- Who & Why?
All Posts Tagged Tag: ‘Integrity’
I mentor a young woman who is getting her undergraduate degree. She recently interviewed me for her entrepreneur class. One of the questions she asked moved me very much.
Her question was, “What does it mean to you to think about yourself as an entrepreneur?” I haven’t sat down and thought about this question in a very long time. I sat back to reflect in order to give her an honest and sincere answer. Instead what I discovered is that I became quiet emotional at the privilege I had to be an entrepreneur.
As I reflected on the last ten years of my life in running this company, two things stood out as themes to my answer: honor and responsibility.
To be an entrepreneur for me means to be a pioneer and a trend-setter while helping people and organizations choose to see things differently and excel. It is an honor and a privilege to be an entrepreneur and it is clearly NOT for everyone. Everyday is exciting and fun. Others may see risk and instability, I see a promise to be better and impact the world in a positive way. I see it as my responsibility and an honor.
Every day it is my privilege to be allowed into our clients’ lives and hearts and minds. Rarely is there a day when a client doesn’t drop their guard and become vulnerable with me in an effort to be better and do better. What an honor and a privilege it is to be me and to have clients trust me in this way.
What does this mean for you?
Even if you are not entrepreneur, this line of thinking will serve you well in your work and career and personal life, too. Stop and consider:
- What is an activity in your life that is exciting and fun for you?
- Can you take your current career and/or job and choose to see it from the vantage point of an entrepreneur- as fun, exciting and a true contribution to others?
- If you answered “no” to the question above, can you take just ONE aspect of your current career and/or job and choose to see it that way?
- In your life and career, have you stopped to listen to feedback from others regarding what you do that can be seen as: a) a privilege and b) a way to be of service to others?
I hope you found this material helpful. If so, please SHARE it with others. I’m always striving to provide you with content that is helpful to you and your brand and life. Please email me with your feedback and questions: katy (at) purispersonalbranding.com.
Aside from being a wife and family member, I am blessed to have several leadership roles, including running a branding company. So often I’m trying to figure out how to lead well. If I trust my gut and stay self-aware, it’s easy. If I start to analyze and agonize, it quickly becomes very hard to lead- much less to stay present.
What’s the right thing to do in any leadership opportunity situation? Should I say something? Should I stay quiet and let those I lead figure it out? Should I say just a little bit but not give away the farm? What if they don’t like me anymore once I open my mouth to lead? Worse, what if they hate me?
And on and on and on….it can get maddening if I let it.
Here’s what I’ve learned through my trials and tribulations in developing a leadership brand that works for me.
First, I’ve discovered I have to have a general goal. My goal (and I recommend it for you) is to aim to have my leadership style resonate my brand. This really means making sure that your only goal is to develop a brand culture for whatever group you are leading.
This brand culture must come from values development. How? It involves the human element- does everyone you lead have their values identified? Are they allowed and proud to own their values? Do their values seep into the organization’s brand culture?
For instance, my number one value is integrity. My number two value is to have fun and be happy.
Once I’ve set my leadership branding goal, I now have a pattern to compare all my actions as a leader. This ensures my brand values (and company brand culture) syncs up with, and consistently resonate, all my leadership actions.
In the next blog, I’ll talk about what to do from this point to ensure a strong leadership brand for you and your organization/employees.
For now ask yourself:
- What are my brand values?
- Does my leadership convey my brand values?
- Do those you lead (your employees and/or colleagues) know their brand values and “own” them well?
When I was a practicing attorney, it felt to me like everyone was in constant competition with one another. I was competing with other attorneys for billable hours and clients. There was a feeling of competition for jobs and accolades. And of course, there was competition for “stuff”. You know- cars, clothes and friends.
I was fortunate to practice in Washington DC and have lots of wonderful colleagues and friends around me. So the impact of competition wasn’t so bad on me. Yet, it was the nature of the game. Or so I thought. It wasn’t until I had left the practice of law for several years that I started to really see things differently.
