How One Team Member Connects Her Talents to Her Areas of Strength

Uncategorized Feb 15, 2019

Molly Johnston is Talent2Strength's Director of Communications, and has been with T2S since August 2018. She enjoys working for T2S and helping our company grow. In this article, we talk to Molly about how her involvement in helping run her family business, and her past experience working with the general public. Molly has spent years working in government and medical positions, which has helped develop her areas of strength.

Molly lives on a small farm in Oklahoma where they have cows, chickens, horses etc. She and her husband have a business in construction and they have three girls under the age of 7. When she is not spending her time working for T2S she is focusing on juggling her other roles of mother, wife, running a business, and helping tend to the animals. Molly's top 5 themes are: Individualization, Focus, Empathy, Responsibility, and Developer. Over the course of connecting to her talents, Molly has realized just how energized she is by her relationships. She continues to foster those relationships that she has developed in the talent2strength community and looks forward to meeting more people.

Can you describe your role as a social worker in the past?

My position as a social worker created challenges and opportunity to show others another way to solve their problems. Working close with families and individuals can be a rewarding job, but you have to prepare yourself, some problems just cannot be solved. You have to learn to grow from experience and overcome them.

What did you enjoy in that role?

There are people to meet and get to know. I have grown respect for their individual qualities and often intrigued on how they use them. I had a few different roles while I was working as a social worker but my favorite one was managing a case load of people with special needs. I developed compassion on a level I did not know existed, I was given the task to keep therapists and home living staff on schedule to help the individual get their daily needs met. As manager we advocated for the client to have a meaningful day and encouraged daily outings with support staff. Above all, in this position, the individual needs always came first. I took on this leadership role and maintained a high level of responsibility to prove to others and myself, that I was valuable. I took comfort in knowing others could rely on me to complete my job and my clients were healthy and safe. All of my talents were activated in this position. My talent focus was perceived to encompass responsibility to make sure the job was completed in the best/efficient way possible.

Was there an area you felt was particularly meaningful?

I enjoyed the learning that was involved for this position. The training for a job like this is extensive and depending on your position, was the type of training you received. As a social worker, your training never ends, usually due to policy changes to the system or to help keep your mind fresh with all the information and techniques needed to complete the job on a daily bases. 

After a year of training to learn the position, it was apparent others valued my work, it energized me to know I made a difference and there was purpose. I enjoyed mentoring others and helping them learn their jobs. I often was chosen to train new people when they entered the office. It was important to me to be efficient in my job and I felt motivated to share my best practices with any co-worker I observed to be struggling in hopes to help them save time and effort while completing their tasks. I am satisfied knowing I have contributed to others success.

What in particular led you to connect with helping people in the role of training?

Beginning a new job can be scary, exciting, and difficult. There is usually contrast at the beginning and fear of the unknown. When I see new people who are overwhelmed with the idea of starting over, I cannot help but to make them feel they have a friend that cares about them and provide assistance to point them in the right direction.

You transitioned out of this role. Can you say more about why?

This profession was a great outlet for me to excel, and then it gradually changed over time. It began to no longer be a good individual-environment fit for me. I was genuinely happy to be part of something bigger then myself and make a difference. This job came to an end when my second daughter was born and my responsibility theme took over. My desire to work was still strong, but my duty to be a supportive mother to my children was no comparison. I knew what I had to do. I was prompted to pursue working towards helping my family to grow and nurture their own talents. I gave up my position of serving others and focused on my family. There is a daily struggle with being a parent and deciding the right course of action for the day. Consistency is also very important in child rearing. One day you think you have got the gist of things and the next day throws you for a loop.

Can you describe how your Individualization theme comes into play as a parent?

Through individualization I see each of my daughters differently. I understand three require my attention and have a need for me in different ways and all are uniquely different.

What are some daily activities where you notice your themes really firing?

My themes are thriving in other daily activities. The developer in me makes sure I have traction by makings lists, planning my day, scheduling appointments, running errands for our family owned business and taking care of our farm animals. I spend a lot of time making sure my children are properly clean, clothed and educated.

Can you give me an example?

For instance my youngest daughter is 20 months old and she is not potty trained. When she has a wet diaper, I have to change her immediately because of my responsibility and empathy themes. 1) I felt obligated and know she needs to be changed 2) I could not imagine sitting in a dirty diaper, how uncomfortable that may be. Then I am giving focus or made aware she should always be clean and to check her regularly. This activity of changing a diaper seems small but it is an activity that happens multiple times a day. I give it my attention and take pride knowing my daughter is taken care of.

How does it feel overall?

Now that my children are growing I am learning to grow with them. A lot of days are epic fails, but most of the time we are working together as a team. The strategy I use for success is recognizing the unique talents of each child and present the task at hand in a way they would find interesting.

I am currently working with Talent2Strength as the Director of Communications. I find this position exciting as it presents tasks that enhance my top five talents. The main part of my job is marketing, social media and product development. Working for a company like Talent2Strength gives me the freedom to explore what type of responsibilities are a good fit for me. I believe the material we develop helps improve people’s lives and I really enjoy that part of the work.

How do your themes show up in your current work with T2S? 

I have been able to work with intelligent people and learn how blend our style to develop a cohesive team. One of the things that attracted me to this position is my talents and experiences are diverse to the other team members. I bring a variety to the table to offer another perspective when we are trying to find solutions. I am able to work at my own pace within a given timeline. I have developed the desire to continue to work instead of feeling obligated to work.

What are you excited about in your role?

I am learning something new everyday. I am open to be creative and excel by just being myself. There is not really a right or wrong way to complete my job responsibilities. I am able to find a healthy balance with work, and spending time with my family. At T2S we value relationships and focus on teaching others how to build a strength-based life. This is a position I take ownership of and help my talents enhance my strengths. It feels good to help others in a positive way.

Has there been a particular project or task you've enjoyed and why?

At times I feel a bit nerdy when I get excited about completing tasks. I am sure other developers can agree to this. When I am prioritizing my day it gives me motivation and once I have completed my project or task I am beyond excited to feel productive that day.

What qualities do you bring to the team that you saw that they needed? 

Growing up, I was always afraid to speak my mind in front of strangers. In school my ideas were always different then how my teacher was leading the discussions. Instead of articulating this talent, and seeing it as something positive. I chose to hide and ignore it. Through age and experiences I have slowly come out of the shell and learned that when I do weigh in on the conversation, it adds value and I am engaged more and other respect my views. I wish I had been educated on living a strength-based life earlier in my life, it may have helped my decision making process easier and more enjoyable. My mother recognized problem-solving skills in me as a child and helped articulate and nurture that natural quality in me. I really appreciated her saying that to me and recognizing a quality about myself that I might not have put in to words or recognized early on. It was always something I had been told it came naturally to me. Now, as a mother, I try to practice this daily and recognize talents in my own children as well as my family and friends. People need to feel valued.

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