I spent this past weekend at a wedding filled with 28-year-old Silicon Valley genius millionaires whose Teslas were plugged into the charging stations in the parking lot of a beautiful local museum.
(My 12-year-old son learned to pick locks, order drinks at an open bar, and dream that one day he would drive a McClaren because by the time he’s old enough to drive, Tesla’s will be so yesterday. Yes…well…that parenting note aside, let me get back to our regularly scheduled program….)
At the soldering station at the reception, I had a chance to talk to many of these incredibly talented cyber security experts. Let's just say they speak cyber security and live in a world with its own language and culture. They swim in water with words we mere mortals don't understand.
Which brings me around to you. You might think that in the face of all this genius and wealth, one could feel pretty small and ordinary by comparison. And, it struck me that you swim in your own genius, a genius that is hard for you to see because it's like telling a fish that they swim in water.
One man asked me what I do. I told him I’m an executive coach to which he replied, “what’s that?” I explained, “in the way that you get programming and cyber security, I get humans.” He understood immediately and commented that the folks in his company could really use some of that.
What I want you to see is the unique contribution you make. You bring a special gift to society, your community and/or your family every day. Own it, speak it, and learn to recognize the language you use, the things you do, and the water you swim in that is extraordinary to others and hard for you to see because you're the fish in the water.
In the face of Russian hacking and the Equifax scandal, I am grateful there are young hackers and jailbreakers (look at me, using the lingo!) putting their talents to use to protect our data, privacy, and national security.
I am also grateful that you are out there looking after finances or children or the regulations that make medical devices safe or healthcare or the law….I could go on and on.
Here’s an exercise to ground you clearly in your gift: Spend 5 minutes journaling about what wouldn’t happen or what would be left undone or unprotected if you stopped doing what you do every day. Who wouldn’t be served? What risks wouldn’t be mitigated? Whose needs would be sacrificed? Then use that data to stand solidly in your contribution.
What you do may not earn you a Tesla. What I do is certainly not going to earn me a Tesla. And, I’ve said this many times. Your contribution matters. You matter. You are a gift.
I am grateful for you.
With rebel love,