Archive for the ‘personal brand’ Category

The 3 Job Interview Questions You Never Expect

Wednesday, May 27th, 2015

Would you be shocked into dumbfounded silence, if a hiring manager asked you these three questions in a job interview?

 

 

1. What have you invented?

2. What is your greatest achievement in life?

3. When have you stood up to authority?

What? These are BIG questions, taken from a real interview. They get at the meaning of your life. Your answers define you as a person with – or without – self-knowledge, self-worth, and purpose.

Would you be able to answer them on-the-spot?

Should you be prepared for them or momentous questions like them? After all, most people consider job interview questions a mere formality.

You might be one of these folks. You think the job interview merely gives the recruiter an opportunity to verify some facts on your resume. Or, gives the hiring manager an opportunity to eyeball you. See if you dress for success. See if you cleaned up the clutter on your desk, if you’re on skype.

You don’t understand that today, a job interview is more like the new ABC game show: 500 Questions. That show is about to be another blockbuster hit from Mark Burnett and Mike Darnell who gave us Shark Tank, Survivor, The Voice, and The Bachelor. In that show, each contestant must answer up to 500 difficult general knowledge questions. Get any three wrong in a row and you’re out.

500 Questions is promoted as the ultimate in self-reliance, since there are no lifelines to experts and no audience support. “Intellect, strategy and stamina are all equally essential in order to win,” according to the show’s website.

Wow! That is so unlike life, right? So unlike a job, right? Wrong. Wrong.

I’m sorry if you believe your life is a collaboration. Perhaps you misunderstood what a boss means by that “there’s no I in team” philosophy. FYI it means: you do the work, the team takes the credit. From time to time, it works the other way – but don’t hold your breath.

Can you imagine if it’s just you and those really big job interview questions?

Well, that’s actually what a job interview is meant for, if the company is serious about hiring you.

It’s just you and the questions. You cannot call an expert for help. You cannot poll the audience.

Except this one time. Choose one of the three questions and send me your answer. I’ll give you a direct critique. Email me at [email protected]. Subject line: Question

 

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If You Can Tweet, You Can Eat

Thursday, April 30th, 2015

Group of business associates in a line text messaging on their cellphoneThe economy is booming!

Or, the economy is booming?

Several years ago, I wrote the press release read around the world. Carried by 420 media outlets. It got me on CNBC, CBS, Investors Business Daily, San Francisco Chronicle and smaller outlets like Pakistan Today.

The headline was: If You Can Tweet, the Job Market is Sweet.

It was the early years of social media.

CEOs were clueless, even the hardware manufacturers. And, I don’t mean new cabinet knobs.

The New York Times reported that Cisco CEO John Chambers was pressured by his interns to learn how to put 144 characters together. Remember back in the day, we didn’t realize 122 is better, because it saves space for RT.

There was a rumor that companies should have a “two way dialogue!” with ACTUAL consumers.

Investors understood social media even less than management. Investors were lots of middle class folks (yes, there was a middle class!!!) who were learning how to email stale jokes to one another. Facebook was for college kids.

But, “new media” turned out not to be Miss American Pie. It did not die.

At that magical moment: if you could tweet, boy (or girl) was the job market sweet!

Interns became social media managers, and were actually PAID! They were PROMOTED!

This famously includes Eric Kuhn, who as an intern led CNN into social media. He quickly ascended to Vice President of United Talent, and I spoke to the Screen Actors Guild Foundation members; warning them that the so-so actor with 300 followers was more likely to be cast than a more talented actor with 30.

Of course, those days are gone. Your sixth grade cousin has 3,000 followers (if he’s not popular).

The current boom in the economy is largely about the recording breaking Dow Jones and NASDAQ.

But for whom does this economy toll?

Investors are no longer middle age or middle class. They aren’t young families tucking money into mutual funds to pay for their kids’ college or their own retirement.

Investors are the uber wealthy.

Millennials would be driving for Uber, if they could afford to buy a car.

Boomers who hung on can’t afford to retire.

Gen Y is getting the stink-eye or flat out laid off.

Tweeting is no longer the ticket to a big deal job. It’s a job requirement. Lots of companies consider the number of your connections, friends, fans and followers in their hiring decisions.

And we join together to celebrate the minimum wage, in those cities where it soars. That means you can pay for weekly groceries and a bus pass to get to work since you can’t afford to live nearby.

I rarely write anything that is not PRO-business, because business is my not-at-all secret crush.

