Leadership Landmarks: What Do You Represent?
Big Ben is a landmark.
It’s a powerful symbol of an important city with a storied history.
Whenever we see a landmark, inevitable associations pop into our minds. For example, when we see the Eiffel Tower, our thoughts might wander to French bread, crepes, and the enchanting streets of Paris.
The same phenomenon of unconsciously evoked ideas, images, and perceptions – both positive and negative – blankets every landmark we encounter, whether it’s Big Ben, the Washington Monument, or the Grand Canyon.
The same is also true for every person we encounter in life. Today, as colleagues at work pass you in the halls or converse with you, you will be like a landmark in their life and within your company.
In the same way we associate words, thoughts, or emotions to the above landmarks, words and thoughts are associated with you too. In the minds of others, you stand for something.
Be A Landmark Worth Imitating
What associations come to mind when people think of you? Do they see you as a landmark symbol of liberation in their work, family, or community life? Or do they think of something else?
Whenever we encounter someone that has meaning to us, we retrieve a set of associations from the “computer files” stored in our brains, complete with a host of memories and judgments attached. Those thoughts may be positive or negative, but the reality is that they are there nonetheless, and they form our perception of that person. The same is true about other people in regard to us.
This doesn’t mean you should pander to people’s perception of you or try to persuade them to think a certain way. The important point is to bring attention to the fact that we are known by association, and if we desire to change the words associated with us, then we must alter our style of leadership so that others know that we are for them.
With time and experience, we can change the landmark assumptions made about us and our impact on others.
Be a landmark worth imitating.