Monday, October 14, 2013

Are you the go-to person?

Sometimes you attend conferences, workshops, seminars, etc...and you hear things and then you never think about them again. Sometimes you attend these same events and you hear something and you chew it on for months and months, or every once in awhile you think about it.

This happened to me after the 2013 NASPA IV-E Women in Student Affairs Drive In Conference. During the Senior Level Panel discussion, Dr. Patricia Telles-Irvin of Northwestern University posed the question: "Are you the go-to person? If not, how do you become the go-to person?" This question and this thought has been constantly going in and out of my mind since June. As I think about this notion of being the go-to person, I ask myself a series of questions along with that:

Do I want to be the go-to person?
If so, to whom do I want to be to go-to person for?
What am I the go-to person for?
Am I prepared to be the go-to person for whatever that is?
If not, how do I prepare myself?
And all importantly, how the heck do I position myself to be the "Go-To" person?

I know, call me a thinker, a reflector, a worry wart, but two of my top 5 strengths are futuristic and strategic, so my long lists of questions seems to make sense; at least to me anyway.

Over the summer, I really begin to process what this meant to me. What is my definition of being the go-to person and how will I know that I am successful in becoming it. I wanted, well actually needed, to make sense of this for myself. I did not want to use anyone else's definition of success because I wanted to set realistic expectations for myself based on my goals. Trying to achieve another person's version of success can sometimes be a daunting and impossible task especially if they are not based on your values.

Being a go-to person to me means the following:

1. I have a solid reputation and individuals see me as having some level of competence and expertise in a certain area.
2. I have a strong support system and individuals will speak highly of me and advocate for me even when I am not in the room.
3. I am looked upon to serve in a variety of capacities specifically being a change maker.
4. I am trusted to create and implement new initiatives and strategic priorities.

As I continue to grow as a professional, I am confident that I am achieving in these 4 areas. I constantly review them and adapt accordingly, thinking about ways I can be better and how I can continue to move forward in each of them.

How do you define being the go-to person? As you recollect on your professional journey, have you been the go-to person? In what areas? If this is a desire for you to become the go-to person, what steps do you need to take to get there? How will you measure if you are successful?

I hope that my thought process has sparked you to take time and chew on this for yourself. Feel free to tweet me @Bdenisecole and tell me what being the go-to person means to you, and/or comment on this post as well.

1 comment:

  1. You are a worry wart LOL! I see you as a go to person who with every year that I have known you as you have become more of a expert expanding your knowledge base and brand in the field.