So this is not an anti-business rant.

It’s just that I spent this entire weekend leading the Personal Branding Boot Camp on the UCLA campus. For two solid sunny Southern California Spring days: a phalanx of amazing, intelligent, innovative, kind, resourceful people came to up their game. They worked for it. They killed it.

All we are saying is give Millennials a chance.

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Boost Your Personal Brand and Business Relationships

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015

personal branding, nance rosenLooking for a big personal brand boost? Join me at UCLAx Personal Branding Boot Camp this weekend! bit.ly/1NFpKHQ 

A big “aha!” moment for my campers is seeing how out of control they really are, when it comes to creating their reputations. In fact, many of them spend the majority of each day, in fact their lives, working on other people’s priorities and goals. Hence, they are a reflection of others, and not authentically projecting who they really are.

Perhaps it has occurred to you, that you are not the center of your own work and life.

Unless you stop and reframe the purpose of each action and interaction so it’s in your interest: work defines you – and not the other way around. Instead of working a plan that creates the life you want, you may be relying on your wits and reflexes to manage large and small things, including the people around you.

Surprisingly, the foundation of creating the life you want is simply engaging in a new habit, but one that is very tough to acquire. Nobody around you wants you to do this. Everyone is counting on your being a passive actor, helping them move forward.

So this new habit requires you have both grit and desire. The habit is to be outcome-minded.

Before any action or interaction, get a clear, ideal outcome for yourself. Connect what you are about to do (and how you are going to do it) with what you want for yourself and your relationships in the long term.

For example, for every important person in your life – and those you would like to meet – you need a relationship outcome and a map of your interactions. What is it you want from this person? The next step is to plan what you’ll achieve in each interaction so you reach your ideal outcome. Of course, each stage or interaction will have a specific goal.

Remember your reputation is made via relationships, so make sure your plans are good for your targets as well as yourself.

If you’ve never thought about relationships like this, it might explain why connections or networking fail to deliver what you need.

As an example of a relationship map, below you’ll find the nine stages of a successful new business relationship. Consider what information, examples, questions, activity, or even other people you might bring into each stage, to move the relationship forward toward your ideal outcome. By the way, this mapping works with recruiters and hiring managers, too!

If you want more free content on developing business relationships, email me at [email protected]. Subject line: Relationships.

Stage 1 – Curiosity

Your prospect has a sense of intrigue about you, your company or solution, and entertains the idea that you might benefit him/her. You sense that it’s worth your time to continue interacting.

Stage 2 – Connected

You both sense that the two of you understand each other and have common ground worth exploring further.

Stage 3 – Inspired

It’s obvious that a relationship or collaboration would benefit you both, and the possibilities are energizing.

Stage 4 – Engaged

Your prospect feels safe to acknowledge unmet needs or discuss current or new goals. You confirm that you are talking with the right person (one with purchasing authority and a budget).

Stage 5 – Committed

You strike a clear agreement to move forward with the purpose of fulfilling your prospect’s unmet needs or helping him/her take advantage of opportunities. Your prospect agrees to buy, if your solution would satisfactorily benefit him/her.

Stage 6 – Learning and sharing

You support each other with important information and insights. You share a clear goal for your collaboration or relationship. You agree on the initial steps to move toward your goal.

Stage 7 – Problem-solving and planning

You and your prospect rigorously or systematically identify pain, obstacles, positive and negative forces, and implications of not solving the problem. You each contribute to strategies for overcoming obstacles or reaching goals, and create/act on a tactical plan for purchase and use.

Stage 8 – Buying and selling

Your prospect generates the purchase order or other documentation necessary for you to create an agreement, and arranges the time to review, accept and sign your agreement. You generate the agreement, which the prospect signs. You prepare to deliver, install or integrate your solution. You receive a check and oversee implementation.

Stage 9 – Recommending and referring

You both actively seek to send additional business or contacts to each other. You keep each other informed about opportunities for upgrades and add-ons. You meet to stay up-to-date.

Do This

Take 3 interactions/relationships you currently have with suspects, prospects or customers, and associate each one with the stage you are now in, using the 9 stages above. Jot down notes to track what went on at each stage. If you’ve missed some stages, ask yourself: what can I deliver to get on the fast track?

If you want more free content on business relationships, email me at [email protected]. Subject line: Relationships.

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If Everybody Does It, Why Shouldn’t You?

