"Anyone can revolt.  It is more difficult to silently obey our own inner promptings, and to spend our lives finding sincere and fitting means of expression for our temperament and our gifts."
--  Georges Rouault (1871 - 1958)
Each of us has a gift, a unique and native talent, a talent which we are born with, a talent that can be nurtured and developed. A gift is something you have (that is, possess) to contribute to work and to the activity of leadership; once discerned, it is something you have to (that is, must) contribute.

 It is hard to discern our gifts primarily because they are so much a part of who we are.  The gift each of us has is so integral to our, being and doing, and so integrated into our ways of being and doing, that we fail to notice or nurture it.  The gift is part of us, so much so that it helps shape our identity, yet precisely because this is true we often fail to discern it.

Here is the clearest way I know to discern your gift:  think of something you have always known how to do, yet you don't remember spending time or effort learning how to do it.  It is something you have always been able to do, and do somewhat effortlessly.  Is it coming up with a creative idea?  Or is it in synthesizing the ideas of others?  Is your talent in organizing work? Is writing something you do well and don't ever remember learning how to do?  Instead of having stage fright, have you always enjoyed acting or speaking in front of others?  Each of us has mastery in something, and one part of becoming ourselves -- who we started out to be -- is to understand, appreciate, and claim that gift.  (Moxley, 2000, pp. 118-119). 

Reference:  Moxley, R. (2000).  Leadership and spirit:  breathing new vitality and energy into individuals and organizations. San Francisco:  Jossey-Bass. 

Provided by Beth Flynn of Ohio State University Leadership Center who can be reached at flynn.61@osu.edu.
1.     What gifts do you offer?

2.     If your gifts are not clear to you, ask a friend or business associate what you are really good at.

 3.     Do one thing this week that honors your gift(s).  Let it (and you) shine!

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