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What Is My Role?

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Jan G. van der Hoop, President of HiringSmart™ — our go-to partner for help on how to hire more effectively, will be contributing to this blog on Fridays.  You can reach him directly at 905-338-7961 or

Details about our ‘role’ are not usually captured by position titles or job descriptions. They may do an adequate job of outlining ‘what’ activities or results are required of a specific job, but they completely miss the ‘who’ and ‘how’ questions. The answers to those questions lie in the assumptions we are making – often unconsciously – about the essence of what it is to be a manager, leader, spouse, member of a team, etc.

‘Who’ I choose to be as a leader, and ‘how’ I get things done, is a choice we make in every moment of every day. The trick here is to get ourselves off autopilot, and have these be conscious, intentional choices rather than simply showing up as a reaction to the environment around us.

The Coach’s Tip – In clarifying your role, ask yourself:

  • Job description aside – what really is my role here? What are the things I do (or could do) that really make a lasting difference?
  • (borrowing from Ben Zander) What assumptions am I making about my role – that I don’t know that I’m making – that are giving me the results I’m seeing today?
  • If I were to redefine my role as a manager or leader as being unconditionally successful of others’ success, on their terms… what would I be doing differently?

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