Episode 164: Celebrate the Relationships that Nurture Your Giftedness

A Conversation with Amy Graham

February 9, 2021

Do you see yourself as a leader? Do you need to see yourself as a leader to be a leader?

Perhaps you’ve never paused long enough to answer either of those questions.

Perhaps you assume the first is true. Therefore, the second question has yet to emerge as a question you’d consider. 

Or, perhaps you’ve only ever associated leadership with a title or a position. Push beyond the titles. We’re not asking about positional leadership. We’re inviting you to consider relational leadership. Relational leadership influences others through their presence, awareness, and emotional intelligence. 

In our conversation with Amy Graham, we talk about how talents and gifts guide your leadership, the resistance to claiming the title of leader, and the power of relationships to influence others simply by being present. 

Relationships that Nurture Talent

Your talents are a natural part of who you are and how you lead. Consider that for a moment. Your talents come to life in relationship with others. Sometimes those relationships are quick, momentary interactions. At other times, they are relationships that guide your contributions to organizations and the community.

You have gifts. 

If you’ve ever wondered how your gifts can come to life in the community, or what questions to consider, listen in as Amy reminds us of the importance of nurturing the gifts we see in others. 

Emotional Intelligence

Even with your talents, there is something else great leaders possess – emotional intelligence. They innately sense what is happening and the emotions fueling a moment – whether it’s exciting, anxiety-producing, or joyful. They also have the know-how to guide people to a new place. 

Pay close attention to the ways Amy talks about working with people. You’ll hear a beautiful expression of guiding others to do what is needed (or wanted) even when you’re dealing with difficult personalities. Amy notes an important question that honors people while getting things done.  

Courageous Leadership

Finally, explore with Amy how your life can serve as an invitation to courageous action. When death and change entered Amy’s life she leaned into her journaling practice (soon to be blogging practice) to claim the courage she needed at the moment. Then, celebrate the courageous leaders who are willing to take risks, own their mistakes, and share feedback. 

Questions for Reflection

  1. Who first recognized you as a leader?
  2. Whose gifts are you cultivating and celebrating to be a leader?
  3. If there was a narrator for your life story, what would they write about your gifts, talents, and relationships? What do they see in you? (Yes, write in 3rd person.)

Mentioned in this Episode:

Amy’s Blog

You can read Amy’s blog here.

Amy’s top 5 Clifton Strengths


People exceptionally talented in the Positivity theme have contagious enthusiasm. They are upbeat and can get others excited about what they are going to do.


People exceptionally talented in the Adaptability theme prefer to go with the flow. They tend to be “now” people who take things as they come and discover the future one day at a time.


People exceptionally talented in the Learner theme have a great desire to learn and want to continuously improve. The process of learning, rather than the outcome, excites them.


People exceptionally talented in the Arranger theme can organize, but they also have a flexibility that complements this ability. They like to determine how all of the pieces and resources can be arranged for maximum productivity.


People exceptionally talented in the Restorative theme are adept at dealing with problems. They are good at figuring out what is wrong and resolving it.

Books and Music

The Promised Land by Barack Obama

Grit by Angela Duckworth

George Shearing The Collection