Posts Tagged ‘personal brand’

Personal Branding Pledge 2016

Wednesday, January 6th, 2016

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This is the real time, a surreal time when obstacles fall away

By simply approaching them and encroaching on a new field of play

I go where I want because suddenly nothing is too tough

No barrier is too tall, no opponent is too rough to defeat me

Today, this year, or the remainder of my time here

No ogre, no monster, no bully, no evildoer

Will be the boss of me or scare from moving forward

Suddenly it’s clear, this is no time to stall or stray

This no time to malinger, no time to delay

I demand rather than declare

I command rather than dare

Now I am in charge of my time, my mind and my career

It took me quite a while to find out the truth

This life is a jagged path

There are no perfect routes

I have found my way home on my own in the dark

So I am not afraid to go out on my own anymore

I am not afraid of hearing there might be closed doors

Or that people won’t approve or vote yes or pitch in

I am on a road worth traveling even if I am alone

There is freedom ahead and what could be a bigger win

Than relying on myself and getting away from the din

Of naysayers and grumblers and bullies and bears

I rise on the heat of all their hot air

Yes, that’s me way up high, above and ahead

In a place of my own, where no could have led me

Because each of us has a unique way, we must find

Our own place called success that’s uniquely sublime

So stop trying to steal mine, compete with me or else

You will lose your precious battle, which is really with yourself

When you find your own path, you will love what you see

I’ll be happy for you, because I am happy with me

Feel free to ignore me if you can’t bear my zeal

Because this is my time, my path and my purpose for real

 

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What Do You Give A Mentor at Thanksgiving?

Wednesday, November 25th, 2015

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Mentors are an uncelebrated group of devoted individuals, who often give their time in return for nothing more than your carrying on their legacy of giving back. If you have a mentor, you know the advice, conversations, guidance, interest and encouragement may be the single greatest determinant of your success. A mentor can help you keep a good job, gain a promotion or help you transition to a position more suited to your nature, your personal brand and your skills.

Isn’t it wonderful to have someone not just rooting for you, but acting as your advocate, sounding board and trusted advisor?

Every year I choose two people to mentor, although if you looked at my calendar, you would wonder why. Or more directly ask: how do they get fit into such a demanding schedule? I ask myself the same question every week. But, somehow the time gets set aside and the sessions take place.

The two people I mentor are simply and truly wonderful.

They are hardworking, self-motivated and put into practice everything we cover. We have a terrific dialogue, where we raise questions, go over details, discuss potential strategies and end with a list of tactical changes for them to put into play.

The best part is they report back their progress.

Sometimes I get a text that shares the triumph of their actions. I get to hear them crowing about their latest achievement. Sometimes I get a urgent text that asks a need-to-know-right-now question. I tap back some alternatives, with some predictions about how they will be received.

I welcome these short interruptions as much as our mentoring sessions, because they reflect how seriously these individuals are taking our time together.

That’s all the thanks mentors need.

You might not have a formal mentoring relationship, like the ones I have with my mentees. You might not have the same magnitude of access, attention or advice from a mentor. But you may have quite a number of people who have taken an interest in you, answered some questions or provided some direction for you.

Those less formal relationships are the ones that you might want to honor at this time of the US Thanksgiving holiday. Send a card, an email, make a call or text the people who have helped you out this year. Let them know what you’ve done, how far you’ve come and if you’ve passed on their legacy, by doing a little mentoring of your own.

Yes, now is the time to give thanks to all the people who have done at least a little something to guide you, been a shoulder for you or in some way made your life better. I have a long list of those people, since being a mentor does not mean I know it all – I just know some of the finest people in business, and they have made my journey easier, safer and richer.

You are one of my informal mentors. Each week, you give me a destination; a time to reflect on what’s important and what I have to share about it in a blog that’s read by people all around the world. Without that responsibility, my life would not be as rich or filled with the connectedness I share with 4.5 million people who read my blogs, books, posts or attend my learning programs.

So two words from me to reflect on now: thank you.

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How Do You Make Facebook Enemies?

Wednesday, November 18th, 2015

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With every attack on innocent people everywhere: we try not to lose faith in humanity. We urge each other to believe that good triumphs over evil. We propound that we will continue to go out, to shop, to go to school, venture out to work, eat in cafes and attend concerts.

