maximum potential

these are the thought starters, insights, and inspiration to get you, and the brands you manage, to reach your maximum potential

stop ignoring your mistakes

you made a mistake.  you dropped the ball.  things did not go as planned.  but do you know why you made the mistake?  do you know how the ball got dropped?  other people were involved.  you weren’t the only one to touch it.   perhaps you can blame someone else, a business partner or a subordinate, maybe.  even better, when your boss questions you about the issue you can just tell him you already have it solved and pretend like it never happened.  but what will you learn?  

admiting and understanding your mistakes will make sure that you never repeat them again.  in fact, according to jonah lehrer, neuroscientist and author of how we decide, we train our emotional brain (or what i interpret as intuition) by analyzing our mistakes.  although it may seem counterintuitive,  it’s the errors, not the successes, that better prepare you to perform in the future.  so while you’re ignoring your mistakes or hiding them neatly under the covers so that no one will see them, you are really missing an opportunity to get better.  stop ignoring your mistakes, trust me, you’ll appreciate it later.

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Filed under: personal branding, , ,

surround yourself with excellence

are you surrounded by excellent people?  if not, something may be wrong because great brands need great people to succeed.  and no matter how brilliant you might be, you are not immune to this truth.  

excellent people help propel excellent brands towards their maximum potential.  here are a few quick reasons why:

  • excellent people tend to feel uncomfortable performing sub par compared to others.  consequently, the higher the standard of excellence around them the more excellent they will tend to be.  yes, even excellence is relative
  • excellent teams are always better than an excellent individual.  two excellent people will always be better than one.  five will always be better than two, etc, etc.  (you get the point)
  • being surrounded by excellent people allows one to focus on the task at hand and focus is key to success.  too often when people are  not surrounded by excellent people they spend too much time distracted because they are worried about or busy making up for other peoples’ deficiencies.  

so hire excellent talent, work for an excellent boss, build a circle of excellent friends, find an excellent spouse, and get coached by excellent mentors.  their job title is irrelevant; the truth is, excellent people propel brands towards their destiny.

Filed under: business branding, personal branding, , , ,

it doesn’t matter which way you go

Alice in Wonderland: Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?
The Chesire Cat: That depends a good deal on where you want to get to
Alice: 
I don’t much care where.
The Cat: Then it doesn’t much matter which way you go.

many of us don’t pay attention to where we are going.  like a ship without a sail we go in whichever direction the wind blows us, often ending up nowhere.  on our quest for purpose, success, career, and freedom we stop and ask everybody else for help along the way.  but it’s essential that you take the time to first search yourself and ask questions like:

in life…

  1. what do i want to be best in the world @?
  2. what makes me different and unique?
  3. what makes me cry when i see it (perhaps it’s a problem you should solve)?
  4. if i could make a million dollars a year doing anything i want, what would i do?
  5. what do i find myself doing in my spare time? 

in business/marketing…

  1. what do we want to the best in the world @?
  2. what makes us different and unique?
  3. what are we going to stand for?
  4. what is the purpose of this organization?
  5. what capabilities do we have that will enable us to win?  which ones are we missing?

the moral of the story is simple

if you haven’t asked yourself these questions (or other ones like them) then i have the answer to your question about which way you ought to go before you ask me…

“it doesn’t matter which way you go.”

(for those who are searching jullien’s got a lot more questions if you need it, click here) or check out his class here)

Filed under: inspiration, lifemark, personal branding, quotes, , , , , , , ,

monday spot(light): nike’s fate

oftentimes, there are very different opinions about what is “great creative.”  in an attempt to get to the answer, and bring the fire and energy of the conversations we have in my agency to the web, i developed monday spot(light), a space where we will evaluate creative in the marketplace and seperate the good, bad, and ugly.  

in my opinion, this is great creative.  honestly, it was one of my favorites in 2008, there is a clear story that is simple, concrete, credible, and emotional.  

what do you think and why?

 

Filed under: lifemark, , , , ,

spot(light): cheerleader dad

while watching the reel in the lounge of my favorite partner agency yesterday, i had the privilege of being reminded why the fatherhood.org spot they developed is one of my favorites.  

although i’m sure the main insight that led to this spot probably had nothing to do with culture, for me, as an africanic consumer, it strikes a huge emotional chord.  in a world where black men are often bashed and thought to be non-existent in the family, it is extremely rewarding to see a black father portrayed in such a positive light.  

the image of our black father (i prefer hero) in this spot completely bucks against the image that is more commonly displayed.  unlike much of what we see in mainstream tv, this black father is not absent; he is completely involved in the life of his baby girl.  he is all in!  so much so, that his identity of dad is publically prioritized over all other competiting identities and definitions of self (after all, “real men” don’t move their hips like that or talk about “boys” do they?  this is definitely not “G,” right?).  

at the end of the day, this is an excellent spot; and without question, you got my attention!

Filed under: Uncategorized, , , , ,

a life of (re)actions

every action has a reaction   

 

 

 

every action has a reaction

‘every action has a reaction.’   sometimes those actions may yield very positive results or positive reactions; and other times, our actions may produce negative results or painful reactions.  nevertheless, every action has a reaction.  and there will be times that we just won’t know the full impact of some of the actions we take because the reactions-good or bad-can extend far beyond what we see and know (see cartoon)

so then, how careful are we about our actions?  how mindful are we about the potential impact on others of the decisions that we make?  what about the impact on ourselves or on our world?  when you cussed out your employees, treated your girlfriend like she didn’t exist for a day (instead of like a queen), or failed to give that homeless person a dollar did you think about the consequences?  

 sometimes i do; sometimes i don’t.  but whether i do or not, the reality is, there will will be consequences.  I do my best to do the studying, reading, training, and praying necessary to acquire the wisdom, knowledge, and point of view that I need to have so that I can take the best actions at the best times.  there will be moments when i will fail miserably.  but, at the end of the day, my hope and prayer is that the aggregation of the positive actions i produce far outweighs the negative ones.  Simply put, I want to leave the world and the people I come into contact with better than how I found it/them.  

i also find consolation in knowing who i am and my belief that 99% of the time, action is better than no action.  i am an action-oriented person.  period. it’s one of my talents (see ACTIVATOR).  some people plan. these people will take 20 minutes printing out every google map so they can figure out how to get across town.  i’d rather jump right in and figure it out along the way.  to me, i learn best from my acting not necessarily my planning.  it’s a gift and a curse i have accepted.  this alone is an action with numerous reactions because it has enabled me to accomplish some great things at such a young age; and on the flip side it has caused error, rework, and pain.  

today, i reflect on some of my actions that are currently having negative reactions; but ultimately, for me, it is better to do something, than to do nothing at all.  i learn better and faster that way.

Filed under: personal branding, , , ,

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