My name is Scott Voland. It was given to me by my parents and forms the core of my identity. At the same time, I acquired other names – son, grandson, cousin. In time, I also became known as brother, schoolmate, and friend.
Over the years, I’ve added other names; other identities. Some were the result of external influences. Others were acquired by choice. Husband, father, employee, neighbor; these are identities I gave serious thought to before taking on. By accepting these roles, I’ve chosen to alter the course of my life and that of others as well.
Just like me, you have multiple names; identities that define who you are and how you act within certain situations and relationships. Many of these exist within the context of work. Think of the labels you operate under: associate, teammate, manager, leader; the list goes on. Each of these carries expectations for behavior, observable actions that indicate we have willing stepped into the role.
Hopefully, we take our identities seriously. We don’t take on roles lightly, ignoring the implications of our choices. That’s because the roles we identify with, and the way we behave within those roles, have tremendous impact on everyone involved.
When we act in accordance with the roles we’ve taken on, we realize the best version of ourselves. We feel complete and fulfilled because what we profess to be and what we are achieve alignment. Others who rely on us feed on this synchronicity and are enabled to perform in accordance with their chosen identities.
When our behavior fails to line up with expectations, we experience what can almost be described as an identity crisis. We fail to realize the best version of ourselves. We miss out on being who we are meant to be. Our coworkers feel the impact as well. They lose when we fall short of realizing our full potential.
The choice is obvious. Think about the identity you have chosen. Take stock of the behaviors associated with it. Act in accordance with those expectations. Anything less results in confusion, if not chaos.
My identity is still evolving. I continue to take on new and varied roles. I explore nuances of existing ones. Every day, I work to achieve more; to become the best version of myself possible. I do the best I can so that others can do the same. That’s who I am.
Who do you think you are?