Might Be Yours, But Is It Really A Story?

Have you ever stopped to think about all it took to become you? Like others, it’s likely that your teenage years launched you on a quest for identity that probably brought a fair amount of disorientation, experimentation, and even fear. And that was just the beginning! As you matured, you may have developed a sense of identity, but never quite shook the fear of not fitting in. Yet, somehow you ended up with a sense of identity that supports you. And if you’ve ever been through a structured assessment and introspective process you’ve probably attained even more clarity and confidence in your sense of self. Well, at least until confronted with the need to tell your story. At that point, self-knowledge probably seems to evaporate! Still, in today’s social media-driven world, if we want to connect with our audiences, we are increasingly challenged to tell our story. That’s a good thing. However, what is not so good is the kind of guidance that suggests we create our stories. You … [Read more...]

Connecting with People Who Will Hire … YOU!

  "Story is the language of experience, whether it’s ours, someone else’s, or that of fictional characters. Other people’s stories are as important as the stories we tell ourselves. Because if all we ever had to go on was our own experience, we wouldn’t make it..." ~ Lisa Cron Truth be told, not everyone learns all they need to know in Kindergarten. In fact, people learn over the entire course of their lives, and one of the primary vehicles for learning is stories. Indeed, in fairness to Robert Fulghum, it is precisely the stories he tells which teach the principles he covers in All I Really Need To Know I Learned in Kindergarten. There is a reason for this. As Lisa Cron documents, in Wired for Story, there is solid brain science behind storytelling. Specifically, “Neuroscientists believe the reason our already overloaded brain devotes so much precious time and space to allowing us to get lost in a story is that without stories, we’d be toast. Stories allow us to simulate … [Read more...]

Re-imagining Personal Brand

“Differentiation is a way of thinking. It’s a mindset. It’s a commitment. A commitment to engage with people–not in a manner to which they are merely unaccustomed, but in a manner that they will value, respect, and yes, perhaps even celebrate."  ~Youngme Moon   Harvard Business School professor, Youngme Moon, in her remarkable book Different: Escaping the Competitive Herd, discusses the ways in which many brands have adopted a herd mentality as they compete in the marketplace. In accounting for a “proliferation of sameness,” she says: "In category after category, companies have gotten so locked into a particular cadence of competition that they appear to have lost sight of their mandate – which is to create meaningful grooves of separation from one another. Consequently, the harder they compete, the less differentiated they become.” So, increasingly, we live in a world where we don’t see meaningful differences between offerings like cars, cereals, or cell phone plans.  … [Read more...]

Substitute

  But I'm a substitute for another guy I look pretty tall but my heels are high The simple things you see are all complicated I look pretty young, but I'm just back-dated, yeah                                                                ~ The Who Back in the day, when I first became a certified Personal Branding Strategist, I learned that personal branding was about having permission to be yourself. And personal brand was synonymous with your reputation. Actually, it still is.  To be even more specific, there are still many people who use the term personal brand to refer to an authentic expression of who you uniquely are in terms of the attributes, vision, purpose, values, and passions that you bring to what you do. It is the you-ness you add to your professional competencies that makes you more valuable to your clients, and your broader professional community. In many ways, then, your personal brand is the experience you provide while you are doing what … [Read more...]

Connecting Your Dots

It’s no surprise that with the tragic passing of Steve Jobs, there have been so many tributes to his genius and contributions to the world. And while most have been great, perhaps one of the most touching is the impromptu talk by Guy Kawasaki during a Facebook Success Summit 2011 teleconference, just minutes after Apple’s announcement of Jobs’ death. If you haven’t heard or read it, I recommend you do. Yet, for me, perhaps the most touching tributes have been publications of Steve Job’s own words. And while the advanced, game changing, and exquisitely designed technology he brought into the world is central to his legacy, his philosophy frames his passion as well as the value he created. His view of life is firmly rooted in his personal stories; and to see their power, you need only look at the three stories he told during his commencement address at Stanford University, June 12, 2005, which you can watch or read. During that speech, he said: "Your time is limited, so don't waste … [Read more...]