Posts Tagged ‘Brand Attributes’

Top Ten Traits of Creative Leaders

Wednesday, August 12th, 2015

40254041_sCreativity, innovation and adaptability are the hallmarks of today’s best leaders. Not CEOs mind you, leaders. Don’t confuse a title like CEO with the reality that most of us will lead from the back of the pack, or somewhere in the middle.

Creativity is a calling. Innovation is a burning desire. Adaptability is personal trait.

CEO, COO, president and general manager are just job titles.

Most top officers find it difficult to be creative. There are too many responsibilities and constituencies to look after. Focusing on squeezing out profit every 12 weeks. Cutting costs to keep shareholders happy. When you are watching your back, it’s hard to keep your eyes on the road ahead.

A job title does not imbue the individual with courage or charisma. Those are personal traits. Creativity takes many forms, so don’t count yourself out because you are in accounting, operations, human resources, logistics, project management or any other field or specialty.

Employees, consultants, coaches, freelancers and suppliers: the opportunity to transform an organization (and with that your own career) is yours for the doing.

How do you start? It helps to hold a deep affection for your company and clients, since creativity is a gift you give. Think about the impact your company could have and the growth your clients could enjoy.

Creative leadership makes your job more meaningful and gives you visibility. Do something small at first – deliver a project early, come up with alternative courses of action, and whenever possible deliver unexpected added value. A bit of qualitative research or sentiment analysis (collecting comments made on forums or social media) is a good example of providing new perspectives that lead to new solutions.

David Ogilvy, one of the original Mad Men, a real ad man, espoused ten qualities he saw in creative leaders. They are:

  1. High standards of personal ethics.
  2. Big people, without pettiness.
  3. Guts under pressure, resilience in defeat.
  4. Brilliant brains — not safe plodders.
  5. A capacity for hard work and midnight oil.
  6. Charisma — charm and persuasiveness.
  7. A streak of unorthodoxy — creative innovators.
  8. The courage to make tough decisions.
  9. Inspiring enthusiasts — with trust and gusto.
  10. A sense of humor.

Do you want to increase the reality of possibilities in your career or business? Then pick one of these qualities each week for the next ten weeks. Find every way you can to demonstrate the quality you’re working on. Add them up and in ten weeks you will have transformed yourself, and perhaps the organization and clients you serve.

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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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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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What Would Tom Brady Say About You?

Wednesday, February 4th, 2015

Brand Attributes, nance rosen, successLast Sunday, my favorite comment by any of the many sportscasters was this: “Brady was unstoppable when the pressure was strongest.”

What if we said that about you?

Are you unstoppable when the pressure is the strongest?

The strongest stress is when it all comes down to one action you must take in one moment, under whatever conditions are present, in front of whatever crowd has gathered (or not). Brady threw the touchdowns. Butler made the game-stopping interception, with 20 seconds to go. The players on both sides played against the odds, because they were all great players.

Sometimes the battle is just you and a deadline. Sometimes it’s you and a blank piece of paper. Sometimes it’s you and people waiting for you to say something profound that will advance their business or solve their problem. Sometimes it’s having the presence of mind to do the deal that can be done, rather than the deal you imagined you would have.

Sometimes you are out of money, out of time and out of patience. Your adversary or obstacle appears strong and unmovable. Sometimes the only options you have are the ones you can conjure up on your own. Sometimes the only option is to simply bear the anxiety, and trust your teammates.

Any of those moments could be the moment when the pressure is the strongest.

I like that kind of stress. Tom Brady does, too. Do you?

I call that good stress, versus bad stress.

The only difference between good and bad stress is what the stress means for you. Or perhaps better said, what does the stress do FOR you, rather than TO you?

“Every team has a journey and a lot of people lost faith in us … but we held strong, we held together, and it’s a great feeling.” Tom Brady said.

“I just had a vision that I was going to make a big play and it came true,” Malcolm Butler said of his goal-line interception that gave the Patriots its Super Bowl XLIX title. “Butler was kicked out of school early in his freshman season. He spent 2010 out of football, working at a Popeye’s and taking classes at Alcorn State,” per AL.com.

If your life has been more like Butler’s than MVP Brady – you have Brady’s respect and gratitude. What you may not know is pretty much all of us are rooting for you, to do what you do best under the stress you find yourself in.

Do what you do, the way you do, under whatever conditions you’re in. Save the day. Win the game. Get that report in on time. Sign the deal. And when you do, imagine the crowd roars for you!

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