Thursday, April 9th, 2015

https://www.dreamstime.com/stock-image-team-business-people-standing-together-line-their-mob-mobile-modern-office-image32231811Everybody says an MBA is worthless. Everybody says Instagram is the only social media worth being on. Everybody says balance is more important than putting in time at work.

So, why should you be any different?

Neuroscientists have found that certain people naturally have divergent thinking. That’s the ability to weave together connections between things that other people don’t put together, and come up with a novel twist or innovative idea. People like Jon Stewart and Jay Z can do it, often on-the-spot. We used to call these folks “quick witted,” or “good on their feet.”

Not everyone can do it. Certainly, not with humor or with rhyme.

So, if you are not naturally inclined to originality or creativity, should you simply do what most other people are doing?

Should you dumb down your vocabulary?

Should you go where the herd goes for holiday?

Should you eschew a graduate degree or even college?

After all, isn’t communicating with the masses and being like people – so they will like you – the best way to play well with others?

Yes. And no.

It depends on what you want to do in your career or business.

I often forget that some people have a deeply rich personal life, filled with friends, family or hobbies. So much so, that work really isn’t all that central to their satisfaction. If you are deeply devoted to something outside of work, then it does serve you to make as little noise, news or perhaps even effort as possible. Get along. Put in your 7.5 hours and go home. Enjoy!

However, if you suspect that you have greatness coiled within you for business, technology or some other occupation: you must bear the cost of being different. You must dare to fail. You might even scare yourself with your ambition.

And, you must show your employer, prospective employer, clients, prospective clients, investors and so on: exactly what you can do that’s different than the madding crowd.

Increase your inventiveness. Diverge from what everybody is doing.

Here’s a way to begin building your divergent thinking. Take a paper clip, a small spring, an egg shell, a coffee cup or any other object: and make a list of 10 novel uses for it. The first time you do this, you might not have a cascade of innovative ideas. Just think of it as a new skill, that with practice you’ll master.

Make it a daily practice to pick up something small: a stone, a shell, or a K cup (please, they are not recyclable!) and give it 10 novel uses. Do it instead of texting, checking your social media or otherwise doing what everyone else is doing.

There’s a reason not everyone gets ahead at work or starts their own successful business. Give yourself a chance to see if you might be special. And, give us a chance to see if you might be the next big thing.

Thinking about going big with your personal brand? Join me at UCLAx for my Personal Branding Boot Camp, April 25 and 26. As a bonus, you’ll get a free hour of one-on-one coaching with me, a $500 value.

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Do You Really Need a Coach?

Wednesday, April 1st, 2015

Coach-Counselor-Mentor-ConsultantIf you are in any type of transition regarding work or life, or you are considering a transition, then you may have thought about getting someone to coach you through the process. For example, you may be seeking a new direction for your future because it’s clear what you’ve been doing isn’t working any longer. Alternatively, you might know exactly what you want to do; but you can’t see how to bridge your past experience with your aspirations for a new career.

These are reasonable times to consider getting yourself some coaching, especially if you have friends or loved ones who are more than willing to give you their opinions of what you should do.

Friends and loved ones are the most dangerous part of making a change.

There’s a bundle of reasons, and here are some. Friends don’t like to see friends change. After all, you are friends because of who you are now, not who you could become. Loved ones have a stake in who you are now, including how you earn a paycheck, the days of the week you have free time to spend with them, and the chores you do to keep a household or relationship humming.

Most of my coaching clients delay their decision to get coached, about 6 to 36 months past when they should have reached out. Why? They rely on friends and loved ones for advice! The very people who have a stake in your remaining in your present form, doing the job you do, the way you do it, and not adding any further burden of either greater status or dependency on them.

Even knowing this, most people “crowdsource” the most important decisions in their lives. Recently, a client came to me because she was standing at a school with other young moms. They weren’t even people she knew well, just other parents who shared carpool, cupcake making and fundraising with each other. Their only connection was their kids attendance at the school, which of course means the birthday parties, T-ball and cascade of events that bring families together under the circumstances.

“The other moms asked me what I do,” Sarah reported to me. “So, I figured I better do something, since everyone was an attorney, business owner, or had some occupation. Turns out I was the only mom who had taken some time off.”

Peer pressure doesn’t stop when you graduate high school. These largely anonymous people had crowdsourced Sarah out of her decision to stay home. She’d made the decision to help her family stabilize while their first child entered school and her husband took a job that required him to travel.

