Whenever I see the number 666 (as in this blog title), I am reminded of an incoming student we had several years ago.  She was from a conservative religious background and the email address of her first roommate-to-be was something like devil666.  It did not go over well.  We had tears and parental involvement with lots of drama and trauma before she enrolled (in a different living situation).  I wonder if she ever met “the devil” and if the impression that girl was giving off was authentic or put out there for shock value.

In the admissions world, we see email addresses every day that I hope never make it to a resume: teddybear, bubblygirl, babycakes, froggy, squireprince, grossy, hogeybear, anklebreaker, or cheetahgirl.  It may sound cute when you are a 16 year old high school student, but it doesn’t go far in impressing an admissions counselor or prospective boss.

Email addresses have become the personalized license plate of this decade.  Most people have their name and a number which is equivalent to the state-issued plates that have no personal character.  But those who venture out to have nicknames or team names or favorite things can be equated to those who put coded messages or not-so-subtle designations on their licenses.

Which way do you fall — trying to blend in or stand out?  Either works, but take a minute to see if your 666 is unintentionally sending a message you didn’t mean to send.

— beth triplett

About the Author leadership dots by dr. beth triplett

I'm the chief connector at leadership dots where I serve as "the string" for individuals and organizations. Like stringing pearls together to make a necklace, "being the string" is an intentional way of thinking and behaving – making linkages between things that otherwise appear random or unconnected – whether that be supervising a staff, completing a dissertation or advancing a project in the workplace. I share daily leadership dots on my blog to provide examples of “the string” in action. I use the string philosophy through coaching, consulting and teaching to help others build capacity in themselves and their organizations. I craft analogies and metaphors that help people comprehend complex topics and understand their role in the system. My favorite work involves helping those new to supervision or newly promoted supervisors build confidence and learn the skills necessary to effectively lead their team.

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