Describing What I Do…in One Sentence

“So, what do you do?” she asked.

“I’m a project coordinator.” he replied.

“Yes, but what do you do?”

“I just told you,” he said, looking confused.

“No, you gave me your title…I asked you what you do.”

“Oh, I see where you’re going with this,” he said smiling. He reloaded. “I bring teams together to achieve incredible results.”

“Wow!” she grinned. “That was powerful. I could see a glimpse of your soul through those words. Thank you.”

The man blushed. “No…thank you for sticking with your question.”

In last week’s blog I brought up my struggle to create the perfect “sentence” to answer the question, What do you do for a living? I also asked you, my readers and listeners, to share your sentences with me.

So first, let me begin by thanking all of you who responded to my plea. Your sentences for yourselves and your suggestions for me were very helpful—indeed, insightful. Thanks for that. I’ve listed all of your sentences at the end of this blog.

And guess what?

I did it!

That’s right, through this process (which includes being in a silent retreat this past weekend), I was able to come up with the perfect sentence to describe what I do! Well, sort of. Actually, I can’t decide between four options and am in desperate need of your help (again). Do you mind?

But before we go there, I want to reiterate a point first.

As you may recall from last week’s blog, I shared the two different ways that people typically answer the question, What do you do for a living?  Allow me to elaborate…

Most people, as exemplified in the opening dialogue, answer the question incorrectly when they respond with statements like, I am vice president of product development for AT&T. Why is that incorrect, you ask? It’s incorrect because they didn’t answer the question. Think about it. The question is, What do you do? not, What’s your title?

Besides, even though your title may sound impressive, all it really tells us is what your role is within the organization. We still don’t know what you do.

This brings me to the second, and more correct way to answer the question, What do you do for a living? And it begins with a verb. That’s right, a verb. You should answer the question (which clearly is asking for an action) with an action by starting with a verb, i.e., I bring teams together to achieve incredible results.

Ah, doesn’t that sound better? Isn’t it more descriptive? Plus it not only provides an action but it provides an outcome as well.

Fortunately for me, you—my readers and listeners—got it right the first time. You sent me your sentences to describe what you do and they all begin with verbs (see below).

  • I provide team and leadership coaching.
  • I inspire and guide individuals, teams, and organizations to high performance.
  • I lead others to personal growth.
  • I train people to become better leaders.
  • I use my voice to empower others.
  • I enhance executives’ effectiveness by providing information management support.
  • I connect people and companies to their greatness.
  • I coach and mentor leaders.

A pretty impressive list I must say.

Drum roll please…

So without further ado, here are my four options:

  1. I build leaders from the inside-out!
  2. I provide leadership and life coaching.
  3. I help create authenticity in the workplace.
  4. I help leaders lead authentically.

I’m leaning towards #2. It rolls off my tongue the best and leaves little to the imagination. What do you think?

-Geese

greg@greggiesen.com

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