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If you look back over your career, chances are one or two people stand out as memorable leaders. Even if these people didn’t hold an official leadership role, their actions and words rallied people together to achieve a common goal.
What makes one leader memorable and puts another in the out-of-sight, out-of-mind category? It comes down to three key elements.
Socrates said, “The unexamined life is not worth living.” Although that’s a little harsh, it does make the point that you must examine your life to pinpoint your moral compass—your true values. Memorable leaders know their values, why they are important and how they play out in life.
Realize that you can’t have one set of values in your work life and a different set in your personal life. You take your set of values with you everywhere, and a mistake in one area of life can easily affect another.
Getting to know yourself starts with honesty—with others and yourself. Although most have “cash register” honesty—meaning they’d never steal money from their employer—they aren’t always honest in other ways. If you’re having trouble knowing who you are and what you stand for, ask a trusted colleague or family member to give you feedback. You can also opt to do a formal 360-degree feedback assessment, which enables others to give objective insight on how they view you.