Fast forward 10 years later. Now, as part of personal brand development of professionals, I take a very different stand on competition. I want all clients to stay in their current careers. I reexamine competition for them to be able to do so effectively.
I believe that if we really know how we are unique and different, then no one is competition. Everyone is complimentary. This serves to reduce the stress of competing. It also serves to elevate our self-confidence and open our eyes to creative thinking and “being”.
One of my favorite quotes on competition comes from environmental scientist, Donella Meadows. Meadows profoundly stated, “…Yes, the earth says compete. But leave enough for your competition… Don’t annihilate….We are not in a war, but in a community…”
Case in point is the privately held company Patagonia. It was profiled in Fast Company Magazine recently. Run by CEO, Rose Marcario, a practicing Buddhist, the company is referred to as a paradox of sorts. Why? The company has ad campaigns stating, “don’t buy our products”. Yet in recent years Patagonia’s profitability and operations have grown. How is that possible? Well, in order to save resources on Earth the company values consumption based on your needs.
Guess what else? Patagonia freely shares it’s expensive R&D findings with its’ competitors. Why? As Marcario puts it so eloquently in her Fast Company interview, “Here, you can have our intellectual property because at the end of the day this will be better for the planet. If you guys (competitors) adopt it you can scale more, because you’re way bigger than us.”
And that’s called co-existing in a community, profiting AND having a fabulous personal brand (Marcario) and business brand (Patagonia). That’s what integrity in business looks like.
So what does this mean for you? Well, stop and consider:
– How much does competition drive your life? Does it feel healthy or obsessive?
– If you are ultra competitive, how do you show up as a personal brand to others- attractive or otherwise?
– What’s one step you can take to shift your way of “being” to view competition differently for yourself? Don’t wait to do so. Start now so you can transform your life, career and brand.
How much thought do you give to the concept of integrity in your life? Do you know what it really means? How would you know if and when you are out of integrity? How do others show up for you when they are in or out of integrity? Who cares?
I’ve been very aware of the concept of integrity these days. In the Being a Leader program in which I participated in Dubai recently, the instructors brought the practice of integrity to light for us. In particular, Michael Jensen, professor at Harvard Business School, has researched and written on integrity as it relates to effective exercise of leadership as a natural self-expression of ourselves. For instance, did you know that in business most people believe that integrity is a nice thing to have, but not a must?! This floored me.
As I have discovered, integrity is simple to learn about, but not easy to “be”. Basically we are in integrity when we keep our word. After all, we only have our word. What else is there? Don’t panic- there are plenty of times when we just can’t keep our word because of circumstances in our lives. If you can’t keep your word, then you must honor your word. Often, honoring your word is as simple as acknowledging you are out of integrity, apologizing and cleaning up any mess you have caused as a result.
So I started looking around in my own life at where I am in and out of integrity and why. I discovered that I, like everyone else, live in the world of slipping in and out of integrity. You know what I’m talking about. The little white lies, being a few minutes late here and there, etc. However, I also discovered that I’m in integrity more than I knew. Whew. That made me feel better. I also discovered how easy it is to honor my word when I am out of integrity. You’ll be amazed at how far a simple acknowledgment and apology goes- “I am 3 minutes late and I apologize. I don’t have a good excuse”.
In my world of personal branding, when you are out of integrity your personal brand is completely ineffective. It’s a credibility issue and a perception issue. Everyone subconsciously gets that you are out of integrity. Not only that, they don’t want to be around you, much less hire you, buy anything you are selling, promote you, go out with you, etc. You get the picture.
So what does this mean for you? Stop and think to yourself:
- How often are you in and out of integrity?
- Do you do the right thing when you are out of integrity?
- Do you have self-awareness of how your personal brand is impacted each time you are out of integrity? If not, why not?
- What’s one thing you can do to be self-aware of keeping your integrity in check?