“We come nearest to the great when we are great in humility.”

-Rabindranath Tagore

A leader has the ability and the desire to influence others. They are not only individual contributors, but they want to be respected. They want to be someone who can communicate clearly. They want to be someone who understands their strengths and their weaknesses while authentically being themselves. The best way to do this is to learn how to lead wiser with confident humility.

It’s an important dichotomy of leadership. To best serve others and their organizations, wise leaders have to be both confident and humble.

Adam Grant is a great champion of confident humility both in his podcast and his book, Think Again: The Power of Knowing What You Don’t Know. With some of his observations in mind, as well as my own experience of leading boards and volunteers and also in my own company before I got into coaching, I want to share what I learned from my strengths and weaknesses with management and leadership.

The best way to that is to share three different areas of my life: tennis, Strengths, and leadership..


I remember when I first picked up a tennis racket, how humbling  it was to play tennis with other people who were great at tennis. They had so much more skill, knowledge, practice, and wisdom. I felt so little and so weak compared to them.

Now that I’ve been playing tennis going on 40 years, it’s still interesting to me that when I am overconfident, I tend to make more errors and I don’t play my best. But when I go into a tennis match with a balance of confident humility, it raises my focus and my ability to leverage my strengths and manage my weaknesses.

In tennis, I know I am not a great singles player. I am not patient enough or consistent enough. My weakness is playing someone who can baseline all day long. My strengths as a tennis player are at the net. When I play doubles. I have fast, quick hands, and I’m fairly quick on my feet. I’m an aggressive attacking type player. That’s my strength.

However, having the right partner that balances me out is so important in tennis. Just as it is in business and life.


Many of you have discovered your CliftonStrengths, or you’ve used some kind of strengths assessment to formally get a language for your strengths. This is a great tool in determining what energizes you and what exhausts you. But Strengths, too, can lean toward overconfidence and a lack of humility.

It’s amazing to me how many of us suffer from strengths blindness. We see ourselves as very weak. We don’t see our talents. We don’t see our abilities. We don’t see our potential. We only see our flaws, and we’re very myopic about those weaknesses because, But I’m also saying the opposite.

But on the other side of the coin, we have this strengths arrogance. This idea that we are better than others because of the specific strengths we have. We are smarter because of them. Or even that our strengths are all flowing in superpowers. There is no room for development or growth or to maximize your strengths.

A great leader understands not only the superpower of their strengths, but the blind spots and the need to develop and maximize their strengths. If you have not downloaded the new CliftonStrengths® for Leaders Report, then I highly recommend this.

Even as the world’s first Gallup Certified Strengths Coach, I’m still a novice at learning parts of my strengths that are hidden, still unknown. That means not only my superpowers but also my blind spots. That means I need relationships with other people who are comfortable telling me, “I hear your Command talent being pushy.” Or, “Just because you have Focus in your top 10 talents, you aren’t always an amazing listener.”

When I am conscious of my confident humility, I am leading at my wisest and you get the ultimate best listener out of me.


How do you lead wiser? It is a combination of understanding your strengths and your weaknesses. Similar to my definition of confident humility, the reality of leading with what your strengths and what your superpowers are, is rendered so much more effective when you’re also being realistic and vulnerable about the things that you’re not good at.

There is always more to learn, and often it’s from the very people you lead. Talk about humility – try saying this to someone you manage. “I’m a beginner. I don’t know anything. Teach me fresh and new.”

How have you leveraged your confident humility in your organization or business? Which of your strengths are your superpowers? Which are your blind spots?

If you would like to grow in your confident humility, I would like invite you to a new page on my website, Strengths-Based Masterminding. There are three options of Masterminds where you will not only meet with other like-minded professionals, but you will receive guidance through classes and a monthly focus lab.

How many meetings do you attend in a week, in a month, or even a year? Most of us either despise meetings or we are totally disengaged because we have unproductive meetings. But we need meetings. The real question is, “How can we build more productive, efficient meetings for our teams?” One solution is to implement strengths-based team meetings.

If you are the type of CEO, executive leader, or manager who is building a strength-based culture in your organization, here is my pyramid model to help you integrate strengths into four major types of team meetings.


Strengths-Based Team Meetings pyramid infographic

Download your Infographic on PDF here!


Just applying these tactics to your team meetings is one creative idea for how your organization can build on the language of strengths. It’s an organic way to engage and develop your people with strengths, creating more engagement and energizing them. It is sustainable and doesn’t take any more time or energy or effort because it is a part of your meetings.

How do you think you can implement strengths into your meetings? Are there any other opportunities to work strengths into other existing procedures? Get started today, download a PDF of your infographic here.

If you need guidance on how to best utilize your existing framework to drive a Strengths-Based organization, Ask Brent HERE.

“Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies.”

-Nelson Mandela

All of us are going to have painful experiences in our life. If we learn how to face those experiences and learn how to overcome them, we’re going to be much more successful and we’re going to be able to move forward. That’s really what coaching is about, is creating and designing a life and work that you want. So, here are seven steps to win over hurts, disappointments, and painful challenges.

Because we have these hurts, because we have these unresolved disappointments, because we haven’t learned how to forgive ourselves or other people, it keeps us in a prison. It keeps us from going forward.

