Life can be very frustrating when we know we possess talents and gifts, but they seem to do us little good. The fact is, we may not have found the right time and place yet. A great example was Former President Ulysses S. Grant. Most of us know that Ulysses Grant was also the victorious general of the civil war. But few might know that at the outset of the civil war he was not even in the Army. General/President Grant entered the military originally only because his father enrolled him in West Point. After becoming a student, he aspired to one day be a mathematics teacher.
He served the military several years, mostly as a clerk, until he was stationed in the Pacific Northwest. He was far removed from his beloved wife and became despondent and depressed. This is when he was first identified for his problem with drinking. After a few incidents, he was presented the opportunity to resign from the military, and to return home. He then unsuccessfully tried his hand at business. A common man now, with a less than flattering track record, he remained in Ohio. That is when war broke out in the nation. Soon, his abilities were solicited to help enrolling troops. Finally, he rejoined the military. After a short time his field accomplishments made him a major player in the western campaign. Driven by a goal of victory, President Lincoln identified the General as like-minded, and soon he was given enlarged command over the military. Although criticized for being bloodthirsty, he was relentless in pursuing the task before him. And extremely successful. He produced a triumphant victory for the Union in the Civil War. His moment came, and he responded.
A misconception exists that if we are successful at one thing, we will be successful in all things. This is important to remember whether we are examining ourselves, or recruiting others. It is also important to recognize not every moment produces a hero, but a hero may arise for the moment. Today, stereotypes and pigeon holes direct us without mercy into ideas of unrealistic expectancy. Talents and timing that created yesterday’s superstar do not always translate into tomorrow’s victory. Likewise, just because a manager fails to lead well, or a leader fails to manage well, does not mean they are a failure. We must find our fit and our time. Destiny exists in the future, not the past. Have a watchful eye for the opportunity that will fulfill your strengths.
Understand your goals, find your moment, be passionate, and when the time comes, excel!
written by James Anderson