"Theme Thoughts" is a quick look into one of the 34 Gallup StrengthsFinder 2.0 Themes. I'll try and do one of these posts each week, and will share what I've learned from stories and ideas shared by other strengths coaches, as well as my personal thoughts, experiences and applications.
Input has been defined as an awareness and acquisition of resources that have utility - that have productive resourcefulness (books, ideas, quotes, electronics, kitchen gadgets, tools, etc).
My #2 is Input.
Like my #1 Learner, it was very easy for me to accept my inner Input. I love to read and I love to collect books! It's difficult, or maybe impossible for me to walk into a bookstore or hop on Amazon without purchasing at least one book. After recently moving, I found out how many books I had accumulated (the majority of which I haven't read), but that doesn't keep me from falling victim to the all-to-easy 1-click Amazon.
In addition to books, I collect quotes and ideas in a journal that I carry with me most everywhere. My memory isn't great, so this helps me gather information and also serves as a great reminder of where I've been and where I want to go. Jim Rohn used to say, "Don't trust your memory. When you listen to something valuable, write it down. When you come across something important, write it down."
Input vs. Hoarding
I honestly don't know what the difference is between the two. I guess hoarding would be the extreme basement of Input, where the accumulation of stuff has negatively impacted your daily life. I just collect books, and as of today, I can still safely get into and out of my office :). But I do understand the seemingly needless collection of stuff. I often lug around a giant expandable folder with me that is full of articles, my journal, a book or two, and printouts of ideas, quotes, or reminders for me to look in to. I'll often go days without pulling anything out of the folder, but still carry it around just in case I need something.
Input is very personal for me, not only am I looking for quotes, ideas, methods to improve my life, but the lives of future coaching/consulting clients.
Curt Liesveld has used the metaphor of Input being like a sponge. With Input there is an agenda. The role of the sponge is not simply to soak up or accumulate, but rather to transport. For me, it's transferring the knowledge I have gained from nearly 100 books, countless articles, TED talks, etc. on personal development, organizational development, company culture and strengths-based philosophies.
3 Steps to Living With Input (no need to check into a clinic)
1.) Embrace your Input
Many will misunderstand your need to collect; I know my wife shakes her head every time a new book shows up in the mail. But don't shy away from your input, embrace it. You know these items will add value in the future for you or someone else. These items also give you life, they represent your passions & allow you to contribute at your highest level.
2.) Adopt some system of organization
For your own sanity, you have to adopt some system of organization. No need to go overboard here, but there's not a lot of value in having that 3/8" socket wrench (is that a thing?) or that great quote, if you can't find it fairly quickly and apply it.
3.) Find your outlet
Remember the sponge. For me, my outlet is not only applying my knowledge in my personal life but also to the individuals and organizations I work with. If you don't share your input, the value is lost. So whether it's a book, a tool, or your time, get out there and share your gift with your family, friends & clients!
Embrace Your INPUT!
husband + father + pilot + director of talent development + leadership coach + startup fan + reader of personal #development, company #culture & leadership books