- Who & Why?
All Posts Tagged Tag: ‘volunteering’
In this world where we are all running around in a hurry trying to get who-knows-where, stop and think to yourself: what’s the best thing you have to give? If we look at what we know to be “for sure” in life, we’ll find that besides death and taxes, time is a sure thing.
What do I mean by this? We only have so much life to live. So how much are you giving to your life and where? Your time and where you choose to put it really are in your control. If you think otherwise, then you are getting sucked into the game of “there is never enough time”. You may be out of balance.
If you look at your career and aspirations, there are certain things that are very important for you. For instance, if you are a lawyer, then becoming a partner is valued because not everyone can achieve it, only the “elite”. If you are looking to get promoted within your company or get a new and better job, then that is valued because your new title/job signals something to others- that you’ve made it.
But what have you really “made” it to? Put another way, what are the costs of your success? Maybe your success costs you your relationships? Maybe your happiness and joy in life? Or maybe both? It really can be very lonely on the top. Is it just too painful to step back and observe? Is that why you read this and subconsciously think it is non-sense and “fluff”?
I believe all great personal brands (and thus successful people) have balance in their lives. Unfortunately, because of the stressors and demands of particular careers (i.e., lawyers and doctors), we are out of balance and oftentimes, not even aware of it.
Balance means that we stop and assess our lives. As Byron Katie said when I interviewed her, we stop and “sort out our lives” by sitting still. Then we can find that we want our time to mean something. If all we have is our time and how we give to others, allow yourself to do things that you love to do- things that nurture, enrich and balance you. For instance, doing community service that actually and truly enriches the community nurtures and enriches you, too.
If you stay out of balance long enough no one wants to be around you, much less hire you. That’s the sign of a failing personal brand. Eventually anything out of balance succumbs to natural forces and tips over. Don’t let that be you. Find your balance and center. Now, that’s a great brand.
TELL US WHAT YOU DO TO STAY IN BALANCE.
Do you avoid paying your fair portion of the bill when you go out to lunch with a big group of business associates? Do you have all sorts of excuses to avoid paying your business/life coach or vendor on time? Why should you buy your assistant the expensive holiday gift- after all, you share your assistant’s services with a partner in your firm, so the partner should buy the nicer gift since he/she makes more money than you as an associate? Do you not go to feed the homeless with the rest of the office because there is no money to be made or prospects to be found at the homeless shelter?
So we all know of the stereo-types regarding cheapness. Obviously we can’t assume someone is cheap and attribute a negative personal brand to him/her, just because of a stereotype. It is unfair and not often true.
However, we have all seen the above-mentioned questions in the first paragraph play out. And- make no mistake about it, we have ALL taken note of your cheapness in these situations. We just don’t say anything to you. Maybe we don’t consciously realize we think you are “cheap”. However, we’ve stored away the causal connection between: 1) you, as a (insert your career title here) and, 2) you as a cheap person. The further conclusion we likely draw is that you are petty, greedy, a hoarder and all about yourself. Guess what folks- you now have a really negative personal brand that will require some serious work to rehabilitate!!
If you come across as cheap it means we do not want to do business with you. After all, you may rip us off or deny us our fair share of services, kudos, or kindness. No one in business wants to refer business to someone who is cheap. Not only do we not do business with you, but we likely don’t even want to be friends with you socially. You’ll likely be the one to bring the $2 bottle of wine to the holiday gift exchange.
So stop and think- are you cheap? Have you done things that could be seen as cheap or stingy? Or do you freely give of yourself and your time because you care about people and want to help? You have complete control over this personal brand perception maker/breaker.
EMAIL US AND SHARE A “CHEAP COLLEAGUE” STORY THAT HAS LEFT YOU WITH A NEGATIVE PERSONAL BRAND PERCEPTION OF THAT PERSON.
A large part of my work with corporations involves developing community service platforms. These plans come about after I have studied my corporate client and tailored the community service to suit the corporate image and personality.
By why does it really matter? Can’t we just slap our corporate logo on a fundraiser race t-shirt and be done with community service?
Well, I suppose a corporation could do just that- and plenty have in the past and continue to do so. However, the question becomes what is optimal and genuine community service all about?
The answer in my opinion is helping others without the expectation of anything back but a good feeling is the hallmark of why we should all do community service. I know you may think it cheesy, but feeling good is the best reason to help others.
How does this work with generating quality business and growing our companies? Well, your community service items should be absolutely a reflection of your staff and their personalities, likes and dis-likes. This is what makes the networking and relationship-building by-product of doing the community service so effective.
We all put our hearts genuinely into activities about which we feel a desire and enjoyment. For example, if your employees enjoy hiking, find a community service activity with the state forest service.
Thus, doing the community service is that much more effective (and fun!). This means our relationships with other volunteers and other potential business partners is that much stronger and more effective, too.
What will be the inevitable result is that people will begin associating your company (and the fabulous employees who genuinely give their time and effort to a good cause) with that of a corporation who does GENUINE charitable work to help others. Potential customers will be drawn to your company.
The key of course, as I always say with any image tip, is that you have to be genuine and mean it.
Try it on for size and let me know if you have any questions.
Wishing you a fabulous image,