The first thing I want you to do is I want you to think about some of the painful challenges you have had in your own life so far. It can be of any magnitude: small, medium or large. Now, think of your success story when you went through something painful, and you handled it successfully.

As you think back on how you resolved that period of your life, I think you’ll find it wholly, or in part, followed a path similar to these seven steps.

1 Write and verbalize what you hated in that particular hurt, disappointment, or painful challenge.
What could you not stand in that situation? What caused you to be so angry? Go ahead and write it. Say it. Get it out. Number one, write and verbalize what you hated in that situation. What you couldn’t stand, what you were angry about.

2 Write and verbalize how you were hurt.
How did you feel? How were you disappointed in that particular hurt?. Get vulnerable. Get real with that hurt and sadness.

3 Write and verbalize what you were afraid of.
You’re going from hate to hurt and now we’re going to fear. These are three toxic emotions that if we don’t face them will keep us in prison emotionally, mentally, and even successfully.

4 Write and verbalize what you are sorry for.
Now you’re turning the mirror on yourself. You’re starting to say, “Was there anything that I said I did that I’m sorry for? Was it the way I responded?” This is also the time when you begin to give self-compassion and forgiveness to yourself.

5 Write and verbalize what you wanted during this challenging time.
What did you really want? What was your hope? What was your aspiration? Was it safety? Was it kindness? Was it compassion? The more specific you are in this process, the more powerful it can be for you.

6 Write and verbalize what you now understand about the situation.
What do you understand now about yourself? What do you understand about the other person? What do you understand about life and reality? How are you wiser?

7 Finish this sentence, “I forgive you for…”
How do you forgive and move on for yourself, for that situation, for that other person?

Proverbs says, “…though, the righteous fall seven times, they rise again…” Good people fall. Good people struggle with hurts, pain, bitterness, resentment. But even in the shadow of that disappointment we can move to the light and be free. We can fulfill our purpose.

What hurt have you had in your life and how did you move past it? Did you offer genuine forgiveness from your heart?

This is at the heart of what coaching is about. It’s helping people to see what they really want personally and professionally. So, follow these seven steps. Write out your answers and get clarity on your thoughts, beliefs, and emotions. Then verbally do it with a counselor, coach, or even a support group or mastermind.

If you need help finding your way past hurt and disappointment, or if you need a coach or mentor to guide you through and help you gain clarity, schedule your Ask Brent Anything call HERE.


“Never look back and regret, look back and smile at what you have learned.”

– Michelle C. Ustaszeski-Hutchinson

Let me fill you in on a little secret. We all have regrets. I know we’re told by inspirational gurus everywhere that we should live a life of no regret, but that’s simply not the way we are wired. The key is to recognize and use that regret. Here are 3 tips to harness the power of regrets in life and work.

In Daniel H Pink’s latest book, The Power of Regret: How Looking Backward Moves Us Forward, he created the World Regret Survey and looked at 16,000 different regrets that people had shared in over 100 different countries. And the universality of those regrets is undeniable.

Regret is a powerful emotion that all of us as human beings have felt and experienced. Whether you are a business leader, whether you’re an individual contributor, or if you are not even employed, but want to create a better life, here are 3 tips to harness the power of regrets.

First, you need to FACE your regrets. When I use the word face, I mean I don’t want you to deny them, forget them or sweep them under the rug of time. “It happened 20 years ago!” If you want to learn how to use them to give you the life you want, you need to feel them and remember them.

I think it’s common that many of us try to distract ourselves from painful emotions like regret. Really they are there to help us, to guide us, to give us wisdom in moving forward.

(Dan Pink’s book tells us that there are four major areas of regret. To learn more about these, watch the full video above.)

The second principle of dealing with regret after facing your regrets is to FORGIVE your regrets. Now, this is where most of us need to really concentrate our efforts. Some of us shame ourselves into oblivion. When we do this, we are harming ourselves mentally, physically, spiritually, and emotionally.

And then there are some of us who go to the other end of the spectrum. We easily let ourselves off the hook. We usually do this by assigning blame to someone else for our regrets. Not taking ownership and responsibility for our own regrets keeps us paralyzed.

But when we face our regrets and we learn how to have self-compassion, or sometimes what we call loving kindness. It’s the same as if you had a best friend or a child that you love. If they made the same mistakes you did, you would treat them with kindness, with respect, with love. Even if you were angry and hurt, you would find a way to show them.

(For some great insight into self-compassion, I cannot recommend highly enough the work of Kristen Neff. She has done some groundbreaking work on the topic.)

Now, here’s the third quick tip, and that is to FORESEE a plan forward with your regrets. This is something you can do on a macro level (think 5-year plan) or even micro level (week-by-week).

Ask yourself, “What regret do I have?” FACE. “What did I learn from it?” FORGIVE. “What am I going to do to fix it or avoid the same regret in the future?” FORESEE.

From the micro, choosing an unhealthy bag of potato chips, to the macro, I had an opportunity to hire a coach or get a certification that would advance my career but didn’t – this is your opportunity to look backward in order to plan forward. You can foresee what regrets you will have, by facing and forgiving the regrets of your past or present.

Which regrets bother you most? Do you regret the actions you took or the actions you didn’t?

If you need help moving beyond your regret and using it as a catalyst for change, schedule your Ask Brent Anything call HERE.