By Steve Moran

As a leader, you know theoretically that the people you lead are watching you, but likely you have no real idea how much.

What inspired this article was a couple of slides used in a presentation by Beverly Jackson, the VP of brand and product marketing at Zillow. The slides were screenshots of people talking about how they are Zillowing their bosses’ homes.

Worth Thinking About

I promise you that your team members are exploring who you are big-time. They are looking at your home value and your Facebook and Instagram pages; they are watching your X (formerly Twitter) feeds and of course your TikTok and LinkedIn profiles.

They might even know more about you than you know yourself.

Because those social media pages paint only a partial picture. Your team members fill in the blanks based on what they can see. The picture they paint in their minds may or may not be true.

Even More …

They are talking to each other about how you live, and that is all juxtaposed with how you treat your staff, your residents, your vendors — yes, your vendors — and family members.

People Are Talking

If you are a leader, regardless of your style — quiet, “out there,” or someplace in between — people are talking about you. It is worthwhile to think about what you want people to think about you, to say about you. It is really hard to do this.

Early in my senior living media career, I remember sitting with a friend and her reminiscing about how people perceived me when I first started writing. I can’t remember her exact words, but it went something like this: ”I remember when you first started writing, and people were asking and wondering who is this weird guy who is saying these uncomfortable things about the industry?”

It was pretty unnerving. Even now, I am sure that what I think people say about me is incomplete and that at least some people say things about me that would make me squirm if I heard them.

Be Authentic

While it is worthwhile to think about and pay attention to how people perceive you, think about you, and talk about you, you need to be who you are … but that does not mean it is an excuse to be a jerk to others, to not listen to others.

It would be an interesting exercise for you to write out what you think people think about you, then get some feedback on your ideas.