It took a long time for me to learn, and like, that my “train like you fight” personality, which can be “too big” for some, is also my superpower. I make friends, and appreciate colleagues, who love banter and hard core verbal “scrimmages,” who challenge me at every level, and who count on me to challenge them.
I met one of the most treasured people in my life, now my adopted “brother,” when he invited me to work for him, and then with him, at a previous employer. We LOVE “gloves off” sparring, that has entertained many observers, and even caused the CEO we reported to at the time to say (while laughing), “I would never want to see the two of you if you actually disliked each other.” He is one of the smartest, most talented and kind people I know, and I was in a very unique position in my work with him, that gave me many opportunities to see him earn the respect and even the admiration, of top leaders, colleagues, and even competitors, who initially grossly underestimated him. I know that when he needs to “power up,” I couldn’t ask for a better person to have in my corner.
Many of my contacts will laugh as they read that paragraph, because you’ll know EXACTLY who I am referring to.
You don’t build mental, verbal, physical or other strengths when you are taking it easy, or when your mind is working at a “Sunday stroll” pace. You build strength when you are challenged, in new ways, over and over.
In my case, years of building strength and of becoming confident that I can be “killer tough” when called on, also made me more loving, and calm, and a better listener, and it significantly reduced the amount of drama that enters my life. I learned that because I am confident that I can take care of myself and the clients and people I value when I need to, I can be more selective about which issues and battles are really worth the energy.
So now on most days, my “big personality,” is often one of the most relaxed and docile ones in the room.
Business is hard. Life throws curve balls at us. Competition can be fierce. Things can “hit the fan,” and people who were counted on to deliver, may drop the ball. When something really matters, we all want to be able to count on someone we trust to be kind, appropriate, and professional and classy, but who is also loyal, experienced, and formidable enough, to succeed where others could not.
I have learned that it’s just fine that I am not a “right fit” for every friendship, every client, or every job.
If you ARE my client, or my colleague, or among the other people who may ask me to “step up” for you at a critical time, I’m just glad that I’ll be among the limited number of people who will have “trained like you fight” enough, and have the talent and drive, to deliver for you.