Column: Focus on identifying your talents and strengthening them


A natural aptitude or skill is called a talent.

Recently, I was learning about not just my talents but everyone’s talents during my public management class through Ball State University.

Before I share more about this, let me share some of my recent week serving as mayor of the best small town in America.

During my recent department visit, I had a chance to roll up my sleeves and help clean up after a thunderstorm. Much like trash and recycling, storm debris has different trucks for different items, as well. From the clamp trucks to rear load packers, they are able to accomplish a lot during the course of the day and manage to keep the overtime down for this storm event.

Most of this was accomplished, though, by teamwork, from recycling grabbing a few piles of limbs after they finished a daily route to the trash clamp jumping over and helping after the day’s routes were done to the supervisors jumping in extra equipment and placing all hands on deck to get things done. Thank you, Department of Public Works, for showing us what you are made of when times get tough.

June 26 was full of Seymour fun with the Boys and Girls Club of Seymour Youth Triathlon, followed a few hours later with Cars and Guitars in downtown.

Events like these don’t just happen. They require some area residents to come together and harness their collective talents so others can enjoy them. While I could look at those talents individually, we all know the groups had an arranger who brought it together. They had a communicator who shared it with the world. At some point, they also had someone who looked at the future to get things rolling.

Instead, though, I hope you had a chance to see the smiles on young racers’ faces as they climbed out of the pool or even more the cheers from fans as they crossed the finish line at the end. Those smiles carried over to an older crowd as you stepped into the Cars and Guitars event later the same day.

Thank you to all of the volunteers who help organize fun things for our residents to do and keep things rolling smoothly while the event is going on. Without you, Seymour would be much less exciting.

Happy retirement to Rick Ketcham. After 15 years with the city, everyone’s favorite street sweeper is giving it up. During his time with the city, he has removed more than 9 million pounds of debris from our streets and put many smiles on the faces of kids along the way. Thank you, Rick, for your often unnoticed service to the citizens of Seymour.

Back to those talents that we all have. For years, we have all been told if we work hard on improving our weaknesses, we can overcome them. While this is true, what if we focused instead on identifying our talents and strengthening them?

The reading for this session of my class is the book “Strengthfinder 2.0” by Tom Rath. During the read, you will find an access code to find your own strengths. I was not shocked to discover that one of my talents is that I am a learner. I crave more information and often find myself diving head first down the rabbit hole trying to learn as much as possible.

If you are interested in finding and understanding your strengths for work or everywhere else, get a copy ordered and work on being the best you the world can have.

I hope you will find this quote from Ben Franklin as motivation to share your talents with the world around you: “Hide not your talents. They for use were made. What’s a sundial in the shade?”

Matt Nicholson is the mayor of Seymour. Send comments to awoods@aimmedia

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