How do you take a 20 ton, 12 foot block of ice and transform it into an elaborate award winning work of art?

Just ask, Singapore Captain Ng See Yian who was gracious to allow me to interview him and learn how his five person team creates their magical snow sculptor called Love, Balance and Community.

Brent-OBannon-StrengthsFinder-Coaching-Blog-Transforming-Talent-2My wife and I got a blast of insight about transforming talent as we watched the 14 countries participating in the 23rd Annual International Snow Sculptor Championship in Breckenridge, Colorado.

Sculptor Rob Neyland said, “Snow is a living medium. It starts as water from the sky, and we just grasp it briefly, and then it’s water again. It’s a lot like life in that respect.”

Talent is a divine given genetic predisposition to think, feel, and act.

Just like snow sculpting teams only have 65 hours to work their magic before being evaluated on their performance we only have a short life time to maximize our talents.

Here are three tips to transform talent.

1. Start with a story.

Team Singapore used their mascot as a model for transforming their block of ice.

The story behind their mascot is that the head of a lion and the body of a fish surrounded by dolphins signifies how the world can communicate courageously, attaining peace by living in love and balance.

Donald Clifton, the father of strengths psychology created the Clifton Strengthsfinder assessment measuring 34 talent themes. Over 8 million people in 22 languages have taken this test and now Gallup strengths evangelist want to up the ante to a billion takers.

Clifton also had a vision of winning the Nobel Peace Prize uniting the world with a positive language of talents and strengths.

What would the world, your family, your church, your work look like if everyone started with the story of strengths?

To coach your clients to transform their talents into strengths, ask them to “describe a story when they were at their best.”

By starting with a personal story they have a model for talent and success.



2. Strengthen with tools.

The Snow Sculpture Championship is not allowed to use power tools and can only use hand tools such as chisels, saws, and vegetable peelers. Each sculptor on the team transforms the ice through their skills and precision from years of practice.

Talent is also transformed into strength when we gain knowledge and create a strength based mindset. Honing a positive growth mindset instead of a negative fixed mindset allows character to develop and fuels our talents.

As the book, Outliers describes, true genius is achieved with at least 10,000 hours of repetitive practice.

Coaching, mentoring, masterminding, reading, training, are a few tools used for transforming talents into strengths in everyday life.

3. Succeed with a team.

It’s true “All of us is smarter and stronger than one of us.”

To transform talents to an elaborate work of artful strengths takes the interdependence of strengths from an entire team. Each person has their role and genius that turns a block of ice into love, balance, and community.

No one person has all the strengths needed to create a masterful work of art. It truly takes not only the power of two but the genius of five team members to transform a block of ice into am inspiring award winning masterpiece.

How could your teams capitalize on each others strengths better for success?

Remember to transform talent into strength like the Singapore team transformed ice into a beautiful snow sculpture and then the world will see more love, balance and community.

Our second key to holding onto happiness is to celebrate strengths.

Each of you were born with your own set of signature strengths. You already have your own brilliance and greatness inside of you. Self help guru Brian Tracy says, “Life is like a combination lock; when you get the right numbers in the right order, you unlock your potential.”

It’s up to you to discover, name, and maximize your strengths.

Some of you are wondering how to discover your strengths. One informal way is to complete this sentence: I feel strong when…add whatever comes to your mind.

I feel strong playing tennis. I feel strong speaking in front of a 1,000 people. Those two strengths are named focus and command.

Some of you might say, “I feel strong learning a new language” or “I feel strong analyzing the stock market.” Those two strengths are named learner and analytical. Most of us were taught we can be anything we want to be or do anything we want to do if we just work hard enough. Sorry, I don’t believe that anymore.

What I’ve discovered is that “we can be more of who we already are.” Who you are is good enough if only you would be it openly.

I flopped in Spanish and computer classes at GCC. I barely passed my statistics and research courses in my masters program. But I discovered my strength in tennis and helping people achieve their dreams through coaching and speaking.

What I’ve stumbled upon in my coaching career is the strengths revolution. The Gallup Poll reports that 77% of people focus on improving weaknesses rather than maximizing their greatest potential, their strengths. Ladies and gentlemen, it’s time to maximize your potential and hold onto your keys.

Relish the key of small beginnings and get moving in the direction of your dreams by celebrating your strengths.

Do you know what it’s like to lock your keys in your car?  You have so many places to go and a million things to do, but you’re STUCK.  Whether you’re stuck in your marriage, your finances, or personal dreams there is hope.