Whether or not Sarah was ready to return to work, is a personal and financial question. Yet, like most people, she was polling strangers – or at least accepting their vote – about her life.

That’s a moment for coaching. Sarah had met me at a 2-day seminar I gave on personal branding, and she reached out to get a one-on-one session. In 90 minutes we solved her problem, got an action plan together, and set her on making decisions that were truly relevant to her situation. She’ll check back with me for a progress report in eight weeks.

So, when is the right time for coaching? Whenever you find yourself polling others about your life choices, whenever you fear the criticism or lack of support from friends or loved ones, and whenever you need clear answers to questions that confound you.

I know. I’ve been coached on every significant life change I’ve ever made. It’s part of my success equation. Should it be part of yours?

Do you have a question you want to ask a coach? Email it to me at [email protected]. Subject line: Question. I will write back to you, with some insight to move you forward.

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Shocking Truth About Self-Esteem Revealed!

Wednesday, March 25th, 2015

career, nance rosen, successFor the last 30 years US parents, schools and youth athletic teams were all fed a singular, central message about how to rear successful children and guess what? They were wrong. All the developmental literature and experts have been pumping out the message: self-esteem is the #1 ticket to success.

That’s why all the kids playing T-ball got a trophy, whether they won or not. Some leagues didn’t even keep score. After all, athletic contests weren’t about athletic ability, training, or practicing. And, they certainly weren’t about real winning. They were engineered to be all about building up your self-esteem. Hence, the endless ribbons, trophies and even grade inflation that were meant to fill up the well of self-esteem that would somehow flow over into a river of success.

Schools and parents were fed, and then recycled a stream of “build them up” rhetoric, because children were supposed to be protected from feeling the pain of poor performance and criticism. Competition and comparison were evil doers. Self-esteem was to be preserved at all times.

No one was better, we were all just different.

At least that’s the way it has been in the US. Of course, from other cultures we heard about draconian measures taken by so-called “tiger parents,” who pressured, demanded, and withheld any fun that could possibly get in the way of perseverance.

In the US, parents were supposed to be helicoptering around their kids, so that all possible praise and good fortune wouldn’t dim the bulb of self-esteem.

Turns out all that is hogwash. Self-esteem, earned or not, isn’t a causal factor of success. Self-esteem is a by-product of success. If not, you simply have a person with a bloated ego, poor self-management and a complete misunderstanding of what work is.

This is why so many managers are completely perplexed about their entry level employees. Many of these new workers seem to think that simply showing up is the job – and by the way, when is the next raise and promotion??? I hear an endless litany of complaints from their managers. These folks don’t spell check their work , they don’t finish their work, and they have only a very casual relationship with deadlines. Plus, they don’t get along with other people at work, clients included.

Someone owes us all an apology.

It’s not self-esteem that leads to success.

Self-control leads to success.

In the famous, “can-you-wait-for-two-marshmallows” test with young children who were sat in front of one marshmallow they could eat on-the-spot … you guessed it. What happened to the children who waited; that fraction of the group who exhibited self-control? Decades later, they were successful adults! The one-marshmallow eaters were far behind in wages, job titles and life in general.

Self-control – the ability to patiently wait, to think about future reward while working hard in the present – that is all you need to succeed.

So if you feel unjustifiably proud of yourself for having all those little trophies? Don’t worry. There’s a new chance, every time the sun comes up. Today, you can practice being polite, waiting your turn, or get working on something that is really difficult – and won’t pay off for years to come.

It turns out self-control builds character. And, that’s what it takes to pursue a vision for your own business or build a career in a company or industry. Now get to work!

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Are You Talking Stupid?

Wednesday, March 18th, 2015

authenticity, nance rosen, Personal Branding, soft skillsTurns out you are what you talk about.

If you fat shame yourself, then your brain lays down a new set of neural pathways to ensure you feel fat – even if you aren’t. Then, as you repeat your so-called problem to your friends or yourself, you develop even greater dissatisfaction with your body. The final gift from your lips? An increased potential for an eating disorder. That’s why you can no longer “feel fat” on Facebook. At least officially. Because it causes you to harm yourself.

So, let’s say your okay with your fat situation. Your body is okay. And you just said,

“Wow, I’m such an idiot in math. I am dumbfounded by Excel. I never really understood it, and the latest update is beyond me. ”

“Geez, I cannot write this report on time. I am awful at reports. I don’t even know where to start on these things.”

