Do you know that feeling of being put into a box?
Just because you are the project manager, everyone thinks you are always being organized and can easily take care of the upcoming Christmas event?
Or you happen to be German, like me, and everyone automatically turns to you for structure and guidance?
It can be nice to be known for something like that – but maybe there is more:
Your role, your nationality, your hobby is not everything that defines you.
You are more than your skills.
If you are wondering what else you are and how you can find your identity as a leader, the following questions can help you.
Get a pen and paper, or your favorite journal, and dive into it:
1) What do you want to be known for?
What do you want others to say about you when someone asks them, So, how is she? What do you want the first thing to pop into their mind when they think about you?
Go into details about this. Don‘t just say achievements, but elaborate on that: “achieving my goal with discipline and ahead of time“.
2) Who are leaders you admire and what do you admire in them?
State all of them and what you admire in them. What makes you strive to be like them?
Dig deep into this, write down what exactly it is that makes them your role-model. It could be their influence, their impact, their nature, their attitude, or something completely different. Pick everyone who comes to mind, be it a famous leader like Oprah Winfrey, or someone you used to work for.
3) Look 20 years into the future. Your team throwing you a party and someone is giving a speech to honor YOU. What do you want them to say?
List everything you want them to mention about you, be it about specific projects, how you treated them, what you did for them or how it was to work with you.
Really feel into this – what would make you extremely proud, grateful and fulfilled to hear from them?
Once you’ve answered these questions, look at your answers and notice what is standing out. Search for common themes. Circle recurring topics and underline what is most important to you.
Write all of them on a separate sheet of paper.
This is you.
The version of you you want to become.
The version of you you already are.
Think of ways to bring even more of that into the world.
If “respect” is one of those items on your list, how can you bring even more respect into the world? What is someone who is respectful doing? And what not?
Give yourself some tasks to complete over the next weeks.
Or maybe you use this to change your routine or your language.
The most important thing is: Keep it playful.
It’s about bringing to life the best version of you.
I can’t wait to see more of you in this world.
By Katrin Bitterle