As I drove home, I reflected on the key meetings of the week. I felt the progress. There were indeed thought provoking conversations that drove important decisions, new relationships with impressive people and overall time well spent.
But something haunted me.
Nancy M. Dahl / President & COO. It was the title that gave rank, not the authentic reputation built to define the name. And for those in transition or retired, there was an awkward void. Without the title to define the intro, people struggled to add context. It was almost as if the introduction was naked.
Really? How did we get here…
Because what really follows the name is a temporary assignment. And it only represents one piece of the puzzle – the “outside story”.
What really matters is who we are on the inside. After all, it is this understanding that allows us to embrace the world, add value and bring our passion and commitment to solve important issues.
But we hide behind those labels. The labels protect us and let us live a “slash” life.
And this can make it harder to discover what really matters. And harder to understand what makes real relationships possible.
Think about it. What would happen if instead of your “title,” you listed on your name badge what you are passionate about, or what people can count on from you? How would that change the conversation?
Can you feel the difference? I can.
But it is hard. That’s why it hasn’t happened. Hard to change the routine. Hard to do the work to define what matters. It is easier to keep the mundane and just write the title behind your name. And easier for the individual to hide behind the label rather than do the work that makes a stronger statement of who we are.
But we can all easily see and feel the difference.
Let’s commit to change the conversation and the results. Even if you start with the title, add another line to add context and get the ball rolling. It’s worth the extra effort. No one should be defined by a slash life.
Let me know how you are going to change your approach with introductions. A simple thing, a big difference.