Are You Standing Tall, or Just Sitting? (Worklife)

iStock_000027630618Medium_manstretchingNYCDoing your best triumphantly, in any given situation, requires you to be keenly aware of what you ‘bring to the race’.   This Your Next Triumph series post (the second) will explore awareness of your self.

In the Boston Marathon, for example, a seasoned, well-conditioned Runner will surely fare better than an occasional, out-of-shape runner.    In fact, the casual runner may not even finish the race.    Conversely, the well-prepared runner (like the man in the photo above) just wonders WHEN he’ll finish the marathon – not if he will finish it.   Guess what?   In our work lives, those who ‘sit’ aren’t getting the victory.    Those who stand, who Stand Tall, can – and often do.

Coach Potatoes Need Not Apply

Those who are just sitting aren’t on the path to their next triumph.   These Career Coach Potatoes, it goes without saying, are not even standing up.   On the other hand, those who are standing are better positioned than their coach-parked counterparts.

I believe you need to be Standing Tall to be fully ready for the 2nd Awareness (i.e. awareness of your situation).

  • These Christians are ready to face any situation they might face.   The specific situation will, of course, dictate the right steps for you to take.
  • They are moving towards ‘the finish line’.
  • They understand that, at times, even inaction -i.e. standing still- can work against them.   There are risks in Standing Still.   In short, such standers aren’t ready for many of the situations they might face.   With an ever changing economy and workplace, simply standing still will often set you back – without you taking a single step!    If the ‘finish line’ moves, you need to respond accordingly.

Alert: If you are a Coach Potato, please get off the coach and Stand Tall!   If you are standing still, if you aren’t in tune to ‘finish line movement’ (e.g. changes in the job marketplace, signs your employer might have to layoff people, etc.), you can miss your career blessing too.

LESSON: If you are self-aware, you are well positioned for making the right moves – for any career situation you face.     Envision Isaiah 40:31.

  • But those who wait on the Lord Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint. (Isaiah 40:31/New King James Version)

The ‘Unaware’ Might Not Triumph

How do I become self aware?   In simplest terms, it is through self assessment that you can develop self awareness.

A Christian worker who is self aware has a solid sense of where they stand on the following:

  • Skills
  • Strengths
  • Relevant Weaknesses
  • Abilities and Gifts
  • Knowledge

How do I conduct the self assessment needed to be keenly self aware?

In my Career coach/Career education work, with the ministry I founded in 2009 (Dare to Work Ministry), I highly recommend the following two books.

1. StrengthFinders 2.0 (Tom Rath, Gallup Press). The online test, free with book purchase, will give you your top five (5) strengths.  The book will tell you, based on those strengths, which career and personal situations you’ll likely excel in.   The simple, one-hour test is, I’ve found, quite accurate.    Leveraging your strengths, once acknowledged, will lead you to a more successful and victorious career!   The 1 hour to take the test may be the smartest career development hour you invest this year.

2. What Color is Your Parachute? (Richard Bolles, Ten Speed Press)   The ‘Flower exercise’ in this book is a great way to reveal your key transferable skills.   These ‘motivated skills’ would be a part of the ideal job for you.   While more time-consuming than the Strengths Finder test, the results will be very revealing.   When I did it in 2010, I saw some patterns that I wasn’t aware of – and which really shocked me.

  • With the skills and strengths you’ll discover, if you take the Rath test and do Bolles’ Flower exercise, you will be fully ready for the topic of next week’s Series post – awareness of Your Situation.


  • Daniel Goleman.  His work on emotional intelligence (Interview) and ‘soft skills’ is extraordinary.    I will cover specific suggestions of Goleman later in this series.
  • Martina McGowan, MD.   A self awareness post (Build Your self-awareness) she wrote is worth a read.   Following the suggestions she makes, in addition to the two exercises I’ve suggested above, will serve you well.

Stand Tall: As a Self-aware Champion

In closing, I pose this question: Do you want to be ‘more than a conqueror’?   If you do, you need to do more than just be a saved, but often sitting Career Coach Potato.   The power that comes from knowing yourself well, being self aware, will boost your chances of triumphal career outcomes.   If you ‘stand tall’ you’ll be well positioned to be a Champion in any career or job-related situation you find yourself in.   Are you ‘on the coach’ or walking to your next Career Triumph?

Grace, mercy, and peace to You.     To be continued (next Thursday)

 Greg Silverthorne, 66 Assurance Way

Photo Credit: istock


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