Who Are You and Why Should Anyone Care?
When someone thinks of you, they have a mental picture in their mind of why you are the way you are, what you do or bring to people’s lives and how you do it. Some impressions are better than others, and some are a bit more twisted than other’s. There’s certainly an image of what you do for other people, and how that message is translated to others is the outward expression of you – it is your Golden Sentence. No one has one like you. It’s a fingerprint – a singular, specific, personalized characterization of your life – it is who you are.
Why a Golden Sentence, what purpose does it serve and how would I even use one? People spend less than 10 seconds on your LinkedIn profile, your Executive Biography or your resume, UNLESS there’s something compelling that makes the reader say, “tell me more.”
- Uncover who you truly are in life and in work,
- Realize you are unique, special and different – embrace it,
- You are supremely qualified to teach something to someone,
- You bring a combination of personality traits and aptitudes effortlessly to any situation.
The Golden Sentence is not your USP – unique selling proposition. It’s not an epitaph or your ‘elevator pitch’ – that fleeting, ethereal script lacking genuine energy and voltage. It’s not something you’re going to lead with in a conversation between friends or acquaintances. It is the defining statement of what makes you unique and special.
The Golden Sentence is the very essence of your personal and professional life.
You’re not going to you use it at a cocktail party unless you’re ‘that guy.’ It can be used as an introduction or referral to someone. Its value is in its simplicity. How do you succinctly answer the question of who are you and what you do without rambling. The Golden Sentence answers the question, “Why you?” and it is unequivocally the differentiator that separates “tell me more” from “so what.”
Clare Booth Luce, an interesting character, who’s own career evolved from the arts and theater into the political arena gained notoriety during the 50’s and 60’s and was the U.S. ambassador to Italy at one point. She was known to have conversations with the most prominent, powerful, and influential leaders around the world. She once told John F. Kennedy, “…every man is a sentence…” even giving him Abraham Lincoln’s example.
“Abraham Lincoln preserved the Union and freed the slaves,”
She then asked him, “What will be your legacy Mr. President?” Yours may be as impactful and as simple. I’m never going to be President, so why do I need a Golden Sentence? It describes who you are and the character that shapes you? It’s a compelling message of what your unique intangibles are. It’s what resonates with people you meet to want to know more about you.
What Is Your Tennis Ball?
Hyperactive dogs like to jump ever higher at a tennis ball. You’ve seen those dogs as if they have springs on their feet. What is your tennis ball? What is something that energizes you so much you bounce off the walls occasionally? What’s happened to some of you – worn down by life, bad breaks, lost loves and misfortune – haven’t we all been there, done that, and overpaid for the ill-fitting T-shirt?
What did you love to do at age 10? Chances are you still love it or would love to get back to that passionate point in time. Think of that point in time as the culmination of everything good and right about you that energizes people around you who believe what you believe in. Riddle me this:
- What are you so obsessed with that you think of more than anything else?
- What is something you believe so strongly about almost nobody agrees with you?
- What unique niche could you carve out and create value from?
Famed leadership hero and retired Baylor University football coach, Grant Teaff, was famous for saying, “turn every setback into a comeback.” What are you willing to try now? We learn who we are in real life by testing, NOT by theory – forged by all the crap we’ve gone through.
A Golden Sentence Example – “I’m a seasoned high energy executive driven to create sustainable profitability who leads from the front.” As you develop your own Golden Sentence, additional characteristics, traits and images will enter your mind of who you are and what makes you unique, special and different. It answers all three questions:
- Why you’re the way you are,
- What you do, and
- How you do it.
How do you create your own Golden Sentence? Start by writing down ideas, adjectives, adverbs, thoughts and phrases about who you are and why you think you’re unique. Here are some idea triggers for you:
- What one thing do you feel supremely qualified to teach other people?
- Who do you teach?
- What do they want or need from you?
- How do they change as a result from what you give them?
Remember, you have less than 10 seconds to capture someone’s attention AND to motivate them enough with a clear, concise message that resonates enough with them to want to know more about you. We all have a story to tell. You’ve followed a direction in your career and at some point invariably fell into the proverbial pit. At some point, you either escaped or have the desire to escape and breakthrough to an abundant life filled with energy, excitement and freedom. Capture all of your thoughts on paper!
What are you willing to get out of your own way and do?
When someone thinks of you, they will have a clear, concise and compelling mental image of why you are the way you are. You are better than others, and some of you will still be more twisted than others. But that certain impression of what you do for people, and how that impression is delivered will be your Golden Sentence. No one has a fingerprint like you. Go out and create that singular specific personalized characterization of who you are – the very essence of your personal and professional life – your own Golden Sentence.
Going through a Career Transition either voluntarily or involuntarily or you’re looking to enhance your current role and situation is never an easy task – filled with emotions, uncertainty and sometimes doubt. We offer a full suite of solutions to rejuvenate your career and will guide you to accelerate into the curve of your next career opportunity. If moving your career forward with voltage is important and you want to learn “How to Craft Your Golden Sentence,” then working together may be a good idea. If you got value from this article, please tell a friend or colleague about it. People will appreciate you for letting them know about a resource that can help them. I welcome your thoughts, comments & questions below. Give me a call 205-482-2177 or email me, and connect with me on Linkedin, Google+ or @jsspec.