What Do You Stand For?
You can only be heard on the level you are communicating. On the wavelength you are operating. You are a force of nature, but what is the essence of that force?
You may know how you serve the world, but is the world around you aware? How are you masking your brilliance? Does your curated persona align with the deepest truth of your work, your spirit, your character?
Being a thought leader is for everyone. It means that you – your actions, your words, your energy, your comments and posts, your ‘brand’ – is in full resonance with your sense of purpose in the world.
You are your message.
We’re going to lightly explore how to stand truthfully in the world and all its mediums, and lead – as a person or business – through a deep connection with core values and original drive.
To stand in full integrity, you must reconnect with your core values. Core values are reflected in work ethic, company culture, customer relationships, quality of the product you deliver, decisions you make, all the way down to how you design your work space and website.
They are the building blocks of any organization, practice or career. They are truly what you stand for – what you allow.
Core values permeate every single facet of your work, and they should also be evident in your daily life. They inform how you hire, with whom you partner and yes, even who you love. So, you can imagine how important it is to have your core values clearly defined.
Think about how you, your brand or business interacts with the world. Think about the specific ways you want to show up in the market – who you want to work with, how you are leading, how transactions feel. What one-word values come up for you? Some examples are:
Start a list and get it down to four that are true at every level of what you do, how you serve and how you relate.
To be a leader, you must be deeply rooted in your intrinsic momentum, which stems from genuine drive and curiosity. This is part of remembering who you are, and what you are here to do. This need not be grand, just meaningful to you personally. If no aspect of your work lights you up it’s time to reconnect with original drive.
When you are lit up, you send a signal out into the world. You stand for something. Maybe it’s art or wilderness. Perhaps it is justice or solving puzzles. When I do this exercise with clients, we spend at least a couple hours in exploration – if not a couple weeks.
Here’s a little exercise to help you identify that drive:
Think about a time in your life when you felt fully, radically alive. Your senses were heightened and focused, and you felt like you could stay awake in it forever. Now think about all the moments in your life when you truly felt tapped into this energy. What were you learning about or doing? Where were you physically? How were you operating? Who were you with?
Write down what comes up most consistently in one or two word answers. Most of the list you create should be activated during your daily life, from work to play, for you to keep yourself fulfilled and ignited.
Who are you in the world and who are you in your work? Do they align?
Would it be easy for me to meet you in a social setting and grasp what you stand for? Would it be easy for me to meet you in a work setting and know the true depth of your purpose?
Connecting your core values with your drive is how you stay grounded in your personal truth and successfully, authentically convey your message to the world.
Take inventory of your daily routine, your extracurricular activities and hobbies, your work, your digital profile and your behavior. What fits? What takes you off your center? In what ways are you communicating a message to the world that is not really you?
Finally, start to re-prioritize. Give more energy and focus to the most aligned version of yourself. Take care of him or her. Elevate your most honest self and the world will conspire around you to match your frequency. You will be heard, and trusted.