The Highlands Company Blog

Maximize Your Talent: A 20-Year Journey

By Highlands Certified Consultant Sue Seel.

“The unexamined life is not worth living.” – Socrates

Twenty years ago, in 1999, I was introduced to the paper-and-pencil version of The Highlands Ability Battery. My 18-year-old son was looking for direction as he approached his first year of college, so we decided to explore the HAB as a potential tool. 

I walked away from the experience excited for both of us. My son benefited from clear and objective feedback that helped him focus his studies, and I was motivated to pursue certification from Highlands as a complement to my practice as a Personal and Professional Coach. When I completed certification in 2000, I chose the tagline Maximize Your Talent. My vision was to help and guide others, and the HAB was the perfect tool!

Applying the HAB to My Life

The Highlands Company has made an impact on me that is ongoing and widespread over the last 20 years. In essence, using the battery has become the focus of my coaching practice, but it’s also had a tremendous impact on my personal life. When I took the HAB, it confirmed my natural driving abilities.

I was inspired on so many levels. My strong musical abilities, coupled with being a Generalist and an Extrovert, led me straight to the church choir and the university vocal program. (No wonder I didn’t like being isolated as a child when I dutifully practiced the piano alone!) I also learned that because of my Long Time Frame, it was natural for me to help strategize long term plans for students and professionals.

Applying the HAB to my Coaching Practice

The HAB has helped me to focus. Being an 85% Generalist, my interests are vast and varied. As a coach, I am attracted to all ages and kinds of clients — students, entrepreneurs, young adults, executives, small business owners, and more. Thanks to the HAB, I realized that it was easier for me to move with fluidity among many types of clients rather than specializing in just one or two areas. I have been able to coach all types of people, with goals that range from student career choices to mid-life career change; job switches within a company to job description modifications.

No matter the age or life stage of my clients, my vision is always the same for all of them: let’s discover what is uniquely you, what drives you, and what brings both fulfillment to you and value to those around you. Their responses range from “Wow, this confirms everything I know about myself” to “I had absolutely no idea that this ability was such a high driving one.” 

When I think of a world where each of us can optimize our talents in work, in relationships, or chosen hobbies, I think of a more productive, efficient and even joyful society. I derive so much satisfaction by telling my clients to post their bar graphs (ability profile) nearby as reminders that they are unique and have valuable gifts to offer.

The HAB & The Stony Brook School

My role as a facilitator, a team player, and my drive toward the big picture motivated me to write a leadership program for The Stony Brook School, a nearby private Christian high school. Using this program, I coached the student leaders and developed a focus on team coaching for students, administrators, and faculty.

For the past 20 years I have heard people say they wished they’d had the HAB in high school or that they didn’t have enough guidance after high school. That’s why, along with Amy Tietjen (colleague, friend, and Highlands Consultant), I’m currently helping to launch a long-term effort at The Stony Brook School. This vision has been a dream of mine for many years and will bring the HAB permanently to the school as a mentoring tool, impacting college counseling, student life, learning support and counseling/wellness (click here to learn more).

Living with Gratitude

I have the privilege to look back at the years I have used the HAB in my coaching practice and have been blessed to witness dramatic changes and glorious threads of success in the lives of my clients as a result of the HAB. Particularly now, since my cancer diagnosis in 2016, I am even more clearly focused on helping others discover their sources of creativity and energy and to use my own. I am doing well, continuing to work, and am mindful to live one day at a time, with gratefulness. I’m profoundly grateful to Kim Mumola of The Highlands Company, and to all of those before who helped and supported me along the way. 

Finally, thank you to the Highlands Company for giving us the best opportunity to examine our lives and live them fully. 

I am certified by both Coach University and the International Coach Federation. I received my certification from the Highlands Company and have 20 years of coaching experience with all ages and professions — executives, business entrepreneurs, educators, health and wellness professionals, clergy, high school and college students and those who are transitioning into retirement. I developed my own leadership program, which I have used with students and health professionals at a local community hospital.

My strengths as a coach are: (a) Intuition (b) Inspiration (c) Motivation (d) Practical Application and (e) Balance Management. I use these to empower you.  

To hire me as a coach will help you master your sense of personal conviction and career/life balance and choice—bringing more value to your work and improving your life. Learn more at my website.