What’s your “defining statement”?

On recommendation from the talented Cynthia D’Amour, I recently picked up and read Growing Your Business! by Mark LeBlanc. It’s a whole $7.95 and has fewer than 80 pages. And yet, it packs a remarkable punch. I highly recommend it to anyone interested in building their career through enhanced focus, productivity and proactivity. Following is my favorite concept from the book:

A defining statement

According to LeBlanc, “The easiest way to position yourself by concept [as opposed to by title or by products/services] is to create a great defining statement. A defining statement is a simple answer to a simple question, ‘What do you do?’”

He goes on to ask, “How many times do you answer this question differently? Do your customers or even your family and friends really understand what you do? What if everyone knew? What if your employees [or colleagues, allies, friends and family] could repeat your defining statement?”

In theory, “When you can answer this simple question in a succinct and concise way that attracts more prospects, [LeBlanc believes] you will have reached a deeper level of connection with your prospects and customers.”

Although LeBlanc is writing to business owners and professionals who want to sell more products and services, I think the concept is equally applicable to association professionals and industry partners of all experience levels regardless of position.

Only when we truly understand the goals and objectives of our work, can articulate the benefits and limitations of our own personal gifts and talents, and can easily and clearly communicate this “What do you do?” vision with both current and prospective members/clients, does the ambiguity and frustration begin to subside. The resulting void is then filled with confidence, joy and passion. Identifying and nurturing that sweet spot is sure to make us more productive employees and much more pleasant in our personal lives, too.

So, my question to you is this: What’s your defining statement? How do you know? How do you share this defining statement with others? How has your defining statement changed your life? How do you resolve conflicts between your defining statement and your organization’s defining statement?

5 Responses to “What’s your “defining statement”?”

  1. November 21, 2011 at 5:00 pm

    Glad you found the book helpful Aaron! A clear defining statement can open doors more easily – and in the association world help members and community understand what they heck it is that you do!

  2. 2 Anne-Margaret Olsson
    November 22, 2011 at 8:49 am

    Great blog Aaron – and a very good point. I just attended our leadership conference where I heard Ryan Estis speak. He shared a similar focus and said how important it is to have a clear and specific focus for the organization so that everyone is working in the same direction. It makes sense that every individual needs to have focus in their life and work as well. Thanks again for the great blog!

  3. November 22, 2011 at 10:16 am

    Thanks, Anne-Margaret, for commenting. In his book, Mark LeBlanc is specifically talking to small business owners when he introduces the concept of a defining statement. For those small businesses – in many cases, a solo operation – it’s easy for the defining statement of the business to resonate with the owner (as that person created it). In most of our organizations, however, the equation becomes a bit more complicated, especially when considering the needs and wants of all staff members, the board of directors, the membership and various other key stakeholders. Therefore, it’s my opinion that when an organization’s defining statement and an individual’s defining statement overlap in some way, both the organization and the individual prosper. Where no overlap exists, a breakdown occurs in morale, productivity, satisfaction or some combination thereof.

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meet aaron

Association learning strategist & meetings coach. Founder & president of Event Garde. Passionate about cooking, running, blogging, old homes, unclehood & pet parenting (thanks to Lillie the pup).

meet kristen

Writer, editor, public relations professional. Digital content manager. Proud mom of three. Total word geek. Spartan for life.

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