“A strong brand, corporate or personal, needs to be so clearly defined that its intended audience can quickly grasp what it stands for.”
Quoted from the book ‘Be Your Own Brand’ the authors David McNally and Karl D. Speak propose that the term ‘brand’ can be applied to professional and business relationships as a means to create value and consistency for one’s clients or employer.
McNally and Speak have merged strong business language with the ‘soft’ concept of values in the work place. In doing so it shows that investing in values will yield a very attractive return. According to The Collins English Dictionary, values are the moral principles, beliefs or accepted standards of a person or social group. The same source describes a principle as a standard rule of personal conduct. Think of your values as the foundation of your work ethic. Once you have identified your values, then you can choose your priorities for daily actions. The values that you uncover will be your strategic tool to enforce your brand and allow you to invest your energy in the arenas that are right for you and where you will find like minded people and support. Your brand delineates your boundaries and clarifies how much time you have to spend and where that time goes. It is lovely when everyone around you applauds enthusiastically when you when talk about values. Its hard to live up to them because it means enforcing boundaries. Your brand will force you to take responsibility for you’re your mistakes, your commitments and the time you waste. When you commit to your brand then you become consistent and your energy will be focused like a laser so that you will produce consistent results. Without your personal brand you end up saying yes to everyone and everything because your M.O. becomes about pleasing everyone in the moment to avoid confrontation. We’ve all been there and we know that when we try to please everyone we please no one because all anyone gets from us are confused, frustrated and diluted efforts. Now you set boundaries, and you say no consistently to demands that are not inline with your values and a big, enthusiastic YES to what is. Watch your productivity and standards soar when you say yes to focused, hard work and an honest effort. The next thing to do is come up with some ideas on how to achieve these actions and it just may mean getting rid of some of the junk in your life. What is really neat about this process is you start to identify opportunities to say no. I do not believe that the only road to success is through being at the beck and call of your boss or client however I do believe that you should deliver what you promise and be willing to work hard to do it. To succeed with the personal brand method your values must be in line with those of your clients or your employer. The good news is that you will know if you are working for the wrong people. The bad news is, you may have to find a new job. Your brand is your clarity . Once you get clear on what it is that matters to you, your work ethic and your desired outcome then you can present yourself and your expectations in an equally clear and concise manner. It is within this framework that you are able to know within yourself what you are willing and not willing to do for your paycheck. If you waver, change and alter depending on who you are talking to you are only being true to your mood in the moment. The brand demands that you are rock solid in your position and that you show up the same way every time. Easy? No way.
Corry Robertson is a professional business and personal coach.
Everything you do and everyone you encounter is impacted by your state. You will be perceived by others based on your state and this will have an influencing factor on a positive or negative outcome.
Values are at the root of who you are:
• Be aware of the behavior and activities that you most enjoy, such as creating, contributing, or, teaching,
• When engaged in these activities, you feel your best.
• Values are your decision making compass
Set SMART goals:
S: Your goal must be very specific:
For example: “I will double my sales volume by increasing repeat business by 5% each quarter for the next five years.”
M: Is this goal measurable? This allows you to track your progress, adjust course or keep on going.
A: Is this goal achievable? What evidence do you have to support that this goal can be achieved?
R: Is your goal realistic? An unrealistic goal is a set up for failure; it will discourage you and de-motivate you. Your staff may not even want to try. Realistic goals inspire a person to go for it with energy and enthusiasm!
T: Time Frame.
You need a start date, milestone dates and a completion date to your goal. This framework will give you small, manageable chunks to work towards.It will let you know when you are on course, if you need to revaluate and adjust the criteria
Everyday we make hundreds of decisions, sometimes without even realizing it.
To be successful, you must identify and establish priorities on a daily basis.
What must be done? What should be done? What can wait?
If you always do what you always did, you will always get what you always got!
It is very easy to get stuck in the same old way of doing things and then wonder why we never make progress Have a good look at what is not working for you and change it.
Why do you want to achieve your goal?
How will your success get you closer to the life you want to live?
How will not achieving your goal hold you back?
Having the answers to these questions will help crystallize your thoughts and feelings which will serve as a motivating factor.
It is crucial to think and speak positively because the mind does not identify the difference between what is real to you and what you imagine.
For example, you can get yourself in a good mood by thinking abut a situation that you enjoy. That’s why jokes work. You don’t have to be in the funny situation to laugh, you just have to imagine it.
Will this one work?
“Today I am going to face my fear of cold calling and I’m going to contact 10 strangers to ask if they would please let me subject them to my sales pitch.”Or would this one be better?
“Today I will contact 10 business people to partner with who will value the contribution that I make to their success.”
It is very important to take the time to acknowledge your success, reward, yourself and celebrate your life.
For peak performance to occur this is an essential factor because the mind, body and spirit needs rest, relaxation and rejuvenation.
