Cross Pollination of Skills?

For most of my government career, I felt like a fish out of water.

In government, most people are professional, risk-averse, and detailed-oriented; in many ways the opposite of me.

Yes, I can, and do, behave professionally, but I’m loosey goosey by nature.

For most in government, professional is how they run on auto-pilot…and I don’t mean it in a bad way, it isn’t wrong…it just is.

I loved the people I worked with in the public service. I worked with some really great folks!

However, on autopilot, I am more of a “cowboy with experience”. I don’t mind a little risk and I like to have fun…while getting work done.

Ironically, though I’m a project manager, details aren’t my strong suit…but I’ve learned to consider them, or delegate them.

That said, because my personality was opposite to many of my co-workers, I felt like I was under constant scrutiny and I would never meet expectations.

It led to years of confidence issues at work…until I learned about life coaching, which taught me that I don’t need to have all the answers.

I felt like I could be myself without feeling the pressure of being someone I wasn’t.

I embraced my contributions, no matter what they were or whether they were accepted or not.

I recently read a book called Range by David Epstein (NOT Jeffery Epstein) that contributed greatly to my personal growth. In his book, he shared the benefits of having and applying a range of knowledge to solve problems.

He cited famous discoveries that were found by people using simple analogies like Einstein using elevators and trains to form his theory of relativity.

What it taught me was that my personality, with my wide range of knowledge and skills actually had a benefit in the workplace. It’s why I am drawn to solving problems; I cross pollinate my knowledge to solve a variety of problems in different areas.

So, if you’re feeling like a fish out of water at work…DON’T.

You’re made for a reason…it may just not be your time or place to shine.

What are your strengths and how can you apply them to your work, business, or even parenting?


I am a husband, father, grandfather, business owner, farmer, and deep thinker. I love helping people, having deep conversations, and being around great people.

View all posts by pboone →