33voices interviews John Neffinger and Matthew Kohut, coauthors of Compelling People: The Hidden Qualities That Make Us Influential.
One of the great privileges of my life has been the opportunity to coach my son, Adam’s Pop Warner Football team during the three years that he played. Not only was it an incredible bonding experience; more importantly, it was an opportunity to embark on a meaningful goal, together. It was a huge six month commitment each year, but without a doubt, a turning point in my life – and I commend each of the five fathers who took the pledge to share their time with this special group of kids.
One of the more memorable, non-football related events for me took place during our introductory coaches meeting when the five of us met for the first time. As each of us took a few minutes to introduce ourselves, one individual stood out as he described his life as, “secretive, chaotic and never dull.” Although he never disclosed the actual work that he did, he ended by saying that he was “seriously the most interesting man in the world.”
The four of us were caught a bit off guard and didn’t know whether he was serious or trying to break the ice, but during the first day of practice, we quickly learned that he certainly personified that mantra. Fortunately, we had a stellar season and advanced to the championship game, but in the process we had to endure his unstable personality. In their book, Compelling People, communication consultants John Neffinger and Matthew Kohut, remind us that it’s our strength of character that reveals our true identities. Here’s why they say the two character traits that really matter are strength and warmth….