The only thing more interesting than a story about another person is a story about our own self.
Why is this so?
Because, naturally, most of us are more interested in reading about ourselves than reading a condensed history of the ten most famous people who ever lived.
This is the natural way of human behaviour and there doesn’t seem to be any indication that this is suddenly about to change.
In 100 words or less, post a story about yourself.
Focus on your Top Strength from DFQ#6 and think of an amusing story that illustrates, or derives from, your top strength.
As you think about this story, recall some details about the setting, the people involved, the provocation and the ‘punch line’ or the outcome.
Don’t feel the need to interpret the story or comment too much on it–just tell it!
We are your devoted audience. Make it a good one 🙂
(NOTE: I realise this is a bit like karaoke and asks you to step-up. But if this DFQ is not for you, no problem, just skip it. All SOT training (even leadership training) is opt-in/opt-out).
324 thoughts on “ATLC #07 – Tell us a story!”
As the youngest PR manager in the region, I was once confronted by my MD about an error in an article. He came straight at me, fuming mad and demanded somebody’s head. It was my first time encountering such anger and, despite the fear, I automatically took responsibility for the error as I was the leader of my team. He eventually calmed down after we explored ways to handle the error and get back to the reporter with a correction. I didn’t realise my team heard the whole event and it made us closer and more effective. That day I learned that despite facing anger and being fearful, a leader must first and foremost take full responsibility and protect his or her team. The second learning was that errors are not always as dramatic as they first appear and can be fixed with the proper relaxed attention and decision. It’s more important to pick yourself up and fix the error than to go on a rampage. That MD and I are still friends decades later.
I was 10 years old and I was designated by my teacher as a “kawan” leader of the Grade 4 boy scouts. As the kawan leader, I carry the yellow flag of the kawan. There where about 120 boy scouts who were under the kawan. One day, we were marching through a mountain near the beach. The destination point was a bit far and we have been walking for over an hour – tired and hungry under a searing sun. I was at the lead of that procession when I realized that the march was already broken. Some kids were tired and slow. Some stopped. If the situation continues, some kids would be left behind and because the trail was not clearly marked, might even get lost. I sprung into action. I went back to to the tail of the march and directed the other boy scouts to walk faster and connect with the main group. I ran to the front to give instructions to slow down and went back to the en end to egg my fellow students to keep up. I was doing this back and forth for several times until we all reached the camp site. I was too exhausted when we reached the camp site. I sat at the corner of the camp, drank some water and watched the boy scouts play. I was too exhausted but I was happy.
Love of learning and curiosity can sometimes distract a person’s attention from their own self interest.
A number of years ago I decided to move into new premises which involved entering into an informal sub-lease with the occupant who was an accountant. After I moved in, the accountant asked me for a contribution toward his bond which I paid. A number of years later the accountant got into financial difficulty and had to negotiate his departure from the office. He reminded me of the bond contribution which I had totally forgotten about. I was able to factor the contribution into my negotiations with him. After the accountant had left I mentioned the bond contribution to the landlord who advised me that he had never received a bond from the accountant.
Before attending medical school in South Dakota, I was a graduate student in the University of Nebraska. During this time, I was working and making money, enough to support myself. However, after I got accepted to medical school, I had to move to a new state and start a new life. I had to do everything on my own since I did not know anyone in South Dakota. The school work was demanding to say the least and with no friends or family in the frigid winter of South Dakota I was beginning to question the wisdom of attending medical school at that time. While I was struggling to find my place in this unfamiliar environment the school’s financial office notified me that I owed them $16000 for tuition and other expenses that had to be paid within the next 2 weeks or I will be kicked out of the school. I remember driving back to Nebraska one night to bring the rest of my belonging back to my new living quarters. In that long, lonely drive I was thinking to myself that this is something that I wanted to do for a long time, so I was going to give myself only 4 weeks in medical school and to see what happened after that. If I can survive the medical school for 4 weeks I was going to stay put, otherwise I was going to quit medical school and go back to Nebraska to my old job. After that I asked god if this is something that he wants me to do, he is got to help me with this because I have no idea how I am going to pay for medical school. A couple of days later I got a call from the financial aid office that I was approved for a loan and I was to come to their office right away and pick up my check. I was very excited to hear this because at that time money was very tight. I went to the office thinking that I am going to get a big fat check. It was a big check alright, for exactly $16000. After I signed the paperwork the financial aid officer promptly notified me that I had to sign that, check back to the school for my past due tuition and expenses. So, I did not get that big payday that day, but I was able to pay the school and decided to stay in school despite all the challenges and difficulties.