At a recent presentation, an audience member recommended talking in the future about what has helped create my personal career accomplishments.  I don't recall ever being asked that intriguing question before, and the answer isn’t covered in any one place on the Brainzooming blog. That's more than enough reason to take a run at sharing the most important 6 gifts behind personal career accomplishments in my life so far:

1. My Parents

Beyond supplying the DNA, growing up with my parents absolutely shaped how I think about hard work, accomplishments, and the right ways to achieve success. Plus, the fact they're so different from each other provided a wide variety of personality characteristics to wind up adopting. That's why I describe myself as an introvert (much more like my mom), but lots of people who know me think I'm very outgoing (like my dad). It's been wonderful to have such a wide field to play on throughout my life.

2. Cyndi

As high school seniors, our instructor, Fr. Mike Scully, O.F.M. Cap, told us two things: Wait until you're 25 to get married and marry your best friend. Being one to take solid advice, I got married when I was 24 years and 11 months to my best friend in the world, Cyndi. For all my tendencies to be contemplative about decisions, Cyndi is the one who pushes us to act, even if she has to trick me into doing it. When I was wandering spiritually, she was integral in me receiving the greatest gift ever - the rekindling of my faith (see the next point).

3. Spirituality

It wasn't until I truly returned to the Catholic Church after a more than 10 year absence that I realized how influential spirituality had been in my life. Going to mass every day for many years now, you get exposed to a lot of the Bible, and I've been continually amazed at how many of the lessons that have shaped me are right there. This is especially surprising since I'd never gone to daily mass other than for a few months earlier in my life. Somehow the messages got to me through family, school, and a weekly dose on Sundays, however, and I wouldn't be me without it.

4. Strategic Mentors

I've written about the three individuals who have been my most important strategic mentors on previous occasions. Each of them was (and in two cases, still are) important influences in how I think about, plan for, and conduct myself in business.

5. Gifts from God

At heart, it is hard not to be influenced by the talents we were blessed enough to receive. I was truly blessed to receive an eclectic mix of talents across a wide variety of areas. This has led to wide diversity of interests and a huge benefit of being able to adapt and change my focus throughout my career (i.e., ranging from being a left-brained researcher at the start of my career to a right-brained marketing communications leader). Every positive has its downside, and while having a breadth of interests, I do not have the gift of a deep and focused expertise in any one area.

6. Opportunities to be on Stage

For somebody who is a self-described introvert in new one-on-one interactions, I love to be up in front of a group of people. This is especially true if I am using gifts I have been given to share learnings with an audience. Because people who know me interpersonally are always surprised when the quiet guy gets up in front of a group and seems to have a different personality, being on stage has been a regular opportunity to surprise people, create expanded perceptions, and open new career opportunities. Certainly in my corporate career, the ability to get up in front of a group and improvise content led to a whole host of new opportunities.

Enough About Me – What About You?

Turning this great question around to you, what have been the gifts behind your personal career accomplishments?

No Blog Tomorrow

Tomorrow is Good Friday, so in keeping with tradition around here, there won't be a new blog post published. See you back here Monday! – Mike Brown

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