Getting to Know Jim Ball – Vice President, Strengths Now, Inc
With a passion for developing talent, creating leaders, and bringing out the best in people, Jim Ball recently joined the Strengths Now team. He has more than 17 years of leadership experience transforming cultures, building sustainable leadership networks, and consistently delivering outstanding results. To dig a little deeper, we asked him a few more questions…
Can you please describe your role in 10 words or less?
We unlock human potential, so our clients achieve their goals.
What do you love most about your job?
I would say there are four things that make this such a fulfilling job for me.
- First, I really love bringing teams together to achieve new levels of performance. We accelerate that speed of trust, so the team members can better understand each other’s patterns of thought and behavior, appreciate those differences, and leverage everyone’s strengths to achieve outstanding results!
- Before and after measurements. That baseline measurement is usually eye-opening for a leader. Once we get past the initial shock, the path forward become clear, we build an action plan and get to work. Positive changes start the very next day. And it’s incredible to see rapid progress in a matter of weeks once the plan is in place. What is measured can be improved, and our clients are usually surprised by how quickly those results happen.
- Having clients reach those “ah ha” moments, where they break through a plateau and gain clarity on a goal. It’s amazing see the physical shift in our clients. They stand taller, speak more confidently, and others respond to that.
- Finally, when I see leaders give meaningful, sincere recognition to their team members, and watch a team thrive as a result. We live in a “recognition poor” society. Using a strengths-based approach, we help leaders unlock the talent in an individual and make it easy to motivate even better work, and we do so in a way that is authentic and powerful. And of course, this boosts productivity, dedication, teamwork, and cuts turnover dramatically.
What’s your best experience in life or leadership thus far?
In leadership, it was the first combat tour to Iraq. I led a platoon of 42 Soldiers, running combat operations in Baghdad, Fallujah, and Ramadi in 2003-2004. It was an incredible experience, tested our physical, mental, and emotional capabilities. I’m happy to say we successfully completed hundreds of missions and I brought all my Soldiers home safely. I can recall one specific moment where we were returning from an overnight raid, the sun was rising over the horizon, my team and I were following tanks out of the town, and Apache helicopters were flying overhead. We felt unstoppable, and it was satisfying to know that we make the world a little safer that night.
In life, it must be the birth of my three children. I’m the proud father of two boys and a girl. It’s the biggest privilege and responsibility of my life.
What has been your motivation to succeed in your career?
I’ve always been motivated to leave a positive impact wherever I go. I had a mentor who instilled that we need to always “Leave a place better than when we found it,” and that’s been one of my guiding principles throughout my career. When there’s a tough decision to make, this principle often helps clarify what to do.
If you could, who would you trade jobs with and why?
I’ve got the best job in the world right now! What’s more fun to think about is if I could coach anyone, who would it be and why, or who could I meet/interview? I’d love to learn from Bill Belichick. As a lifelong Patriots fan, it’s been so fun to see how he’s built a dynasty. He’s got an incredible eye for identifying and developing talent. What an honor it would be to learn from his experience.
How many places have you lived?
I was born and raised in Rhode Island, went to Boston College and spend my summers in Maine. During my time in the Army, I lived in Georgia and North Carolina, with a year in Iraq. I spent several years in San Diego, California and Portland, Oregon before returning to the Northeast and settling in New Hampshire. It’s been amazing to truly experience so many parts of our country!
Name one thing that not many people know about you.
I really enjoy swimming! I used to race in triathlons and long-distance swimming. I spent my summers in college as a whitewater rafting guide. Whether it’s trips to a lake in the summer or hiking to find a waterfall, we usually end up splashing around!
Jim’s Top 5 Strengths are Futuristic, Strategic, Activator, Command, Significance.
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