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  • feedwordpress 18:50:12 on 2020/02/28 Permalink
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    Intelligent Generosity + Successful People 

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    You’ve heard this before no doubt and it’s true. I’ve been reminded of this recently when...

    -A senior executive of one of the world’s top tech companies agreed to take time with someone they’ve never met before whom I introduced out of the blue

    -One of my mentors, now a wildly successful CEO took time to meet and encourage me

    -I see so many people in my network doing making time for others when they are busy themselves

    These are acts of Intelligent Generosity. Successful people are intelligently generous because they understand that life and business aren’t only about performance and professionalism but also relationships and relevance. And we’re only as relevant as the strength of our relationships.

    This makes me think of a conversation I had with Rishad Tobaccowala not ago. You should see how he does this. He’s a master at it—generosity that is (amongst other things). When times are tough, it can be tempting to conserve energy, keep what you know to yourself and limit your exposure.

    There is a time and place to say “no” (more on that later) But Successful people know how and when to give. They reach out, connect and share—knowing that positivity given is positivity received.

    And that’s why they’re successful.

  • feedwordpress 16:52:59 on 2020/02/27 Permalink
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    Being Creative vs. “a Creative” vs. Creativity 

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    I’ve been called creative, been “a Creative” in my career and like to think I was born with an innate ability to create (we all were).

    But In the business world, especially in marketing where I spend the majority of my days, creativity can be a tricky topic...

    -Creative: You might not get paid professionally to be this but you probably already are, especially if you’ve ever solved a problem unconventionally or applied your imagination to accomplishing a task.

    -A Creative: Your professional role in an organization or position of self-employment that pays you to apply a level of creative craftsmanship to produce professional-quality output in the form of created deliverables.

    -Creativity: The fuel behind “being creative”. When creativity levels are high, we are most creative. When they are low, we are the least creative. When someone says “my creative juices are flowing” they have high levels of creativity.

    When I work with “Creatives” I always strive to appreciate their craft and role and respect both. When I work with “everyone else”, I try to stimulate creative problem-solving potential. Being creative can be a full-time job, a quality or a state of being, but it’s also a part of being human.

    Because we’re not robots. Yet.

  • feedwordpress 14:59:51 on 2020/02/26 Permalink
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    Client Meetings: More Jazz Than Classical 

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    I was recently prepping with the team for a client meeting...

    We were doing the usual drill—moving slides around, clarifying roles and practicing our talking points for what we wanted to accentuate and where we hoped we could lead the meeting.

    It’s all good practice. Meeting preparation that is. No matter how informal a meeting, one should be prepared and knowledgeable of the topics to be discussed.

    However, more times than not, client meetings turn into jazzy jam sessions vs. a classical music concerto where the solo presenter performs for their captive audience.

    Reading sheet music and reading the room doesn’t have to be at odds but put yourself in the shoes of a client on the other side of the table who is depending on you to help them do their job—do they need perfection or professionalism?

    The two aren’t the same.

    Being a professional in a meeting means knowing when to stick to your sheet music and when to riff, following the client’s lead. More times than not, meetings with clients both new and familiar should be more like improvised Jazz than perfectly performed classical.

    The client isn’t your audience, but an integral part of the band.

  • feedwordpress 12:00:00 on 2020/02/25 Permalink
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    Professional vs. Personal Brand: What’s The Right Mix? 

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    I’ve been managing the mix between professional and personal before social networks became mainstream. Whenever I talk to someone who’s looking for advice in this area, I usually say something like…

    See what Gary Vee does? Don’t do that

    Well, let me take a step back because there’s a huge caveat here. Gary’s got a near perfect professional/personal brand model if you’re one of the following:

    - An entrepreneur/business owner
    -Full time digital influencer
    -Your only job is to be an Internet personality for your company 

    For everyone else—Specifically employees of companies who expect your focus to be on building value for the company NOT building your personal brand, you can follow something of the 80/20 or maybe 70/30 rule:

    Bring some of your personality into what you do professionally and do it purposefully to build equity for both you and your company. It’s not easy and gone are the days of the traditional employee so some personal brand building is now expected by employers. But a good rule of thumb is that you should never shine brighter than your company and what benefits you should benefit them. 

    It’s not a perfect mix, but if it’s not your name on the check, it’s a decent guideline. 

  • feedwordpress 15:17:24 on 2020/02/22 Permalink
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    Do Not Go Quietly 

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    Once upon a time I was the youngest kid in the corporate conference room. I never thought twice before I spoke and digital jargon rolled effortlessly off my tongue. There was some good reason for this.

    I had decent knowledge of HTML, taught myself Flash (some of you may need to look that up) and when digital media went social, I mastered that as well, at least in the early days. I can still remember the son of a local ad agency owner calling me “the digital guy”. These were heady pioneering years...

    Now I’m often one of the older people in the corporate conference room and it’s striking how different my role is today. While there are times I’m vocal, there’s even more times I am actively listening so when I do speak, it’s informed and meaningful (or I hope it is).

    Wisdom is earned through experience.

    But outside the boardroom is where I’ve noticed the greatest change. Something happens as you advance in your career. That blind confidence is replaced with caution. You become quieter. In fields like marketing and tech, you wonder if your experience is as valued as youth. Going quiet is the last thing you should do at this point. My output is the best it’s ever been. It deserves a voice that goes with it. Not loud, but selectively impactful.

    Do not go quietly.

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