We say that to stay at home and hide, means the terrorists win. They terrorize even those of us who are still safe and uninjured, because our safety seems tenuous and we begin to doubt our freedom and second guess where we should travel.

Terrorism is the enemy of freedom.

But there is a bizarre number of angry personal statements that erupt with each event. What seems to spark this outcry is when other people show sympathy and unity with the attacked.

Of course, this most recently happened when apparently ISIS killed and maimed hundreds of people in Paris. Several of my friends on Facebook changed their profile photos to the colors of the French flag. Several displayed art that re-interpreted the peace sign into the Eiffel Tower.

Unbelievably, this set up a war of whose death matters. Some posts I read in reaction to the terrorism in Paris:

“Facebook doesn’t have a Kenya flag update on people’s profiles!”

“Nearly 2,000 Civilians Were Killed in a Single Terror Attack in Nigeria—Where Was Facebook?”

“Where is the Facebook flag for Syria?”

It’s unbelievable, but each tragedy sets up a war about profile graphics on Facebook.

I always wonder about what such admonishments say about the personal brands who hurl them.

If your grandparent dies, and someone gives you sincere condolences do you condemn that person as mean-spirited or disrespectful for not sending condolences to everyone who lost a grandparent?

I don’t know about you, but I did not seek to overlook, deny or avoid the importance of tragic events in any place; in any of 196+ countries on the planet. Violence against innocent people, enslavement, beheadings, and all manner of horror have been part of the world events I attend to and grieve.

There is not a country without violence, inhumanity, and terror.

But it is not a competition. Nor a time for aggression against mourners.

If you are moved by events of any place and you wish to change your profile photo – you do not need Facebook’s graphics team to give you a flag to transpose over your face.

You can do that yourself. And, when you do: you will perhaps inform those who know less than you do. Or, you will affirm your solidarity with those who know what you know.

But, don’t use the most recent tragedy to start a war of words, or attack on anyone’s character. Not all of us wear our grief on our profile photos. Most of us bear the sadness of the world’s inhumanity in our hearts.

There is no flag for how I feel, although I respect those who post one. There are lyrics by John Lennon that seem to sum up what I imagine might eventually come to pass to save us all.

Imagine there’s no countries
It isn’t hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people living life in peace.

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Do You Fail the Invisible Job Interview?

Sunday, October 11th, 2015

NRBimageDisneyland may be the happiest place on earth, but the Disney store is not. The miserable experience of that retail environment at Santa Monica Promenade in California is remarkable for its consistently angry retail clerks and harsh restrictions on purchase. Nothing about the Disney brand gets you ready for it.

As a business owner and now the Global Marketing Director of a luxury cosmetics brand, I am ALWAYS looking for great people to hire at all levels. My favorite way to find a new employee is to get great service at a store or restaurant, and then invite that magical person for a “second interview.”

No, I don’t tell people I am interviewing them when we first meet in the retail setting. I don’t talk about the jobs I have open – and neither do the thousands of employers who use exactly the same technique as I do. We simply look for happy, proactive and engaging people, and then watch them solve problems or just do their job with a can-do attitude.

You are a candidate in an invisible job interview like that several times a week. It might happen on a phone call you make, one you take, or just doing your survival job while you wait for something better.

Within three feet of you is probably every opportunity you ever need, no matter what level of experience, education and interest you have. After all, 85% of why we make a hire is related to personal traits, and only 15% is actual skill. Most skills can be earned on-the-job or during a quick course of study.

We are hiring attitude.

We are hiring good people.

You’ve got to ask: what are we getting when we have the opportunity to interact with you when you aren’t doing active job seeking.

It’s like candid camera. Most employers are silently watching for great service and a positive attitude. It’s the way 75% of my clients and referring network have actually brought on a new employee.

At the Disney store on Sunday, I attempted to buy some Star Wars toys and it was an epic battle. Five employees roamed the store, assiduously avoiding eye contact with consumers who were also roaming the store. It wasn’t near closing time. It wasn’t packed. It was just ridiculous.

There was no one to check stock (because they were too busy looking at the floor and chatting with each other). One clerk I finally found actually said, “I cannot be bothered with this right now.” Checkout was so difficult with a scowling cashier who counted my Star Wars toys like a TSA employee checking my carry-on.

