Friday, August 19, 2011

Signature Themes: Input

In a few weeks, I will start attending a leadership academy at work.  This is training that we are putting all of our supervisors, managers, directors and VPs through.  In preparation, I was given a book to read and a test to take.  The test identified my top five signature themes - or strengths.  The idea is to concentrate on your strengths and use them to excel.  -- don't try to fix what is wrong, build on what is right --

Of course, I looked at my top five strengths (there are 32 strenghts total) and immediately thought of my relationship with my horse.

My number one theme/strength is "input."  Defined as this:

You are inquisitive. You collect things. You might collect information—words, facts, books, and quotations—or you might collect tangible objects such as butterflies, baseball cards, porcelain dolls, or sepia photographs. Whatever you collect, you collect it because it interests you. And yours is the kind of mind that finds so many things interesting. The world is exciting precisely because of its infinite variety and complexity. If you read a great deal, it is not necessarily to refine your theories but, rather, to add more information to your archives. If you like to travel, it is because each new location offers novel artifacts and facts. These can be acquired and then stored away. Why are they worth storing? At the time of storing it is often hard to say exactly when or why you might need them, but who knows when they might become useful? With all those possible uses in mind, you really don’t feel comfortable throwing anything away. So you keep acquiring and compiling and filing stuff away. It’s interesting. It keeps your mind fresh. And perhaps one day some of it will prove valuable.

My initial reaction was "yes, inquisitive.  No, collect things."  I hate knick knacks and clutter.  I am a regular contributor to Goodwill.

However, I do have a few collections.

I have every kitchen gadget known to man.  Just ask Brett.

I was a lit major, okay?  With studies in philosophy, French and theology tossed in for good measure.

And my dad makes wine.  Damn good wine.  This collection is his fault.  He got me started.

You can never have too many pairs of riding breeches. 

Seven apple trees; six varieties.  And I dream of more.

I have no idea why I have so many saddle pads.  A few belong to Brett.  But 90% mine.

I have TWO tack bags for Jackson.  Four brushes, three curries... out of control.

Leg wraps -- every style and color imaginable.

Leather cleaner.  Is a different one really necessary for boots, bridles, western & dressage saddles??

Okay.  I admit that I collect stuff.  But its only really important stuff.  Necessary stuff.  Right?


  1. Don't have the wine collection, but everything else is very much a part of my life. Funny.

  2. ok, just a few comments:
    1) it's good you don't build on what is wrong, you'd never finish with me.
    2) You do collect every kitchen gadget and I have to wash them, but worse, figure out where they go.
    3) you sure those weren't some of my breeches?
    4) the saddle pads. even th 10% you say are mine you claim.
    5) now I know those are my leg wraps, even though you handed them down to me.
    6) please, no more trees. I can't dig anymore.
    7) the wine, collect all you want.
    8) you forgot all the animals you have collected.

  3. for different leather cleaner depending on discipline - in germany they have different horse feeds based on discipline and breed. there are grains for arabians, icelandics, warmbloods. there are grains for jumping horses and dressage horses and don't forget there are grains for western horses! very important distinction there. *lol* i'm feeding my horse an icelandic grain right now, just cuz i like the smell of it. it's minty. crazy world.


Thanks so much for commenting! I love the conversation.