To succeed you must hold yourself accountable for your results. Whenever you reach a stumbling block avoid the reflex looking for someplace to lay blame. Successful people figure out what they could have done differently, take personal responsibility, and commit to doing things differently the next time around. Successful people know that the only person in the world whom they can control is themselves so it is their own actions that they focus on and they put no energy into blaming or changing anyone other than themselves.
Corry Robertson is a professional business and personal coach.
A man did something that inspired me to write about him, a man who lives among us in our community, a man whom I call a true leader. It is my sincerest hope that you will be positively ignited and enthusiastically compelled to follow the leader. Bob, a friend of ours has a very good position within the company that he works for and the job requires that he travels. He learned a couple of months ago that he would be going overseas at the end of October however, Bob’s boss cancelled the trip without warning or explanation. About two weeks after the cancellation, Bob hears from the boss’s PA, that the boss cancelled the trip because he realized that he had scheduled it over Halloween and knowing that Bob has young children, Bob would probably want to be home with his family to enjoy the festivities. Now what do you make of that, I ask you? That boss has leader written all over him, don’t you think?
I want to explore how this is the kind of leadership that creates not only a great work environment but also a great society. Before I start, I want to ask that you don’t go thinking to yourself “well, you can do that kind of thing in small companies” because it is a very large, multi-billion dollar, international company; don’t go saying “well, he wants to be home with his kids too” because his kids are all grown up; by all means don’t tell me “that’s the kind of thing that women do” because the boss is not a woman; and I certainly don’t want to hear that the boss is a lazy gen-exer because he’s not a gen-exer, he’s a boomer. Why do I think this is an act of leadership? Because the boss’s actions were based in values and acts of true leadership always come from a place of values. We talk a lot about family values in our society but usually only in the context of the lack thereof. This is an example of a person who honours and respects family values and as a matter of principle he took action to reinforce his values. The boss did not demand loyalty and devotion to the company from Bob, he demonstrated values knowing that the devotion and loyalty will naturally follow.
Value based leadership is a concept that is important because it is such a crucial ingredient to success. I have a challenge for you. Regardless of your position within your organization, consider the concept of value based leadership. I am positive that you will find great joy in the courageous act of standing firm in your integrity. George Bernard Shaw told us: “This is the true joy in life, the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; the being thoroughly worn out before you are thrown on the scrap heap; the being a force of nature instead of a feverish selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy.”
The setting for my story today is the Ultramar Station on the corner of St. Charles and St. Louis in St-Lazare, you know the one. I’m at the guichet and a lady comes through the door nearest me and says to me ‘Excuse me; your little boy is getting out of the car’. Not my little boy! He’s at school! I look out the window and THERE IS A BABY STANDING IN THE MIDDLE OF PARKING LOT! Oh my God! I call out across the store ‘A baby got out of the car!’ I don’t know if the parent heard me or if anyone one knew who’s baby I was talking about so I just dashed out to get to that baby as a car was coming around the pumps. I didn’t know if the driver could see the baby so I shout ‘Slow down! Slow down!’ I cut in-front of the car and get to the baby, I take him by his little hand and I turn around to face the store fully expecting to see a parent come flying out the doors like the place was on fire and run to the escaping baby, swoop him up in their arms and burst into tears at the thought of what could have been. No. No mom. No Dad. There I stood at the busy pumps holding the hand of a baby whom I don’t know, waiting patiently for a parent to appear. So After about 30 seconds or so, the mother walks out of the store, calmly tucking her receipt into her wallet, looks at us and says with a touch of annoyance in her voice “tsk, Bobby.” She takes her baby’s hand and looks at me “thanks.” she says. I say ‘you’re welcome’ and go back to the guichet. You remember the guichet, the one where I inserted my card and keyed in pin before I ran from the store to help the incredible escaping baby and wait in the parking lot with him while Mommy finished up what she was doing? As I processed what had just happened I started to get mad. What’s with that Mom? How did that baby get out of the car? Why was he not strapped into his seat? Why was the car not locked? What kind of woman reacts so nonchalantly when her child is in that kind of danger? She was not even the least bit grateful that I helped her! I got home and I ranted and I paced and I called her ‘bad mother’. Then, I caught myself. “Self” I said…you don’t know the first thing about this woman, those children or their situation. You are thinking about it and JUDGING her from your perspective. So I changed my thoughts and let go of the anger. “ I hope the mom gets every thing she needs in life so that she can be her best, I hope her kids get the mom they deserve” and “ I am so grateful that I was there to help and no one got hurt.” And then you know what happened? I felt better and nicer.
When I originally shared this story I was accused of being equivocating but that’s what I call being a grown up, that was me walking the talk because I know that it takes a village. What if I had reacted without pause, spoke to her with all the venom in my belly, for her to tell me that they were on their way back from the hospital where her husband, the father of the children had just died? What if she told me that she just escaped from her last beating at the hands of a violent husband? If that had been the case who would have been responsible for making a bad situation worse? Me.
When I first shared this story I was told that I turned inward and took taking all of the responsibility for the child. I disagree. I relinquished the responsibility when I forgave her for not being the mother I want her children to have. And there’s my point ; when people stop blaming others for being ‘less- than’ we can get to work on our own shortcomings and really make some progress.
