Posts Tagged ‘Tribe’

Personal Brands are Today’s Leaders, Not Tomorrow’s

Tuesday, January 19th, 2010

GirlOuch! I keep reading about personal branding being a tool that sets you up to be tomorrow’s leaders. Why do old people always say this to young people? And, why do young people repeat it?

Does anyone wake up in the morning and say, “I hope I’ll be tomorrow’s leader.” When they wake up the next day, they a) discover that hope is not a strategy, and b) that tomorrow is yet another day away.

Don’t be fooled by anyone who says you can’t lead today. Truth is: if you’re not leading something today, someone else is. And, they aren’t waiting for you to wake up and say, “Thanks for keeping my spot warm, move over, I’m leading now.”

They will lookdown at you from their perch of leadership (no matter how minor) and kick you back down among the crowd of followers. (They probably won’t actually kick you. What they will do is more covert: steal your ideas, not pass along a great concept you offered up or just talk you down to their leader.)

Personal brands of earth: wake up. It’s today. Lead today. Whenever it turns out to be tomorrow, you just keep on leading. Don’t be fooled by that “tomorrow’s leader” ambition killer Kool Aid, even if it they say it’s good for you. It’s not. It’s good for them.

Seth Godin famously says that you belong to a tribe (maybe several) and within that tribe you can step up and lead it. Maybe you’ll lead a particular sub-group or lead on a particular project.

I’m sure you can think of something in every segment of your life, where you can initiate a plan, project or program and lead. Consider your work, social life, community, worship group, family, sports club, hobby… the places where you can exercise leadership is almost infinite.

When leaders above you and around you see you leading by virtue of your own initiative, you’ll be promoted as a leader of greater and greater authority. Your sphere of influence and control will widen. You’ll meet other leaders. You’ll recommend each other for choice assignments. You’ll invent. Become CEO of your life and probably others.

Study leadership, and make that part of your personal brand. Remember you take on responsibility for the people you lead, just as much as the outcome from their actions.

The sooner you take leadership roles, the better.

Right now would be good.

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Ten Commandments of Personal Branding – #7: Think Themes Not Words

Thursday, December 24th, 2009

Giant WheelWho are you? You are a theme. You are one unified, coherent, understandable and consistent presence – if you are successfully branding yourself with your network, both real and cyber.

You can’t be all things to all people. You must be one distinguishable thing to your tribe. If you don’t choose, your tribe will assign a theme to you. Sociologically we cannot live among each other, without labeling.

You know this. You have that crazy friend, the boring one, the smart one, and the one who always knows what club is happening.  Most people didn’t sign up for the label they live with. Their bad.

Regular people live their lives and let others brand them. People like you, living with intention, making their mark indelibly, choose a theme. You must choose an authentic one – and use it in every communication, conversation, presentation and meeting.

Consider these, they may help you self-diagnose:

#1 Courageous, adventurous, brave and daring
#2 Encouraging, joyful, uplifting and fun
#3 Gracious, generous, giving, and thoughtful
#4 Funny, quick-witted, sardonic and comedic
#5 Current, hip, in-the-know and happening

Consider who’s who in a new partnership

Courage is the guy who puts his money down to jumpstart the deal. Encouraging is the guy who inspires others to contribute. Gracious is the person accepting the funds and thanking everyone for their efforts. Funny is the one who lightens the mood when the going gets tough. Current is the one who knows exactly where to spend the profits.

If you think you’re all of these themes, you’re going to have to spend some time alone, because no – you’re not all things to all people.

Ask yourself:

If you were with Gilligan, lost on an island with people who don’t know you well – what traits would undoubtedly define your attitude and interactions with them? That’s who you are. It may not be who you want to be. So act accordingly, or rather change your act accordingly.

When you like what you see, go ahead and let the world know.

Who are you?

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