It Takes a Strong Brand to Stand Up


How can you maintain your standards when you are asked to do something against your values? Remember what being authentic means. It means you are very clear about what is important to you knowing that your values are what you take with you every day wherever you go. They are your operating principles. It takes a strong brand to stand up for your beliefs when your values are being compromised. It takes an even stronger one to know that values SHOULD be respected. Your brand is composed of your values, stories, talents, life experiences, interests, etc. By taking a professional approach, not only are you exuding your authentic brand, but you are expressing leadership. Here is a story one of our readers sent me along with this Four Way test: I've noticed that the people I get along with the best are those with the same values I have. The times I've had conflict have often been due to the fact that I have a different standard than the other person. For example, I resist telling … [Read more...]

How to Evaluate Criticism When Your Personal Brand Is Under Attack


Imagine being a child and having to present a drawing in front of your peers. You pour your heart into a family portrait filled with various sized stick figures, a beautifully shaped 3-D boxed house, and a tree. As you hold it up proudly, you hear the oohs and ahhs of how great it is. Then what comes next? Someone says the tree should be green, not the shade of brown you used. And the house should be beige instead of pink. And the sun should be yellow, not purple. Quickly, the feeling of pride turns into disappointment. Why would anyone be so mean about something so personal? Well, the same can be said when you present your personal brand. When you put yourself out there, you are vulnerable to criticism or "opinions." It can sometimes come as a surprise when you're attacked for being who you are, whether it's how you dress, write, process information, or express your ideas. Aren't we supposed to embrace what makes us unique? Dare I even say, "special"? Apparently, that’s not … [Read more...]

Does Information Cause Transformation?

I’ve been thinking about the reason I enjoy executive coaching so much. Yes, I enjoy watching people move forward in their careers. Yes, it’s humbling to know I’ve made a difference in how people think or behave – habits they learn to change. But above all these things – my love for coaching comes from seeing someone do something that is transformational. Here’s a recent example. I’ve changed the name to protect the innocent, as they say. Bill was a middle manager in a Fortune 100 company who was burned out, frustrated at what wasn’t happening that he thought should be happening, and ready to give up a good paying job. His complaints were partially well founded. Bill’s boss did not agree that he was ready for a new role. He had sought a promotion and was turned down. “You have not demonstrated that you are ready to manage a larger part of our organization,” he was told. Add to that Bill was bored with what seemed mundane work and mindless tasks that were below his level of … [Read more...]

If You Gave Yourself A Title – What Would It Be?

Business card

If you were to give yourself a title, what would it be? How would it make you stand out and unique among the hundreds—if not thousands—of other people saying the same thing that you do? Social media, after all, is an equal-opportunity tool. Anyone can use it, from mom-and-stores down the street, to huge conglomerates with stores all over the world. In reaching out to the thousands of people in our networks, for example, we need a title that our followers will successfully associate with us, something that can help us communicate who we are and what we stand for. In the relative anonymity of the Internet, after all, readers will judge us on how we are communicating—starting from what we call ourselves—and whether we can be trusted. Say, for example, that you are a social marketer, a CEO of a marketing startup, and a gamer. In talking about your company, promoting your products, and interacting with the people in your field, will you want your title to be “High-Level Sorcerer,” … [Read more...]

4 Ways To Build A Profitable Personal Brand

Fallng dollars

What if you were told that each year you stay at a dead-end job you’re losing money? And not just a couple of thousands here and there, but a significant amount that’s the difference between just  being “okay” or having the financial freedom to do the things you want to do. Enough money to set you back at least $15,000. Too often, intelligent and talented professionals are leaving money on the table staying at dead-end jobs. And by “dead-end,” I mean any job where there’s little potential to make more money or grow your brand within a company; you’re stagnant financially, mentally, or both. Either way, it’s like a movie so bad you can’t help but to think about all the time you lost that you'll never get back. Maybe you're good at what you do and have grown accustomed to your work; your job offers a flexible schedule and you can take time off when you want; or aside from a few rotten apples, your coworkers have become like family and it's nice to go where everybody knows your name … [Read more...]