What are you known for?
For those of you familiar with the northeast of Scotland you may well have heard of these two Scottish icons – The Spotty Bag Shop and Banff’s very own Elvis impersonator. Over the Easter holidays, I was doubly blessed to have my photo taken with Gary (aka Elvis) in the Spotty Bag Shop no less!
I was so excited to have finally met Elvis in person, after nearly 25 years of visiting family and getting the occasional glimpse of him in the distance, always bejewelled and resplendent in one of his many finest 70s and 80s Elvis outfits. Both he and the shop have a reputation and are well known – which got me thinking – as managers and leaders what are we well known for in our little corners of the world?
Many of us might have an inkling of what our reputation is or how we are perceived by others, but I’m imagining that not many people have stopped and asked for feedback to measure their assumptions against reality. Asking for feedback and taking stock of the responses is always a positive management tool that we often under-use.
Yet, something we rarely consider is ‘what do we want to be known for?’ and consider the legacy we want to create, what our personal brand is, and how we want to be recognised both internally and externally.
As managers, this isn’t just about ‘what’ you do, but ‘how’ you do it and the reasons ‘why’ you do it. As Maya Angelou said, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” In many ways this is about being an authentic leader, someone who leads from their heart, their beliefs and dare I say, their soul. When you start to explore what that actually means to you, you’ll begin to uncover your personal values, your unique gifts and strengths, your backstory that got you to where you are today, and what you are passionate about. Combining all of these qualities naturally increases your confidence as a leader, manager or even parent, as what you are known for is merely all about being you.
So, let me ask you again – what do you want to be known for?