First, realize you already have the keys to get you moving again.  Most of us go looking for life’s keys like a needle in a hay stack. No, the keys are inside YOU. Your inborn talents and life experiences create your own set of STRENGTHS. Your strengths are your keys to get unstuck.

Are you an activator? This person is ready for action. They believe action is the best way for learning. In other words they are a “ready, fire, aim” type of person.

Do you have the context strength? This person looks back and learns from the past. They understand people better by getting history, or, context.

Is the command strength natural for you? This person is willing to ask the hard questions and face conflict head on. They are not intimidated but rather, energized, to take a stand and lead people.

If you still have not taken the Strengths Finder 2.0 online assessment you are missing the opportunity to discover your top 5 strengths. Get my free videos to show you how to discover your top 5 strengths at

Second, realize it’s fine and dandy to call a locksmith to open your door and put the keys back in your hands.  A life coach/business coach/relationship coach is like a locksmith. We have been trained to unlock and open the doors of your mind.

I frequently hear my coaching clients say to me, “Wow that’s a great question.” My gift is to ask powerful questions that you have never thought of. These questions help you increase self awareness, discover solutions, and find opportunities that you never imagined.

Would you rather stay stuck on the side of the road of your life or get moving toward your exciting destinations and fulfilling dreams?

Coaching points:

  1. What is one area in your life where you are stuck?
  2. What are your top 5 strengths? Are you fully using my strengths in life?

If fat furry caterpillars can learn to fly then you and I can achieve our dreams. But how?



Caterpillars have about 4,000 muscles compared to 629 in humans. The average caterpillar has 248 muscles in the head segment alone. They move by sliding their internal organs forward using contraction of the muscles like a slinky. They move forward and eventually morph into a beautiful moth or butterfly by literally following their “guts.”

How do you and I create momentum to turn from a pest or fat furry caterpillar into a beautiful free-flying creature achieving our dreams?

Simply follow your guts.

Most of us are desperately trying to be someone we’re not. It’s a myth to believe a caterpillar, you, I, or anybody can be anything we want to be. I used to believe this but not anymore. I believe we can be MORE of who we already ARE.

So what are your strengths? What is your hard wiring? Do you have words to describe your guts or signature strengths? Have you designed your professional and personal life around your strengths or are you trying to be someone you’re not? Part of my mission is to help you get clarity on your strengths. To help you communicate your strengths and design your life around your strengths. To sell your self using your strengths.

Brenda Orgel called me with excitement when she got a new job promotion after I coached her to discover and communicate her top five strengths. Your signature strengths are your guts. It’s time for you to move forward simply following your strengths.

Brent O’Bannon creates momentum for outrageous success. He is known as America’s Momentum Coach for individuals, couples in business, and companies. For more information go to and

Image: m_bartosch /

There are three kinds of people reading this blog: people with no dreams, people with little dreams, and people with BIG dreams. C’mon–dream big!  Check out #6 of my 8 success strategies.

Would you like to become a person who dreams big?

Discover what you want.
Release your strengths.
Energize your mind.
Adapt to challenges.
Make a dream team.

Be Your best.

Are you satisfied with a good job? Are you content with a good marriage? Are you truly fulfilled with an average life?

Big dreams are not achieved by being good but by being your best.  Notice I said “your best,” not necessarily “the best.”

How do you become your best? Simply put–habits, or, “aha bits.”  Bad habits produce negative lives. Good habits promote average lives. “Aha” bits allow us to create our best life.

Our worst habits include:

  • Skipping breakfast
  • Eating fast food
  • Not drinking enough water
  • Wasting time
  • Blowing off exercise
  • Vegging on TV and computer
  • Running late
  • Sleeping too little or too much
  • Spending more than we earn
  • Procrastination
  • Texting while driving
  • Smoking

You get the idea.

Here are three “aha” bits that help you become your best.

  1. Have a morning success routine. Get up early enough so that you’re not rushed. Read inspirational material, pray, meditate, read your success script, look at a vision board, and review your goals for the day. Then, eat a healthy breakfast, take your vitamins, drink plenty of water, exercise, and tackle the day with motivation.
  2. Focus on one task at a time. Research shows that we lose quality by attempting too many activities at one time. We have been duped into believing we can accomplish more by multitasking. If you are on the phone with someone, focus solely on them without scanning the computer, looking at your Facebook, or reading the newspaper. Habits are made out of “bits.” In the Guinness Book of World records there is a man that ate an entire bicycle one bite at a time. We need to break down each moment one task at a time.
  3. Create four new success habits a year. What if you created one positive habit each quarter of the year?  That is four habits a year and 20 new success habits in five years. For myself, I’m working on money habits with my wife and money coach. I’m focused on budgeting, paying myself first (investing), and giving to worthy causes. If you will learn four positive habits a year you will earn more money, enjoy loving relationships, be more healthy, achieve big dreams, and be your best.

