During a recent conference, the Lead Presenter – Mrs. Twila Harrison of Modern Woman PR – challenged each member of the group to come up with a word that best describes them. Although the task seems easy and rather insignificant on the surface, I think it impacted the group more than some may realize.
My word was/is collaborate…
Sounds simple… but even I failed to realize at the time how much I really resonate with this word. In all of my efforts, collaboration is very important to me. I try to bring in as many people as possible, without diluting the project, to assist me. Not only does this prevent me from having to do the majority of the work but it also gives other people the opportunity to use their skills and gifts. Additionally, it gives the project a different dimension. In my head, I know exactly how I may want something to happen but when others are involved, the vision is able to expand beyond my conception.
The ability to collaborate often means that you have to release some control which can be hard for many Type A leaders. However, the benefits of allowing others in and placing value on their ideas and contributions will make you a better leader because your team will respect your ability to work with them rather than them feeling like they work for you.
Knowing my word has even made me more conscious of how it resonates with my personal branding. If this is the word that I identify myself with, it is important for others to also see that aspect of me. After all, how effective is your branding if you are attempting to create an image around one concept yet others see the opposite in you.
Challenge: Think of one word that describes you… Consider your personal branding, does this word fit with the public image that you are creating? When sharing your word with others, do they instantly start to nod their heads in the affirmative or do they have a puzzled look on their face?