Build Your Leaders

Archive for the ‘goals’ Category

Getting Goals Wright

May 6th, 2013

Architect Frank Lloyd Wright liked to share a story from his childhood that he said helped shape his philosophy of life. When he was nine years old, he went walking across a snow-covered field with his rigid, reserved uncle. When the two of them reached the far end of the field, his uncle stopped him and pointed out their tracks in the snow. The uncle’s were straight as a line while young Frank’s tracks meandered all over the field.

“Notice how your tracks wander aimlessly from the fence to the cattle to the woods and back again,” his uncle observed. “And see how mine aim directly at my goal.”

Years later Wright would say, with a twinkle in his eye, “I determined right then, not to miss most things in life as my uncle had.”

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How to Build Your Personal Brand

November 12th, 2012

Everything you do in life – from the way you dress to the car you buy, from the friends you see to the club you belong, from the notes you write to the way you speak — either builds or diminishes your personal brand. Below are ten suggestions for building a stronger personal brand.

One:  Become an expert source. Deliver a speech, write a bylined article, post on social networks, and become an expert source for reporters.  Make sure you have a current photo, bio, resume, and speaker introduction. Check your “Google index” to ensure that you are searchable.

Two:  Become a great communicator. Research shows communications skill is the top determinant for upward social and professional mobility.  Join Toastmasters or hire a communications coach to ensure that your written and verbal skills are at their best.

Three:   Draft a marketing plan for yourself annually, and review it quarterly. Include specific goals, strategies, action steps, and a timetable.

Four:  Develop an ‘elevator speech.” Within the time that it takes an elevator to travel one floor – about 60-seconds – be able to deliver a succinct description of what you do, how you do it differently, and the benefit it provides.

Five:  Build your Rolodex. Okay, so we don’t have Rolodexes any more. Build new business contacts and stay in touch with them.  Most people with powerful brands have powerful friends.

Six:  Realize that your boss can be your most powerful ally — or enemy — in building your brand. Be loyal and never speak ill of him or her – to anyone.  We should make our bosses look good, and help them build their own brands.

Seven:  Dress for the job you want, not the job you have. Balance your individual style with clothing that will appeal to those you are trying to impress.

Eight:  Become a class act. Learn good business and social etiquette.  Buy elegant personal stationery and send hand-written notes.  Know how to order a good bottle of wine in a fine restaurant and drink it sparingly during dinner.  (Remember, alcohol and branding seldom mix.)

Nine:  Select “significant” significant others. Who you date or who you marry affects your brand.  John Hancock CEO David F. D’Alessandro in his book Career Warfare: 10 Rules for Building a Successful Personal Brand and Fighting to Keep It, suggests that single people not take their dates to company events.  If they do, they will be judged by the outcome of every romance.

Ten:  Give something back. Giving your time, talent, and money to charitable causes is a brand-builder especially when it complements your brand strategy.  Find a cause you are passionate about.  When I was in public relations, I wanted to be known for my creativity.  By limiting my community involvement to arts organizations I was able to reinforce my personal brand.   Not only did my involvement in the arts benefit my career, I enjoyed the work.  I still do.

Your personal brand is one of your greatest business assets.  Nurture your brand, and you will nurture your career.

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Stop Your Inner Critic Cold

June 29th, 2011

A great tip for cooling off your inner critic. Here’s a tip from Men’s Health magazine for those of us who have hyperactive inner critics. Studies show you can slow negative self-talk by rapidly sweeping your eyes from side to side about twenty-five times. “It stimulates both sides of the brain and briefly disrupts your thinking patterns,” reports Matthew McKay, PhD, clinical director for Haight-Ashbury Psychological Services in San Francisco and author of Thoughts and Feelings: Taking Control of Your Moods and Your Life.

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Are You Self-Actualized?

January 3rd, 2011

Characteristics of self-actualized people. Perhaps you remember studying  Abraham Maslow’s theories in a college psychology class. Maslow believed that we have to satisfy our fundamental physical and psychological needs before reaching our full potential as human beings. In order to understand these needs, he developed a scale he called a “Hierarchy of Needs”; it  followed this progression: physiological needs, safety needs, love and belonging needs, esteem needs, and self-actualization.

During his research, Maslow identified a number of characteristics that self-actualized people had in common. As you read through them, see which ones apply to you.

  • Superior perception of reality.
  • Increased acceptance of self, others, and nature.
  • Increased spontaneity.
  • Increased ability to solve problems; task-oriented rather than preoccupied with self.
  • Increased desire for privacy and solitude.
  • Increased autonomy. Independence.
  • Gratitude and richness of emotional reaction.
  • More frequent peak experiences.
  • Spirituality that is not necessarily religious in a formal sense.
  • Increased identification with humanity.
  • Feelings of intimacy with select loved one.
  • Democratic values.
  • Greatly increased creativity.
  • Humor that is philosophical rather than hostile.

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