Over a decade ago a general contractor in serious trouble came to me for business coaching. Let’s call him Dave. His revenue was down two straight years. He broke even the year before, but nine months into the current year, his net profit was negative four percent. Burning cash by the wheelbarrow, he had five months before he’d go bankrupt. It was bad. I worried it was too late. But I also like when business coaching is a challenge. I’m so glad he reached out for help, because not only did we turns things around, but Dave taught me one of the most important lessons of my life. I learned from Dave very quickly that he was a man of immense integrity. He was always on time, he always kept his word, and if a problem happened with a job he bent over backward to make things right. This is already rare in our world, but something else was even more significant. In the construction industry, it’s nearly unheard of. Contractors are infamous for their unreliability. A friend of mine built a house once and told me often with a heavy sigh, “Whatever they say, double it and add ten percent.” Later I would dub this the “industry dysfunction” and bring the idea to the business coaching world. Every industry has one: it’s the thing that customers all know and hate about your industry, but is so typical they’ve come to accept it. Dave was a diamond in the rough. He cared deeply, and his integrity was everything to him, but he was far too humble. He had no idea he was a leader in his industry. We all tend to project our gifts onto others and think they’re no big deal. In a few hours, I helped Dave see his own gifts and how rare and special he was in a world where “I’ll be there at 8am” meant plus or minus an hour.