Why Big Projects Have a Backstory

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels

I’m about to embark on one of the biggest—and most thrilling—projects of my professional life: creating a Strengths-based culture at my new workplace, Carter Myers Automotive (CMA). But before I go on, I must recognize the people and experiences that have led me here.

We are never standing on our own. We are a product of who and what came before because they’ve had a part in forming who we’ve become and what we can do. This is to say, everyone comes from somewhere.

Although I’ve never attempted a project of this scope, I feel sublimely prepared because of the people who took a chance on me and the previous experiences that grew me. I feel ready to step into this new thing, realizing I’m merely a steward of what was given to me.

I’m thankful that:

  • EnergyCAP gave me my start and let me experiment with Strengths on a corporate level.
  • Penn State signed me up as a learning partner and opened so many of their workplace teams to me.
  • Businesses like Aramark, DiamondBack, Orangetheory, RIVANNA Medical, and Videon let me introduce Strengths to their employees.

I’m also thankful that:

  • I learned how to keep my cool while leading workshops despite what happened right before (getting a speeding ticket, learning of bad medical news, being up all night, feeling majorly triggered emotionally).
  • I got comfortable public speaking despite it once being a deep fear of mine and being a solid introvert.
  • I was able to innovate the material and provide strategic processes to educate, align, and empower around Strengths.

Each of the opportunities I was given helped me to get a little more comfortable, a little more confident, and a little more competent. Now on the eve of training our company’s general managers on Strengths (gulp), I feel humbled, honored, and excited for what lay ahead.

I consider this one of the biggest—and most thrilling—projects of my professional life because at CMA we have:

  • 1,200 employees
  • 23 locations
  • A mix of full-time and part-time workers
  • One Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach (me)

To do this successfully, we need to:

  • Get buy-in from company influencers and leaders.
  • Provide the CliftonStrengths® assessment to every employee.
  • Facilitate training opportunities that fit different schedules.
  • Disseminate learning resources that are accessible and useful.
  • Insert Strengths into critical business areas like onboarding, performance management, job coaching, team building, and goal setting.
  • Keep the movement fresh and alive.

Sound challenging? It will be! But I’m not alone.

Our executive leadership team has already blessed the initiative, and I’ve got a great team to help. As an independent consultant, I was so used to doing everything on my own, but now I don’t have to! When I invited members of our People Team to help, many of them jumped at the opportunity.

Already team members have:

  • Attended support training.
  • Administered the assessment.
  • Compiled reports and materials.
  • Created intranet pages to support the movement.

I’m grateful for their support already. Without them, this movement wouldn’t be possible.

Our goal is to help our employees to own their strengths. We’ll help them to identify their strengths, aim them in the right direction, and grow them. We believe that everyone wins when workers use their strengths for daily work.

So, God willing, that’s where we’re headed at CMA. But there’s a lovely backstory as well, thanks to EnergyCAP and Penn State and all the others.

Keep in touch and I’ll let you know how the whole thing is going…and don’t forget to thank those who’ve helped you to become more comfortable, more confident, and more competent in the wonderful things that you're doing. 

Note: The views and opinions in this post belong to the author.

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