What a great question! And if the answer is yes (and I hope it is) then the logical follow-up question is “What do people go to you for? You may never have thought about it. The answer may only be one word. For example, people tell me that they come to me for “energy” or “inspiration”. Maybe people come to you for your “wisdom” or for your “guidance” in challenging situations. Or maybe you are in the inside loop and are known for some unique “knowledge” or “expertise/experience”. It’s different for everyone and you may not even know for certain.
Your “Go-To” Reputation is Part of Your Brand
It’s a important question . . . what do others come to you for? I always ask this question when working with people around building their career performance and long-term success. And if they like the answer (which is very important) then we weave it into their personal and career brand so they own it – take control of it. It means that we are being seen as a resource – a valuable resource. We have something to offer relatively quickly and without a great deal of hassle. We are approachable, easy to get in contact with and can be trusted to listen and provide some help. Now that is a great reputation to have.
Remember! It doesn’t mean you have all the answers or that you’re going to take on all or even part of the work. In fact, it’s very important that you don’t see yourself in that role but rather that you have the contacts and the willingness to help connect others with resources. It means that you are a connector – a person in the know. That is an excellent reputation to have!
Learning from Sheila Leslie, Nevada State Senator
Just yesterday, I had the chance to listen to a wonderful member of the Nevada State Legislature, Sheila Leslie, State Senator, speak about her role in the legislature. In response to a question from the audience, Leslie shared how she mentors and advises newly elected legislators. And she knows what she’s talking about . . . Leslie has served Northern Nevada since 1998 first as a State Assemblywoman and now as a State Senator. She is very well-respected and best known for her expertise and experience in the health and human services.
So it was no surprise that Leslie’s advice to young legislators is to become a “go-to” person in an area you are interested in; you have some expertise and you are willing to help others. And that’s exactly what Leslie has done for years. Right out of graduate school, she served in the poorest areas of the Dominican Republic with the Peace Corp; started the first Food Bank in Nevada and worked for years establishing a network of child protective community services. Out of these personal experiences and passion, Leslie has become the valuable “go-to” person on these issues. This is her reputation and a very powerful influential brand. She’s an inspiration to all of us!