I am amazed every time I turn around there seems to be a new way to label humankind. I’m a high I, secondary D according to DISC. My MBTI says I’m a ENFP which means I like to talk, intuit, feel, and perceive stuff. My explanatory style is mildly optimistic but my hope score is thru the roof. Not sure what that one means. I love my strengthsfinder results. They have labeled me activator, command, learner, woo, and relator. Of course that’s only version 1.0. When I took version 2.0 seems my wiring disconnected woo, relator and command and quickly rewired strategic, maximizer, and belief. My IQ test is 140 (Thank you Center for Creative Leadership) which is much better than my college label of 3.0. Simon Baron-Cohen has a great test to label your right/left brainedness. Turns out I’m off the chart empathetic but my systems thinking leaves much to be desired. I could go on. I’ll stop. I believe, we love to label our teams, children, parents, neighbors, and ourselves because it’s so much easier than getting to know who they really are and who we really are! We love to rush to judge and getting all these labels just makes the job easier. I don’t come with a simple label and most likely you don’t either. I’m done trying to label my family, friends, and clients. My son, Jordan, has taught me the futility of the effort. He cannot be boxed in.
Forget your labels, friend. Do you know who you are? Have you spent time alone reflecting, thinking, and writing or are you too busy running? Until you know who you are it doesn’t make much sense adding all these tag-lines. Slow down and reflect. Take the BTL challenge and write your worldview, identity, principles (W.I.P). Now take on your 3P (Passions, Purposes, and Process). Talk to your truth tellers and builders and get busy illuminating your blindspots. Then, as you take your strengths-finders label and countless other good ones, you’ll have a strong internal matrix, your BTL core, to run ’em through.
Here’s my labeling of me. These are a subset of my Identities. I am a walking contradiction as is every human being. I’m a Christian sinner, crazy facilitator and builder of a few. I am a liberal republican/conservative democrat, lunatic/independent. I am politically confused. I am a loyal and loving husband, lousy romantic, and an impatient/loving father. I am a thinker, feeler, silly, laid back and flat out. I am a cyclist and occasional golfer. I am a healthy eater who loves sugar. I am a reader, writer, and tree hugger who loves Porsches. I am inconsistently considerate if I like you, high on empathy and low on execution, clear, concise, and direct unless you’re someone I dearly love. I am a man who can find the melody line and miss a million little details. I am a man who works in jeans and loves waking up the dead in me and you. I am a builder of individuals, teams, and leaders. I am a man full of holes becoming whole. I am distinct and deeply connected to a few (disconnected to many too). I am a lone wolf learning to follow a pack. I am a son to a strong but weakening 95 year old Mom who is a survivor of the Dust bowl and Great Depression. I am a distant son and brother. I am learning how to become distant and deeply connected with our children. I am cool, calm, and often perceived as cold. I’m weird and I care, but not that much. I am a work in process. I am not afraid of death but very afraid of dying slowly. I am a truth teller to many and true friend to a few. I am growing old but not tired with a few family, friends, and clients who love each other, love BTL, and love becoming one, distinct and deeply connected. I am Missi’s man and growing more grateful of this fact while taking her less for granted. I am more blessed and less bummed at 60 than at any point in life. I could go on. I’ll stop.
Who are you, my friend. What are the names (identities) you call yourself? When was the last time you wrote your “I am’s?” Isn’t it energizing to work on you instead of wasting time and energy labeling others? Live hard. Love harder (Thanks, Teeks)…