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Maybe you’re an oil and gas executive, or a waitress, or a teacher, a pilot, an athlete, a taxi driver, or you’re in between jobs?


Perhaps you’re a Ph.D student, or an electrician, a mail carrier, a business owner, a soldier, a dog walker, a writer, a pizza delivery man?

That’s not you either?

A homemaker, a board member, a chef, construction worker, politician, salesperson, an accountant, a missionary, an actor, a musician?

Well it doesn’t really matter.

Because that’s not who you are anyway.

That’s what you do.

So who are you?

In a previous job my boss started a process where he met with all his direct reports to develop role descriptions as opposed to the usual job descriptions.

One of the first questions he asked me was, “What do you want people to say about you when you’re not in the room?”

I thought about it for a moment and responded with, “I want them to say, wow, she’s one classy lady!”

This statement immediately influenced my interactions and relationships, both at work and in my private life.

And it inspired me to create a personal vision/mission statement. (More on that later)

The Tweet from @UndertheNeonSky that inspired this post

Once my ‘Role Description’ was completed, I met with my direct reports to go through the same process.

They told me the things they wanted people to say about them when they left the room, things like:

she delivers on what she says she’s going to do;

she has great ideas;

he really knows his stuff;

I feel like I’m the only person in the world when he talks to me.

To my delight it gave me a clearer idea of who they were.

This simple exercise of discovering who I am saved me a lot of heartache when I left that organization.

An organization I’d been involved with for 20 years.

One I’d invested a whole lot of sweat and tears, along with my co-workers, to make more successful.

One who’s mission and people I still very much care about.

Sure it was hard to leave, but I knew who I was – my confidence and purpose in life were not tied into that specific job.

The benefit of knowing who you are and being able to articulate it is empowering.

Chances are that you already live out who you are –  and have been doing so since you were a kid.

I know that when I developed my mission and vision statements and looked back on my life,

all the pieces seemed to fit together and finally make sense.

Writing out who you are in concise language

empowers you to more quickly assess and make decisions on the opportunities and struggles that come your way at work and in your personal life.

My personal vision and mission statements you ask?

I unabashedly display them on my blog, but in case you missed them, here they are:

Vision: Igniting the power and passion in others…

Mission: I relate with, promote and speak community wherever I am…

Short and sweet.

All encompassing.

Transcending any job description.

I can’t say enough about the benefits of knowing who you are and strongly encourage you to find out, if you haven’t already done so.

Remember this: You are not who you are because of the things you do. You do the things you do because of who you are.

What do you want people to say about you when you leave the room?

And tell me…I really want to know.

Who are you?