Your 7 Word Identity

Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote…

“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.”

I firmly believe in order to lead well you must know yourself. Knowing yourself is being aware of your strengths, personality tendencies, motivations, short-comings, passions, triggers, and identity.

I would like to provide you with an exercise to help you understand yourself better from two perspectives.   The first perspective is from your own point-of-view. The second perspective is how others see you. The purpose of this exercise is to know yourself so you can be your best self as you influence those around you.


Step 1 – Your Perspective

This is a simple yet challenging exercise to identify who you are with seven words.

  1. Start the exercise by “brainstorming” as many words as you can that describe you – good and not so good.
  2. Next, categorize the words into common groupings.
  3. From the groupings, pick seven words that describe you.
  4. Finally, write what these 7 words say about you.


Step 2 – Others Perspectives

The seven word idea was introduced to me by a friend that directed me to Harry Campbell’s website. Mr. Campbell created an online tool that allows you to ask others to describe you with seven words. The website for this exercise is Simple click on the link and follow the instructions.


Confident leaders have sound self-awareness. Take the time to stop, reflect, and gain a new understanding of who you are with seven words.