May 13, 2022
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How to Find Your Unique Giftedness

Over the last year or so these articles have discussed the Principle of Alignment, which says, "The best interests of the professional and the best interests of the client are optimized when the professional’s unique giftedness aligns perfectly with the unique needs of the client." That’s not only the theme of my upcoming book, but it’s the secret that I wish I had understood four decades ago when I began to practice law.

The book has been wandering in the wilderness for about a year, because I didn’t have a snappy answer to what is the most important question of all, namely, “How can I figure out my own unique giftedness?”

It’s one thing for the book, and my talks, to make a clarion call to professionals to know and focus on their own special giftings, but that only produces an itch which needs to be scratched. “Norm,” you will say, “you’re right, and I get it. I know I need to capitalize on my giftings. So, how do I figure out what they are?”

Over the last year and a bit I’ve put that question to a lot of wise people. I've read a lot of literature on the subject. I've tussled with the notion just as one might tussle with an important point of law in an appeal. I felt a bit like Jacob wrestling with an angel, with similar outcomes.  

What I’ve discovered is something I suspected in the first place to be the case: there is no magic, no secret sauce, no hidden wisdom. Like almost everything else in life, solutions are found mostly by deconstructing the problem, often in a painstaking and frustrating process.

Solutions derived in this way are often a bit untidy and inelegant, and have to be kneaded and massaged at some length to get out all the air bubbles. To paraphrase Churchill, they’re not perfect, just better than the alternatives.

The outcome leaves me more than a little skeptical of the “slam-dunk” experts, those who claim to possess the keys to the kingdom, and who will say to you, “For only $399.99 plus tax I will tell you exactly what you should do with your life.” I  call bullshit. Life’s not like that.

But we can come up with some practical answers and working principles which actually get you going in the right direction, guideposts to a lifelong process of refinement. You can identify your unique giftings well enough to begin to apply the Alignment Principle, and then refine this for a lifetime.

So, over the next five or six Friday Briefings, we’ll tussle with what seems to work for most professionals to get a solid, working grip on their personal, unique giftings, allowing them to be more successful for themselves, and for their clients. 

Stay tuned! 


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Can I help you or your organization? Contact me at or at 613-862-3489. 

Friday Briefing Archives


No great artist ever sees things as they really are. If he did, he would cease to be an artist.

Oscar Wilde

Art is never finished, only abandoned.

Leonardo da Vinci

What I Do

I am an explainer, that is, I deconstruct complexity and re-frame it in understandable terms.

In particular, I explain the secrets of professional success-- things I wish I had known as a beginner lawyer in 1981, but which I had to learn by trial and error (and the occasional epiphany).

Simple yet profound, these secrets are really just specific applications of common-sense life lessons. They are the keys to true professional satisfaction and financial success.

Call me at 613-862-3489 or e-mail me at

© Norman Bowley 2022, all rights reserved.
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