Personal Brands: You Deserve a Fresh Start

It’s coming on the end of Q1 2010. Have you made the most of the first quarter of the year? What was your intention? Need to be reminded of starting with your end in mind? If you need a bit of a pep talk, just listen:

Lance Armstrong plans his race strategy before he puts his feet on the pedals. Michael Phelps knows how fast he needs to swim in order to touch the wall first. And, all that planning starts BEFORE the race gun goes off.

When you are outcome-minded, it doesn’t matter where you start. It doesn’t matter who is doing what – like throwing an elbow or an obstacle in your path. What matters is getting to the finish line in time to enjoy the success you’ve earned.

Where you wind up isn’t dependent on where you start. Horseracing’s greatest moments are when the horse lagging in the back digs down and has a kick that propels him to the finish line faster than any competitor. True, it’s the horse and the jockey working together as a team, so maybe wherever you are in this year so far isn’t all about you. It may be all about the team you rely on, yourself included.

This has been an extraordinarily shocking year for me so far.

I thought most of the changes I was setting into motion would take a long time to manifest results. I was wrong.

I thought it would take more time to assemble a stronger, better team. Surprise! The right people joyfully found me. The wrong people left quietly.  The changes in the team completely changed the game. Now, I am more joyful, which is a nice complement to the other attributes of my personal brand: communication being the most central element. Now it’s joyful communication.

I also underestimated the power of dissatisfaction. I forgot how wearing it is to suffer the imbalance of some people working and other people shirking.

The CEO of the Container Store, one of the most fabulous places on earth, says he hires fewer people at higher salaries than lots of people at average salaries. Why? Because he found that one hardworking person does the work of three average people. So even when he pays double the “going wages,” he nets triple the productivity. He also finally allowed himself to work only with people he really likes, and encourages all his managers to hire with that chemistry in mind.

So now that we are closing in on the last couple of weeks of Q1 2010, don’t worry about where you are now. Get busy with where you want to go. Don’t be concerned if you’re lagging toward the back of the pack.

There’s plenty of space for the race to continue, and for you – with your eyes firmly fixed on the finish line – to win no matter where you started.

Personal brands, give yourself a fresh start for Q2.


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