I was so relieved to leave with my purchases – including a bag I paid for at the counter, so I did not look like I was looting the store when I finally made it out the door. Apparently, the cashier would not or could not dispense a free bag to go with two toys that cost about 25 cents to make/ship/stock and retailed for about $25 each. If Disney retail is going for The Nightmare Before Christmas, they have met their corporate objective.

Don’t let an opportunity for an invisible job interview find you goofing off, angrily ringing up purchases or in any way being rude when you should be helping. You never know who’s watching, and what career lottery you may win.

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About Our Fight To Be Free of Fear

Wednesday, January 14th, 2015

shutterstock_241659253-300x199Be relentless. Be resilient. Be able to repair.

Be ready to play hurt. Play tired. Play even with despair.

Everything can change in one moment.

Every thing passes. Every thing that is good and every thing that is bad does not last.

What have we learned from the latest terror campaign acted out on Paris and Nigeria? What have we learned from Boko Haram and other followers of religious or political texts that preach the elimination of anyone who does not follow those “teachings?” What have we learned from Iraq, Afghanistan, Cuba, Russia, the US and every other territory on the planet?

What have we learned that is so valuable that it should inform the way you live and work, and the way you express your personal brand?

We have learned not to be afraid. Being afraid makes you a resident of a permanent state of instability and some would say its neighbor: insanity. Afraid is not a place where you can reside if you believe that your freedom to make decisions for yourself is the best way to live. If you are among my tribe of intentional personal branders, you believe that freedom opens all doors and all possibilities. Of course that includes the best and the worst of times.

Although you may be in a heightened state of grief right now, in fact no place is absolutely safe nor has it been at any time. We have learned there is no safety if you shelter in place. If you try to remain quiet with the door shut.

We have learned if you are armed with a pencil, with the talent of a cartoonist and the intellectual capacity of a pundit, you are not safe. That if you shop in a market, you are not safe. We have even learned that a young girl may come into a town square, probably unknowingly carrying a bomb that kills and injures as many people as possible.

The actions of states or individuals can result in such tragedy. You cannot actually hold all the possibilities in your brain and stay calm. That does not mean you should look away from the truth, or act in spite of, or in any way fail to acknowledge it.

You should just take in what you can, when you can. Then do your best to live the best life you can. Remember to kiss the ones you love good-bye or tell them that you love them before you get off the phone or text. Support strangers in times of grief and in times of celebration, and do not be surprised that those occur quite close to each other.

We are mourning and celebrating. We are in despair and yet our faith in humanity has deepened.

Je vous suis. Nous sommes une.

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A Hot Tip To Advance Quickly in Your Career

Wednesday, January 7th, 2015

shutterstock_192030872-300x200What is it so hard to believe you should be the best you can be, and work for someone else? Why do so few people genuinely want to be employees? Why is it impossible to believe you can be a person with great self-worth who also respects the opportunity to work?

Apparently, most Millennials believe that going to the office looks like The Office, the television show that makes working for someone else look ridiculous. I thought The Office was a really good comedy, with high quality writing and amazing actors. The show used an office setting much like I Love Lucy used marriage. The relationship problems made us laugh, primarily because marriage seemed like a bunch of pranks that husbands and wives played on each other.

In New York magazine, Richard Greenwald, a labor scholar at Brooklyn College, “says he’ s struck by how many of his students chafe at the notion of traditional office jobs.”

How could that be? How could a generation of educated people come to think that working for an organization is ridiculous? How could earning a living cause “chafing?”

As an educator, I wonder what curriculum we are teaching that would make working for Unilever, Zara, Nestle, Coke, Apple, Google, and so on, look ridiculous. Have we somehow run down the reputation of organizations? Have we diminished the idea that you are lucky when you are chosen for an opportunity in a business that someone else has built?

I am most concerned that abject disrespect that has become a meme. I’m also concerned that watching a comedy show would actually convince anyone that it’s depicting real life.

My daughter has a cat. We never mistake him for Grumpy Cat on YouTube. We don’t think that Esther the Wonder Pig is the average pig.

Where is the genesis of the respect problem? As an employer and a career coach, I see exactly what Greenwald is purporting. There are a lot of people who treat working like it’s a joke. Bosses have to prod, push, demand, become vexed and bent out of shape in order for work to get done. They have to have a cruise ship mentality – making sure there are plenty of snacks, fun activities and a morale officer, formerly known as a human resources director. In between all that, some small amount of work needs to be accomplished.