Here is my challenge for you. The next time you don’t like how someone handles a situation, stop yourself from judging with all of your wisdom, skills and presence of mind, and imagine scenarios where you would not be at your best. Do you think your new perspective will make the one who was wrong, according to you, more human?
Let me know how it goes for you. I love to hear what happens when people step up and take responsibility for themselves.
The Professional Network: What’s in it for me?
Networking is a social activity that professionals and business people take part in to increase their visibility and grow their businesses.
Knowing how to leverage your network is essential for success so here are a few ideas to consider:
-Present yourself in the most professional manner that you are capable of achieving. Your appearance the first opportunity you have to communicate the quality of your brand.
-Adopt a positive and enthusiastic demeanor. People will be attracted to that energy and will associate your attitude with your product or service.
- Choose the right networking clubs for you by finding out whether your target market attends; if the times and dates of meetings suit your schedule; if the membership and participation fees fit your budget; if the locations of the meetings are accessible to you; whether you be required to speak in front of the group; if you will be obligated to attend every event; how much direct competition is already there and does that matter to you?
-Raise your profile at the clubs of your choice by: contributing to draws and raffles, volunteer for a position within your network, organize an event for your network,
volunteer to speak at your network or write article for the club’s newsletter.
-If you have a small business your network will be a great place to find people who can compliment your service and make up a virtual team. With a virtual team you may be eligible for bigger pieces of business than you would have access to on your own.
-Don’t worry about ‘the competition’. Meeting up with people who do what you do can work in the favour of both of you. You can refer business to the other when a certain client is clearly not right for you and vise versa, plus you can team up to pitch on contracts that are too big for your organization on its own.
Here are a few more tips:
-Try not letting shyness hold you back because everyone is there to meet people and they want to meet you too!
-Avoid long chats. If you and the other person want to talk in detail, then make an appointment for another time.
-Follow up with the people you meet with an e-mail or a phone call.
-Get in the habit of asking for referrals.
-Get in the habit of asking what kind of referrals others are looking for.
Networking is a long term investment of your time and energy so don’t be discouraged if things don’t happen right away. Stick to it and your efforts will pay off.
Here are some of the networks that you could try:
Business Network International: www.bni.com
Le Reseau des Femmes D’affaires du Quebec: www.rfaq.ca
The Women’s Entrepreneurial Networking System: www.wenscentral.com
The Potential to Performance Business Network: 450-458-2592
The Pharmaceutical Marketing Association of Quebec: www.pmcq.qc.ca
For a list of network club sites see: www.businesspartnerships.ca
You could also try:
Your community’s business association or chamber of commerce
Your professional association
Your university alumni association
Corry Robertson is a qualified corporate coach who specializes in human performance development with an emphasis on leadership training throughout the ranks. You can visit her website at www.potentialtoperformance.com or call 450-458-2592 to speak to her directly.
The premise for The Law of Attraction is that everything in the universe, including our thoughts, is energy which emits a vibration. The universe matches the energy that we emit and sends it back to us and that is how we attract circumstances into our life experience.
How it works:
1. The law brings you what you focus on so to ensure that the law works in your favour,
you must have a very clear mental picture of your desired outcome.
An example of a positive mental picture is:
I am so happy and grateful now that my business is successful.
An example of a negative mental picture is:
I cant get any clients.
In both cases the universe will match your thoughts and send you more of it.
2. It is not enough just to use the power of positive thinking. You must use your mind to create the image of what you want then use your heart to connect with the feelings you anticipate from achieving your desired outcome.
You must believe that you will realize your goals and get into a state of joy and gratitude as though they already have. When you raise your vibration to that level you are emitting the vibration that you want the universe to match and send back. In this state you are more attractive to others, you feel better, less prone to illness, more energetic, kinder, more generous, creative, etc. Not only will the universe reflect this back to you but so will the people you encounter along your journey. You will recognize the mirror effect by how joyous and grateful others appear.
Recognize that the word ACTION is in the word attraction. Attraction is what happens when you take action to bring something into your life. You are the magnet that pulls experience to you.
Is there a practical reality in the positive effects of the law of attraction or is it just metaphysical mumbo-jumbo?
It is effective on a practical level because when you apply the law, you are taking these necessary steps towards success:
1. Establishing focus
2. When you believe you can manifest your desires you are more positive, optimistic and therefore your creative channels are open to exploring and creating possibilities.
3. Taking action.
4. Removing barriers.
Unlike some of the gurus of the law of attraction I do not subscribe to the theory that the universe is your free catalogue to choose items from based on what you are in the mood for from day to day.
Although I believe the Law of Attraction to be very compelling as well as inspiring in achieving success, I also believe that it is very complex.
If you would like to become more aware of The Law of Attraction and the benefits it could bring to your life, I recommend that you read “Que la Force D’Attraction Soit Avec Toi” by Michele Cyr. (ISBN 978-2-89472-313-5)