Check All That Apply. What Are You Known For?

I want you to take a second and look through this list of words and select those that describe you professionally.


Wonderful. Now I want you to take a look at this second list of words and check all that apply to you professionally.

  • Unenthusiastic

Did you notice a pattern? My guess is you checked ALL the positive words. When it came to negative words, you might have owned them for a moment, but wouldn’t say you’re “known” for them professionally. Am I right?

We’ve had thousands of people work with us on the straightforward question, “What am I known for?” We’ve learned that we ALL think we’re known for all of the positive words, and none of us want to be known for any of the negative words.

Unless you’re a first-time reader, you’ve also heard me say, “Every decision made about you and your opportunities is made in a room you’re not in.” Which then begs the question, what words are the people in the room using to describe you? And while I gave you twenty positive words, I guess there are many other brilliant words to represent you.

Now I ask you this question. Think of a colleague you admire. Put yourself in a room they’re not in. How many words would you use to describe them? Four? Five? Six? How long would you go on? One or two?

There is no right or wrong answer because context always matters, and you are uniquely you. But I’m hazarding a guess that you probably wouldn’t say all twenty. Here’s my other theory, if you were talking about yourself, you wouldn’t use all twenty either.

So which words are right for you? Which will help you manifest your goals and move you forward on this adventure called your career?

I’m interested to learn which words you choose. Will you share them? More importantly, will you share them with the people making decisions about you in rooms you’re not in? Because they’re the people who need to know.

PS. My guess is sometimes you are the person in the room making decisions about other people. I’ve got some ideas about this topic to share with you too.

What do you do? Does your answer to that question inspire and engage? I think it should. Belief Agent for You. | TED Speaker

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