What 3 Words Best Describe You?

Recently I was having a conversation with a group of business professionals when one of them asked, “What three words best describe you?”

It’s an interesting conversation to ponder. Off the cuff I shared with the group, “Efficient”, “Servant-Leader”, and “Creative”.

While others in the conversation no doubt knew the exact three words to pick, I struggled. I even struggled when I gave the last word of “creative”. I didn’t struggle because those three words are inaccurate in describing me. Depending on who you talk with, someone would no doubt use one of those words to describe me. I struggled because I knew there was more to me as a person than those three words embodied, and I had failed to capture the “essence of me” in three tiny words.

So I pondered that question. I went back and read letters of recommendations and referral statements I had collected over the years. I was hoping to find a theme. Then I sat down and thought about past employees I had hired, coached, or fired. I wondered what they would say.

In the end, I kept one word and came up with two new ones. Ironically, all three start with “E”. I may henceforth describe myself as E-Cubed.

1. Efficient

People are often amazed at how much I am able to get done in a day.  For the last decade of my career, I have worn multiple hats that all had competing deadlines.  Years ago I learned how easy it was to meet those deadlines, so long as I created a plan and worked it.  I not only schedule meetings throughout the day, I also schedule time to work on specific projects as though they were a meeting.  This has helped me to become extremely efficient in my day-to-day work endeavors.

2. Empathetic

As a life-long learner, I have spent my career not only studying new things, but more importantly, studying people and how they react to various situations.  Combining those lessons with the lessons life has taught me over time has empowered me to be empathetic.  This is a skill that I believe helps me succeed when working with people.  One of my favorite things to do is “step outside” of situations I find myself in and try to ponder what other people are going through.  Then I use empathy to help me either guide them towards success or to help me guide the overall situation to a more positive outcome.

3. Eager

Finally, I am always eager to learn or try something new.  In marketing, I believe that 30% of your time and budget should be spent on experimenting with new ideas.  In life, I believe trying new things is the only way to really experience everything this world has to offer.  So I am always eager to try new things, visit new places, and adopt new ideas.  More importantly, I do it with a positive attitude.

I’m curious now, “What 3 words best describe you?”

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