Monday, January 25, 2010

Personal Branding Lessons Learned from Brett Farve...NOT

Let me start by saying that this post is in no way meant to dismiss Brett Farve's football playing abilities. The man has been playing for years and has an arm like a cannon. However, they way in which the sports press deals with him grates on my last nerve, making me wish that the man would just retire already. I have noticed this "Brett Farve" trend all season, and it came to a head for me during the NFC Championship game on Sunday.

Announcers insist on saying his full name repeatedly, and giving him so much coverage that one wonders...is anyone else playing? Is he part of a team? During the first quarter of Sunday's game the announcers said his full name fifteen times! Yes, I counted. At the end of the first quarter I decided to write this post and in the name of fairness noted the number of times I also heard "Drew Brees". Final Count for quarters 2 through overtime (it was a good game)...Brett Farve got 34 mentions and Drew Brees had 16. Over twice as many! I did not count the times last names or first names alone because I realize they need to be referred to in some way.

To add insult to injury..Fox sports also treated us to a quick "Brett Farve" Interview about the noise level...apparently noise is not an issue for Brees...and a short video bio clip informing us of Farve's connection to New Orleans...My guess is that Brees is now connected to the city he plays for. If I had counted the number of times the camera cut to an adoring shot of Farve on the sidelines watching the game, I would now me suffering for carpal tunnel.

What does this have to do with business or personal branding you may ask?...Well, there comes a point when the general public is aware of your name, but that has nothing to do with the quality of the product or service you provide. Let your cusomter service speak for you. Be great, have longevity & become an icon...don't become just another name.

We want to root for Old "What's his name" the Vikings Quarterback with the killer pass.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Rules of Engagment

I hear a lot that social media doesn't work or I don't believe in social media. I believe everyone is entitled to their opinion and if this is what you believe then fine, move along and embrace what works for you. However, if you want to give it a chance, you must use it properly for it to work.

Initially, you must understand that what you are trying to gain is the new ROI - Return on Influence. Meaning that the more people that want to connect with you, the larger your sphere of influence, and eventually they may become business partners, clients or customers. Simply following, friend requesting or linking does not "connect" you. In order to really connect, to build real ROI - you must engage.

I don't want to sound like Pollyanna here, but the truth of the matter is that people will want to engage with you if you are positive. No one wants to engage with someone that is going to challenge their opinions all time. No one wants to engage with someone that is going to use their social media venues as a soapbox. These situations are uncomfortable in person, and no one is going to seek them out online.

To engage properly, be positive & be helpful.

You can disagree with an opinion expressed, no problem. The best practice within social media is to either, ignore it or respectfully disagree with a point and give a reason why.

Being helpful is nothing more than being a fan. Posting a link or giving a review to your favorite restaurants, authors, stores, TV shows...whatever you really enjoy is helpful to them. This also adds to your transparency, as your connections will know the real you.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

How to be a Great Boss

I have been very very lucky when it comes to bosses. I have learned much from each one I have had. I now know what it takes to be a great Boss.

Boss # 1...was kind of a creep, but he taught me that there is always something to do. He made his expectations clear

Boss # 2...When you see potential...foster it, find a way to help your employee grow

Boss # 3...Listen...when a new employee, has an out of the box idea - give it a shot. It helps inspire a sense of ownership of the task.

Boss # 4...say 'Thank You' at the end of the day, they will be glad they came to work and happy to come in tomorrow.

Boss # 5...acknowledge your employee's expertise, they will be proud of the job they do for you.

Boss # 6...When reprimanding an employee...take responsibility for any training you may have failed to provide (this sucks for the employee - but it WORKS!)

Boss # 7...my current Boss...provide constant challenges for the employee to meet. Do not let them settle.

and just to make it an even 10

#8 - Be a team leader not a tyrant
#9 - Be the Boss...do not fear the wrath of your employees
#10 - Show them respect...unless you are hiring High School students, you have employed adults..treat them as such.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

How to be a Great Employee

I have been an employee for 25 years, and for many of those I have been a great employee. I have learned a few things over the years that can help anyone become great.

The first thing you should know: Your employer is not required to employ you. You are not doing them a favor by showing up everyday. Unemployment is high and under employment is higher. There are others out there that would be more happy to have your job. So suck it up and try to have a good attitude most days.

Second, you are not entitled to a raise. You accepted your job at an agreed upon wage. Why should your employer pay you more for performing the same task. If you want more money...do more work. On the same note: Employers if you have an employee that is going above and beyond on a frequent and regular basis...pony up more cash.

And lastly you were hired to do a job. You were not hired to text, surf the next or spend 8 hours taking care of your personal business. Any boss worth their salt will respect that occasionally you have things that need to be taken care of during business hours, but DO NOT take advantage of them.

Show your employer respect, realize that times are tough and step up. Be great!