Monday, August 9, 2010

Redefining our work ethic – as a nation and as individuals

Indira Gandhi once said, “My grandfather once told me that there are two kinds of people: those who work and those who take the credit. He told me to try to be in the first group; there was less competition there.” As today’s American work force experiences a seismic shift, I see work ethic at the root of it. And as layoffs continue to take place, it’s vital to look deeper and redefine our vision and our values.

With a changing landscape and rapid technological advancements, it’s even more important now, more than ever, to bring our attention to cultivating quality work. This video clip speaks to this need.

I believe the value of work ethic starts at home.

As a little girl, I observed my great aunt and uncle instill an unsurpassed level of work ethic in their children. At a young age, my cousins worked hard to contribute to the family unit. No lazing around the house on weekends – they were up early and out mowing acres of rolling hills in Ocala, Florida or helping out with day-to-day chores.

How different a world we life in today - we hire housekeepers to do our chores and don’t have time to mow our lawns. Children rarely have a set of regular chores, and if they do, are compensated for their work. They expect to be paid, instead of understanding it is their role as a member of the family. I’m sure Ashley and Josh didn’t jump at the opportunity to do yard work, but they did it because they respected their folks, and perhaps, feared the consequences if they didn’t. I wonder if today’s parents run the same household? From my perspective, I certainly don’t see it that way.

In today’s market, work is a privilege.

As projects pile on my plate, instead of complaining about my laundry list of “things to do”, I reflect on how fortunate I am to have meaningful work. Quinn Bommelje’s statement, “When things are going good, work harder!” truly encompasses my approach to work (and life) these days. As a nation, and individuals, we can’t ever rest on our laurels. We have to push ourselves to work harder, go further and become better than we thought was ever humanly possible. Let’s not look at this time in history as a crisis – instead see it as a crossroads to redefine ourselves.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Brand Yourself

As a communication student, you’re learning about strategies and tactics that help build, change, and/or enhance an organization’s reputation. In this course, we have observed examples of organizations, and some individuals, working to influence public perception.

Have you ever stopped to think of your own reputation? Have you ever considered your own personal brand?

In the industry, relationships are essential and your personal image can make or break the opportunities that are presented to you. Even if you have no desire to work in the PR industry, you should always be conscious of your reputation.

Your assignment is to develop a comprehensive overview of the brand of __________________ (your name here).

Below you will find a list of questions to get you started.

What is your purpose?
- A person’s purpose often takes a lifetime to discover and define – some realize it quickly, while others search for years.

What is your mission?
- What are your core beliefs that are fundamental to your place in the world? Consider defining a personal mission statement – a guiding motto to follow and reflect on often.

What is your vision?
- Your vision is where you see yourself in the future. What you are striving for in your career, personal goals and/or achievements you hope to gain one day.
- Do you develop annual goals for yourself? They can help you identify the vision of your life.

What are your values?
- Values are what we hold of utmost importance – what do you value the most?
- Take a look at your life today. Take a look at your weekly activities. Observe how you spend your time.
>> What do you spend your time doing?
>> What do you consider your priorities?
>> Now, how does that transfer into the things you value most? Do they align? Are you living those values?

When were you founded?
- This could be your time of birth. It may be another moment where you reached an epiphany or had a defining moment that created a new awareness and awakening within you.

Why were you founded?
- In your opinion, why do you believe you are here?

What distinguishes you from everyone else in the market?

Who is your target audience?
- Primary, secondary and intervening individuals?

What are your primary message points?

What channels of communication do you typically use to convey those messages?

If you worked for an agency and were hired to represent your brand, would you embrace the challenge?

What are you doing today to enhance and/or change your reputation and create the best brand image of __________________________(your name here)?

Be creative, be original, be yourself. After all, only you are you.