Bringing Your Soulful Contributions to The Game

Have you ever had that feeling that something special was happening as you were experiencing the moment? I had such a moment on my plane ride home from our inaugural Strengths Strategy Community Gathering in Omaha, Nebraska some time ago. I began to see myself in a new way by reconnecting to what has made me who I am. I saw with greater acuity how I brought the contributions of my talents to being my best.

Our Community Gathering’s goal was to provide the space for us to connect, have conversations, and foster a greater sense of community. I felt blessed to do this with so many with whom I had been on a Strengths Strategy journey for the past three years. I am quite certain this created the space for what happened to me as I sat on the plane in seat 20C reflecting on my experience at our Community Gathering. I was still buzzing with energy and excitement and began to get emotional. I had made a connection that felt important and I had a vision.

In this vision, I heard “The Game” by Motorhead playing as I made my entrance on stage. You (my coaching colleagues) and many of my closest friends were all there either physically or spiritually and it felt like home. My Relator®* was activated in a special way, congruent with who I am at my core. I was getting myself into the mindset to play the game.

No, for the wrestling fans out there, the stage I was seeing was not a WWE wrestling ring. This stage felt like the playing fields I shared with hundreds of teammates throughout my life. It felt like home, because my teammates were there with me, either physically or in spirit, just like they have always been when it was time to play the game.

Playing the Game

What is it about “playing the game” that is meaningful for me?

Sports, especially playing team sports, have played an important role in shaping who I am. I learned many life and leadership lessons through participating in sports. As a twin, you might say I have been part of a team my entire life.

The playing field, whether it be a baseball field, soccer field, or “you name the sport” field was where I have always felt most at home. Whether it was a pick-up game, a tournament championship game or the Sectional Finals against our main rival, the field is where I felt alive and at my best, playing BIG, and bringing my greatest contribution with and for others.

I often played the role of coach on the field. Sometimes I needed to be “the guy”, and I embraced that role. Other times I contributed my versatility to serve the team’s needs. In every case, it was about the team, and working interdependently with my teammates, in pursuit of victory, that drove me.

I am reminded of that scene in Good Will Hunting where Will and Skylar are discussing her studies and his unique, genius abilities. Will talks about seeing a piano as keys, pedals and a box of wood, and not being able to hit the ball out of Fenway. But when it came to organic chemistry or doing her “econ” paper in under an hour, he was always able to “just play”.

While I am no genius and do not have elite athletic abilities, I always felt that when it came to sports, I was always able to “just play”. By that, I mean I was able to bring my unique abilities to contribute to our team’s success. I was able to mentally play the game at a high level to complement decent athletic ability. My strategic-thinking skills helped me see pathways to success for us, favorable matchups, and how to design game plans to optimize our strengths to win.

Seeing Differently

On my plane ride home, I was re-introduced to “that guy” and the conditions that were present to activate him. I started to see differently and with greater acuity.

What I have been needing to truly be my best is my Relator®*, activated in that special way that reawakens my competitive drive, not ego-based, but soul-centered, where I experience heightened levels of presence, flow and shared purpose. Here, every moment feels like I am living it highly aware, on purpose, and in partnership with or in service to others.

The insight I had on the flight home from the Community Gathering was, “How might I activate that special aspect of my Relator®*?” What conditions need to be present for this to happen? Then it occurred to me. What if I reframed how I was viewing team? What if I reframed the playing field? What if I reframed the game?

The Game

What I am talking about is unlocking that next level contribution and impact. The game, as it has always been on my coaching journey, is Be Bold. Be You. Breakthrough.℠. The game is connecting with and living your inner greatness. The game is authentic, soulful and playful. The game is human and interdependent. It brings forth my greatest contribution so I can best serve us, so we can serve others.* The game is a space of acceptance and non-judgment where we co-create ways for you to see and be in a new way.

My new playing field is any room, stage, or arena where I am standing before, and with, those ready to activate their best contributions and relationships. My team is all those who are boldly playing the game with me, either standing right beside me or with me in spirit. My team is my “Be Bold. Be You.” tribe who knows who they are, knows who they are not and they are ok with both.*

My new playing field may have less grass than the playing fields I have known, yet in my mind’s eye, the feeling is the same. It feels like home and it is time to play the game.

I invite you to play the game with me, to reconnect with your child-like qualities, to lock arms with me, and to bring your best contribution. When we each do that, we will see in new ways and we will change the world.

I would love to hear your thoughts and how you will bring your soulful contributions to the game. Please like, share your comments below and share this blog with others to help us on our interdependent journey together!


1 Relator®, Individualization®, and Activator® are Strengths Themes from the StrengthsFinder 2.0 Assessment from Gallup.

2Interdependence, I serve us so we can serve others is an original concept from Strengths Strategy®.

3 Foundational concept in Strengths Strategy’s Strategic Interdependence® model


Brian Kelly
Brian Kelly
Brian Kelly is a visionary connector, community-builder and human development specialist who helps people and teams unleash their human greatness so they can create better together. Brian believes in each person’s unique human greatness and the power of harnessing this to amplify impact for teams, communities, and organizations. Brian is an ICF Accredited Coach whose three-decade career spans business, technology, finance, and human development. He is co-author of the book Becoming You to be released later this year. Brian’s encouraging energy and relational and strategic approach invite the inclusive business leaders and teams he works with to expand their perspective to strengthen their belief and their ability to create better together. Brian works with clients to understand the conditions that create greater contributions, fulfillment, and success and then works with them, using proven frameworks, to help them create those conditions through the lens of their strengths. The results are greater self-awareness, confidence, connection, teamwork, creativity and innovation producing better human and business results. Brian is the host of the We Can Do Better Conversations series, which invite inclusive conversations on topics relevant to bringing greater humanity to our workplaces, communities, families, and relationships. Brian serves on the Executive Board for Overcoming Odds where he helped the Executive Director with board development, strategic business planning and expanding the reach and impact of the nonprofit’s mission. Brian has also served on the Washington DC metro area chapter Board for several culturally-based National nonprofits focused on professional and leadership development.

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