“Gosh, I am such a procrastinator. I keep putting things off. Then, I get so nervous I just rush to get them done. It’s never right, but I settle for done.”

“Man, I am always lost. I could have a GPS, a satellite helmet and a self-driving car. I would still get lost.”

“ Argh, I will never date again. I will never find one decent human being on this planet who loves me. I hate this whole relationship-thing.”

Ta da! You have just created your own life. These negative meditations are laying tracks in your brain, and your train of thoughts know exactly where to go: again and again. You trash talk yourself silently. Your trash talk yourself with friends.

In just a sentence or two each day, you trash your possibilities, your confidence and your happiness.

Next time you call yourself stupid? Stop. Then tell yourself why you are not stupid. Give yourself evidence when you have been just fine, maybe brilliant.

Whatever mantra you’ve been using to cause a lifelong problem, be it about fat, math, software, writing, procrastination, navigation, relationships or more? It is literally all in your head, because it’s been on your lips.

Coach yourself to success!

  1. Identify the personal traits you want to keep building into your personal brand and your personal intelligence.
  2. Find an affirming sentence.
  3. Set your brain to work finding the evidence of how great you are.
  4. Then lather, rinse and repeat.

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Not Blessed With the Bliss Gene?

Thursday, March 12th, 2015

Brand Attributes, nance rosen, successYou either have it or you don’t. New neuroscience reveals that 20% of the population has what is best described as a innate marijuana-making machine in their brains, resulting in – among other things – a low probability of becoming addicted to opiates and the like. It’s a gene mutation, the good kind.

Beyond the ability to “just say no,” to substances, what does this so-called bliss gene really deliver?

  • Relaxation under pressure
  • Calm, steady judgment
  • Perspective when things goes awry
  • Immense self-control and patience
  • A cheery, congenial, and agreeable dispositions

So, if you’ve been aggravated about the literature on why tall men earn more than 10X their average heighted peeps, and why naturally thin people are viewed as superior in their ability to get work done on time and on budget?

You now have another fact of biology to disdain. Unless of course, you have that gene mutation. In which case, celebrate for: #whatyourmamagaveyou.

This mutant gene gives you a leg up on the ability to self-regulate, potentially the greatest skill you can have now in business. Yes, it is a skill; although, it’s clear today that’s it’s also a natural inclination for some of us.

Self-regulation is the ability to act gracefully or elegantly in even truly awful circumstances. No matter what’s off, you cause the least friction. Your interactions are streamlined. You use what you take and you take what you need, not a whit more and with no waste of time, talent or other people’s patience.

You can see why bliss gene blessed people are among the most likely to succeed.

What about the rest of us? What about the bipolar, ADD, hysterical, narcissistic, and dependent personalities among us? Are we DOOMED?

No. We are just special.

You may recall a time when parents were advised that not every child was going to be great at everything. No matter how much helicoptering Mum or Dad would do: there really would be failure. And that failure really would direct us to success.

Why is failure good for success? For the same reason that a “no” is as good as a “yes” in selling. A “no” allows you to move on.

What if you are easily irritated, fractious, with little patience for anyone other than your cat? You can move on to something much more self-centered than a large company or a one room office with everybody from the start-up eating onion sandwiches and playing basketball in the hoop over your desk.

Strengthfinders was supposed to give you a path to your bliss, by identifying your innate traits that would be fulfilled by the type of work you do. It was supposed to lead you to the right seat on the right bus. There’s been dozens of books and theories and self-assessments like this. And, there’s been books by folks like Daniel Pink that companies adopt in hopes that a set of core values, vetted by an expert, and written on a wall would be an organization’s salvation from bad bossing, sexism, racism, tribalism, or any other mentally challenged acts or beliefs of the people in the organization.

The problem? Just us. We oftentimes don’t believe what is plainly true. Not everyone is a company man (or woman). Not everyone can put up with everything that goes on in the mayhem of organizational life.

Yet you do belong among the working and likely wealthy, when the corporate gig repels you or expels you. You just belong to the gaggle of amazing superheroes who make it on their own. That includes the genius inventor, the insightful consultant, the there-when-you’re-needed-most freelancer, the call-me-and-I’ll-come-in contract worker, imaginative artisan, or even the tyrant of your own domain (AKA your own blog address).

Bliss gene or not: you belong. It’s just a matter of finding where your real bliss is. It just might be all about finding you.

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