I’m sorry to seem like the Grinch right now. I know you are just kicking off your year. You hopefully have grand plans for your personal brand as well as your career. I want you to have all that – and more.

So here’s a hot tip. If you want to be a real stand out, it’s pretty easy. Bring your respect for the organization, proof that you take work seriously, and have your high jinx on your own time.

This has been a public service announcement on behalf of employers everywhere.

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Personal Branding Pledge 2015

Wednesday, December 31st, 2014

shutterstock_185166815-300x200I agree to be me

I accept the obligations and honor of my authenticity

I agree that this year, perhaps unlike any other

I will not bother to be a shadow, a cipher or a ghost in my life

I will not hobble myself with the expectations of another

Even if I face a force previously controlling or dominating

I wrest my freedom without apology for not capitulating

Not my pride, not my ego, not my fear, not my doubt

Holds any clout, any power, any authority or might

I don’t care if they stare or if I get sideways glances

I am here to be me and that means taking my chances

Chances others don’t even see because unlike me they are not free

And I am because I am, and I am because I am me

I have a truth to tell, not to sell or be sold on

I don’t have to be told to be bold on the battlefield I win on

I will find my way faster than an ordinary human could

Because I am filled with who I am and from now on I will be

Unshackled by faux rules or a mold that doesn’t suit me

The fog has lifted and revealed a silver city and gold-filled sea

This is my place, the massive playground where I enjoy prosperity

This is the year I write the story of the hero who I am.

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How Do You Deal with Difficult People?

Wednesday, November 20th, 2013

InterviewQuestionCropWhat is the right answer when the recruiter asks, “How do you deal with difficult people?” You cannot say: “I like everyone! I never encounter difficult people!”

Here’s the thing. Either you’ve dealt with difficult people, or YOU are one. The truth is in an office, someone is always stressing out everyone else. So, admit you’ve met a few difficult people in your career, and have a good answer with an example.

Keep in mind that having a personality conflict is very different than dealing with someone who is causing a problem for everyone. If you misread this question and make it about a personality conflict, you are saying you’ve been a problem employee.

This may be familiar, if you have a sibling. You’ve heard a parent say, “If you two don’t stop bickering back there, I’m going to stop the car and smack both of you.” That’s a personality conflict, a turf war and the famous sibling rivalry. You’re both difficult, even if your brother started it.

Instead, you want to take on the role of a therapist here, not an enemy combatant.

Here’s an example. My coaching client Deborah is a staff accountant at a large Las Vegas gaming company, and worked for three years with Marjorie, a monstrous woman who had been with the company for a decade. A few co-workers suspected Marjorie had some compromising photos of the senior executives, but in fact she had some specialized knowledge about the legacy IT system. That made Marjorie valuable to the oldest customers who were still on that system. Plus, the senior executives didn’t suffer Marjorie’s tantrums.

As Deborah went on interviews she had her “difficult people” answer ready, because Marjorie was a textbook example.

“Of course, I am compassionate when someone is truly difficult,” Deborah shared. “I know it’s nothing personal between them and me.  When difficult people cause stress in the office, it’s most likely that their home lives or some other problems are really what’s stressing them. For example, I had a colleague who rarely could sit through even a few minutes of a conversation without interrupting and would even interrupt me when I was with a client in my office or on the phone. My strategy was to listen to her with my full attention for a few moments to see if what she needed was truly urgent. If not, I apologized and let her know I couldn’t spend more time with her at that moment.  But, I’d make myself available to her if she wanted to talk after work. Because she commuted with a co-worker, I knew she rarely could meet after hours. It seems transparent, but it worked. Eventually she stopped interrupting me.”

What would your answer be? Whatever you say, keep in mind that working with difficult people calls for you to show how you can be compassionate and dispassionate. You want to show you understand that some people on some days come to work with the worst parts of their personalities “out there,” AND that you don’t get caught up in whatever drama they bring.

The “How do you deal with difficult people” question is one you want to address quickly and then move on with the interview – unless you are interviewing for a customer service position. If that’s your desired role, or you are currently struggling with a difficult person, I recommend you get to know my guru on the subject, Dr. Rick Brinkman. He can change your life with his book: Dealing With People You Can’t Stand.

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