Coaching points:

  1. Write down your worst habits.
  2. What four success habits do you need to start?
  3. What action steps do you need to change your habits?

There are three kinds of people reading this blog: people with no dreams, people with little dreams, and people with BIG dreams.  Here’s the fifth of my 8 success strategies to help you dream big.

Discover what you want.
Release your strengths.
Energize your mind.
Adapt to challenges.
Make a dream team.

Big dreams are not achieved alone. They are realized when we learn and lean on a team of experts.

Who could be on your dream team?




Someone once said, “You are the average of your top five friends.” List the positive and negative qualities of your top five friends and notice the dreams they have accomplished. Would you be thrilled to have a life like your friends? If not, reach out and build healthy friendships. My daily success script reads, “I am blessed with exciting, nurturing, and positive friendships in my life that God wants me to have.”

But sometimes friends cannot be objective enough and we need…


Bob Nardelli, former CEO of Home Depot said, “I absolutely believe that people, unless coached, never reach their maximum capabilities.” I learned this early in my tennis career. I started tennis, hired several coaches and accomplished my dream by winning the state championship in just two years. Over the years I have utilized a business coach, a money coach, a heart coach, a relationship coach, a book coach, a speaking coach, marketing coach, and the list goes on. Success usually comes faster if you pay or barter for a coach.

Along with friends and a coach you will benefit from a…

Mastermind Group

About two years ago I invited a group of diverse business owners to start a mastermind group. We have a ghostwriter, a spa owner, an Internet marketing guru, a chiropractor, and myself. We meet on a Friday morning, have coffee, and sit out outside around my pool and cabana. We have seen the ghostwriter grow his business from $5,000 a book to $50,000 per project. Personally, I have received incredible feedback and support that has made my business more successful. A mastermind is usually no bigger than 5-7 people. Each group is unique and determines if they want a structured format or a more spontaneous free flow. The consistency of meeting every other week and the accountability are the keys for success.

Remember to stick with your strengths and delegate to…


Hiring an administrative assistant has been one of the best decisions I’ve made in the past year. I researched virtual assistants but decided to go with a local person that I can meet with face-to-face. In the past, I tended to procrastinate on projects. Now I delegate projects and they are usually accomplished within a week. Ask around your community, send out resumes and find that faithful person that can become your Tonto.

Coaching points:

  1. Write a list of people you want and need on your dream team.
  2. Have an initial brainstorm meeting and quarterly meeting with your dream team.

Brent O’Bannon creates momentum for outrageous success. He is known as America’s Momentum Coach for individuals, couples in business, and companies. For more information go to and

There are three kinds of people reading this blog: people with no dreams, people with little dreams, and people with BIG dreams. Would you like to become a person who dreams big? In the next eight weeks, I’m going to share 8 success strategies to help you DREAM BIG. Here is the first:

Discover what you want.



If you’re like many people, you may be more aware of what you don’t want.

  • I don’t want to be poor.
  • I don’t want to be lonely.
  • I don’t want to be in an unhappy marriage.
  • I don’t want to struggle with depression or fear.

Your mind is a GPS and will gravitate toward whatever you focus on. It is much more powerful to focus on what you want rather than what you don’t want. One person I’m coaching feels that discovering what he wants is too selfish. Yet Psalm 37:4 says, “Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.”

Many people are living their parents’ dreams. They have not allowed themselves to truly discover what they want.

Here is an exercise to help you discover your wants:

Write down 25 things you want to do. Then write down 25 things you want to have. Now write 25 things you want to be before you die. Now start writing what you want in each of these domains of life.

  • Ideal job or career
  • Ideal vision of your body and health
  • Ideal financial life
  • Ideal recreation/leisure
  • Ideal relationships
  • Ideal personal life
  • Ideal giving to community and world

Coaching points:

  1. Are you more focused on what you don’t want or exactly what you want?
  2. Do you have no dreams, little dreams, or big dreams?

Brent O’Bannon creates momentum for outrageous success. He is known as America’s Momentum Coach for individuals, couples in business, and companies. For more information go to and