Mind, Body and Soul

If your organization/employer came to you, in a moment of great lucidity, and said the following:

  • "We haven’t discussed our true desires before, but we felt it important to address them now.  We do require all of you…that means mind, body and soul in our efforts and goals.  Are you willing to do this?"

Even if you haven’t had the type of discussion I mentioned above, my guess is your organization might be carrying an unspoken expectation of the same.  Is that so bad?  I think it is…

Tell me what you think.

In the Name of Branding

Found John Moore’s blog today.  What a great find!  His post on The Marketing Courtship Process is right on.  I especially like the point on the window of loyalty.  Brand loyalty doesn’t last a lifetime (rarely).  It’s our laziness that convinces us that everything should stay the same.  We tend to market our products and ourselves in the same way. 

I digress…read the entire post for some great tips on marketing.

Making the Bestseller List

Seth Godin has a great post on The NY Times Bestseller List.  In a time where every advantage is looked for in marketing a book, it only makes sense to want what the Times has.  The fuel (press, conversation, scale, etc.) is pretty powerful.  However, I wouldn’t go looking for it…unless you’re Malcom Gladwell or Colin Powell.

My book, Waking Up In Corporate America is scheduled to be released in mid-December.  The strategy I will pursue is to not think about bestseller lists (the odds say this is wise).  But to do all I can to make the ideas contained in the book contagious.  The following are some processes I’ve embraced in marketing the book:

  1. Expression deepens impression.  As I speak, my soul soaks in more of what I’ve written in the book.  This is important as I articulate to the right outlets/portals what "Waking Up" is all about.
  2. Leverage relationships first-person and deeper that want to help me.  I’ve never been successful without the help of others.
  3. Think big, but remember I can’t fly.
  4. Be different in how I position the book.  I’m not going to Oprah or the local paper the way that everybody else has.  I’ve got nothing to lose, so why not be different.
  5. I will ask ask my "fans" to buy, read and tell 4 other people about the book.   
  6. Don’t seek fame, fortune, power and the like.  The world doesn’t need another set of elbows at the table.
  7. Get going on book #2.  I’ll spend a lot of time on the first one, but I need to remember that its a crowded avenue out there and I only have a limited window to work with.  This is a great move for increasing urgency.

The list above is limited and I hope I’ll learn some new tactics along the way.  For example, I found Twitter today.

Standing for Something

I stand for people and not institutions/organizations.  It’s the people, good or bad, who make companies what they are.  If you’ve read my blog for any length of time you’ll notice a trend toward you (people) and not the organization.  When you’re for the organization you tend to see people as a means-to-an-end.  That’s a dangerous place to transact in.

This piece from Inside Work takes a look at Dame Anita Roddick.  If you’ve ever purchased products from The Body Shop, then you know her because she was the founder of that company.  You may have admired her or hated her, but she stood for something.  She wasn’t perfect, and by the way that’s not a requirement for standing for something.

When you evaluate yourself what comes to your mind?  What about the company you work for or own?  Maybe most importantly; is what you stand for being lived out consistently?

I have some thoughts that may help as you make your way through this journey of making a stand:

  • Have you made up your mind yet?  I’m referring to a decision to cross the Rubicon.  You can’t stand for something until you do this.
  • Accept that not everyone will like you for what you stand for.  Resistance and conflict are crucibles for those that take a stand.
  • Playing it safe will commence your funeral even though you’re still breathing.
  • More often than not what you stand for is part of greater plot (your destiny).
  • Everyone stands for something, whether you know it or not.  It’s sort of like you choose or it will choose you.

Wall Street Amnesia

Today’s news on Wachovia Bank is unsettling for some.  You can read more about Wachovia’s earnings here.

I find it fascinating how Wall Street (Gambling Street if you see it like me) moves into markets like subprime with great force and focus.  Only to get quiet when the chickens come home to roost.  C’est la vie…

What does this say about leadership and your career?  I think the following considerations are in order:

  • Make sure you really want to be doing what your doing.  Have your eyes wide open and see the organization for what it is and not what you dream.  In other words, embrace reality!
  • Have advisors and mentors that can see things that maybe you miss.  You might be thinking that you could never leave a place like Wachovia because your vested.  A mentor might be able to point out that all investments (retirement or otherwise) are portable.  He/She might also tell you that your bored and need a new challenge.
  • Leadership is formed and lived out in integrity.  Pay attention to why your organization decided to invest in subprime securities.  If the leaders has integrity they should be able to answer the question.  If the leaders can’t give a straight answer, watch out!
  • Don’t let your identity (position, power, money, office location) get wrapped in your career.  Doing this leads to blindness.
  • Any lasting legacy (if that’s what you want) will be made up of things that never paid you a dime.  Take a look at your spouse or kids on this one.

Nothing Ventured

"To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all."

The above quote is attributed to Oscar Wilde.  I pulled it from a post from Tom Peters titled; Against All Odds: So What?  The entire post is good…full of things to consider.

As I’ve been looking at my own journey these last couple of weeks, I can’t help but think of what makes what I do worth it.  This is something you should evaluate for yourself as well.  Is what you do full of risk and seemingly insurmountable odds?  Tough sometimes to say and live, but those are the circumstances of real living.  Our soft culture denies this by the way.

What are the odds your facing?  Consider the following as you evaluate:

  • If you’re being sold on something being easy, watch out!  It (nearly) always leaves you dissatisfied.
  • Watch your time because you don’t have as much as you think.
  • If you’re facing an against all odds situation, then evaluate how you got there.  Was it because you cheated or cut corners?  Was it because you began with an honorable pursuit?  The answers to those questions will reveal a lot.
  • You’re not going to break through with skill alone.  Destiny will play a part in the outcome.
  • Don’t give up when the water is up to your neck.

Defining Beauty

Mary Brown brings us some refreshing thoughts on beauty in her post around Dove’s new ad and how popular TV is responding.  We’ve become accustomed, if not brainwashed, to believe that beauty is defined by a Victoria’s Secret model.

If beauty is age specific only, then be afraid, be very afraid.  Say it ain’t so!

Here’s my criteria for beauty in a woman:

  • A soul surrendered to God.  A woman of this variety is the closest thing on earth to heaven.
  • A care for her looks and adornment.  Notice, I said care and not preoccupation.
  • Knows her values and is aligned with them.
  • Has a nurturing heart and mind.
  • Fights for those that cannot fight for themselves.
  • She is vulnerable.
  • Accepts that it is OK to be a woman. 

That’s my list.  You may have a different one, but we can agree that beauty is not age specific.  Right?