out of our school could also be described as a #3.
#3 behaviors include things like arriving early, staying late, and working with great effort. It also includes performing tasks at a high level, with a positive attitude, while inspiring and helping others along the way. This person is never done working, as they are always looking for more ways to contribute to the group. We all know these types of people– constantly asking, “What can I do to help?”
In the end, if we ask ourselves what number others would pick to describe us, most of us probably would be hoping they’d pick #3. I challenge you to really think about what it takes to fit that personality. Are you doing everything you can and more to accomplish a goal, or do you simply get it done to check it off your list?
"Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate that is wide and the way is easy leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate that is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few."
Strive to be the type of person that can be described as one that does whatever is asked and more. Never stop asking, “How can I help?”
Al Kerns & the Ed Thomas Family Foundation This post is written by Al Kerns, a long-time friend of Ed Thomas and a team member with the Ed Thomas Family Foundation. Al coached with Ed for 30+ years at Aplington-Parkersburg.