Each day your senses are hit with images and sounds, even smells. Inevitably, one of those sights, sounds, or smells activates an enduring memory. That memory is often of a person, a loved one, or someone you worked with and how you experienced them. Leaders are in a unique position to impact those memories and become known as memorable leaders. What will prompt a memory of you?
Being a memorable leader requires a strong constitution and a lot of patience. As I have previously written, people are complex, and managing people is one of the most challenging aspects of leadership. Yet, leaders can have a great deal of positive or negative influence on the people they lead. That influence comes from leaders’ encounters with the people they lead. For instance, in this article, PGA Pros discuss their first encounter with the legendary Arnold Palmer. It is instructive for any leader who wants to impact their team and organization positively.
What Leads to Enduring Memories?
Leaders most often engage with the people they lead based on how they view or perceive their people. And many leaders never stop to test if their perceptions are valid. If a leader views their people as unworthy, pains in their backside, crybabies, or any other derogatory manner, it influences how they treat people. The same goes for leaders who perceive their people as decent human beings, who are working to support themselves and their families, and team members who are committed to helping the organization succeed. The memories employees develop about their leaders most often come from how that leader treats them and the enduring characteristics they view in their leader.
The question is, are those characteristics what you want people to remember about you? Will those characteristics make you a memorable leader? Much of that is within your control, such as how you perform at your job and impact the workplace with your presence, attitude, and leadership. Remember to assess how you show up and affect the people you love.
How to Improve the Memories People Have About You
The idea isn’t to live according to what others think of you. It is to live your life according to the qualities of the person you want to be, which is how others form their memories of you. When that aligns with having a positive impact, the things that remind people of you leave an encouraging legacy and can make you a memorable leader. Use the steps below to learn how you can improve:
- Harness the courage to reflect on the question of what will prompt a memory of you. Self-reflection takes courage. You may not like what you see, yet remember, you can change that.
- Be bold enough to look closely at how you show up with people at home and work to gain clarity. Ask a trusted individual for feedback if you struggle to see the impact of your actions. Be open to input by resisting any urge to get defensive.
- Take the initiative to make corrections to reflect how you want people to remember you. Acknowledge your strengths, and use those to improve in the areas you need to grow. If you are unclear about what actions to take, reach out for some help from a trusted advisor or skilled professional to guide and support you.
It is a process to change behavior. Be patient with yourself and others as they adjust to your new approach. It is essential to remember that not everyone will have positive recollections of you, no matter what you do. Some people will demonize even the most outstanding leaders, an insignificant percentage of those with whom you interact. Don’t get stuck trying to please those outliers. Focus more on those open to your positive influence and do what you can with the others. Please let us know how we can help.