RSS Understanding your Worth

From the time I was very little, my parents, grandparents and siblings always shared with me that I would make a great attorney when I “grew up.” I guess it’s because I was a bit precocious and a tad bit argumentative. No matter how steadfast their position may have been on a subject, apparently I felt the need to argue the other side. It’s obviously not something that I look back on with satisfaction or pride, but I can’t help think that it has had a profound impact on my personal and professional development. Let me attempt to explain. 

Years ago I read a Stephen Covey book called “The 8th Habit: From Effectiveness to Greatness,” which offered some very insightful discussion on leadership. One of the primary points I took away from the book was his definition of leadership, which he said is communicating to people their worth and potential so clearly that they come to see it in themselves. To communicate the worth and potential of others so clearly, so powerfully and so consistently that they really come to see it in themselves, is to set in motion the process of seeing, doing and becoming.

Getting back to my personal reflection above, I can’t help but think that the positive reinforcement that my family and teachers gave me about my debate “skills” helped lead me to join the speech team in high school, or the frequent comments about becoming an attorney lead me to take Latin for three years in high school and to major in Political Science and Economics in college. 

While at the time I didn’t take their comments as anything other than politely putting me in my “place,” I now think that each of them in their own way helped to drive me to be a good student, to share the gifts they saw in me and to realize my fullest potential.

While, I never did become an attorney, and I don’t get a chance to use my debating tendencies very often, I now have the benefit of personal reflection that reinforces Covey’s definition of leadership. Because the important people in my life took the time to communicate my worth so clearly to me, I not only saw their vision but I went about fulfilling it. 

I wonder how many business leaders today really take the time to communicate with their talent regarding their individual worth and potential, and if they do, does it actually create the outcome so that the employees see it in themselves? Just like great parents and great teachers, the best leaders build people up, helping them to achieve personal and professional growth such that they perpetuate it in others. I appreciate so much the guidance I have been given over the years, and hope this article might spark some comments from readers as to their own personal reflections.

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One Response to “Understanding your Worth”

  1. Nik Stice, Employee of Pacific Continental Bank says:


    Thank you for this article. It made me reflect on the support I received from so many different areas of my life. The reason I used the word “made” is because often we move so fast through our daily lives we forget to reflect on the people and encouragement that allows us to be successful.

    I remember my parents telling me, “Nik, you will always be successful because you make your success!” When people take interest in you and encourage you it really has a lasting impact.

    The encouragement and investment that I personally received from individuals at Pacific Continental Bank has created and continues to create in me a sense of loyalty. Everyday I try to find a way to “renew my employee contract” by finding a way to be significant and make a difference in the eyes of our clients and the team I work with daily. I try to apply this principal in all areas of my life. I want to go to bed knowing that I renewed my “contract” with my wife to love and support her as I promised to always do. Vicki Gray once told me, “When you conquer today… Then you can look forward to tomorrow.”

    I really appreciate the wisdom and guidance I receive from those who are willing to share, and hope to use it to refine my character, skills and abilities.

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Home About Archive Mitch HagstromMitch Hagstrom
Executive Vice President
Chief Banking Officer
Pacific Continental Bank

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