Nov 19 2011
Who are you for others – your unique gifts
I’m sitting in the Red Bird wine and scotch bar in Truro, Nova Scotia enjoying a drink after a delicious meal. Steve and Marlene own the Redbird. Steve tends bar while Marlene is the chef. No one “waits” on tables; no one is a “server”. Both Steve and Marlene are gracious hosts who welcome everyone to the Red Bird and create a comfortable experience for them.
Certainly there are some regulars and you would expect that they would feel comfortable here. But I live in Surrey, B.C. and that’s a long way from Truro. I’m here on business and visiting the Redbird for about the 6th time in four trips over the past 18 months. Not quite a regular but not my first visit. Both Steve and Marlene know my name, my wife’s name, that I have grandkids, and my preference for red wine and McCallan scotch. They know this because they’re interested in me, what I do and what I care about. I’m not a “table” or the “chicken parm”.
Marlene makes a great meal (don’t’ worry about whether it’s on the menu, if we have the ingredients we’d be happy to make it for you) and Steve is a wealth of information about scotches and wines – where they’re from and how they’re made and world supply and demand. He is also a distant relative of Karl Creelman who rode his Redbird bicycle around the world in 1902.
I’m not sure if Marlene and Steve are clear about their unique gifts and talents but what they create is so welcoming and comfortable, I visit every time I’m in Truro. I’m clear that’s a gift of theirs whether they know it or not. Everyone has unique gifts and strengths but often they’re not aware of what those gifts are. Often your idea of who you are and your greatest contribution doesn’t line up with others’ experience of you because you find it so natural.
Your greatest contribution is often easy or automatic; you can’t imagine doing it any other way. You see, others have the best view of the difference you make just by showing up. While you can see the difference others make just by showing up but you can’t clearly see the difference you make. You can’t see it because you don’t see what it was like before you arrived, how it changed when you arrived and what happened after you left. Only others see that. So whether we’re talking about your presence at a meeting, a family dinner or while you’re passing through on this planet, get interested in the difference you make just by showing up. It’s not about what you do; it’s about who you are.
Become more of who you are; enjoy making your unique contribution; then make more of that, more intentionally.