5 Tips to Avoid a Branding Collision

Car Wreck with a car rolled over

 

A few weeks ago, I was in the middle of a traffic jam.  Not the slow moving type, but the “get comfortable you’re going nowhere type” that shouts, “You missed your morning meeting!”  Realizing that a traffic accident could be to blame, I decided to practice gratitude.

“I am thankful that I am in a comfortable car, safe and sound.  God, if someone is in an accident up ahead, please be with them and provide comfort.”

A short time later, the traffic began to move.  It’s a good thing because I can only meditate for so long before I feel trapped.  I’m sure I was there for at least an hour practicing mindfulness and gratitude, which means I was stopped for about 27 seconds.

 

Accident Ahead

As we moved up, sure enough, I could see what was causing the delay:  an accident.  I did what you would do.  I steeled my eyes on the road ahead and drove without so much as glancing.  Yeah, sure you do.  Trying to keep moving, I glanced ever so quickly to note the vehicles, the emergency responders, and a fleeting view of the injured.  I try not to look—I’ve read that rubberneckers cause numerous secondary accidents—but I’ve also read that looking may be good for you.  Eric G. Wilson, the author of Everyone Loves a Good Train Wreck: Why We Can’t Look Away, argues that it helps us understand life’s deeper meaning.

At the very least, we can tell ourselves that studying wrecks helps us learn from others’ mistakes.

As with accidents, I watch corporate disasters the same way.  Several memorable disasters including Bridgestone’s tire recall, JetBlue’s trapping passengers onboard as categorized by Business Insider.  Anything from the Paula Deen meltdown to Target’s PR nightmare qualifies.

This past week, I witnessed a different type of branding wreckage.  Sure, it may not be as noteworthy as the mistakes above.  It doesn’t involve a consumer brand name, and it doesn’t endanger anyone’s health nor involve racist or offensive remarks.

Still, it provides lessons that are worth exploring.

 

“If you are not a brand, you are a commodity.” –Philip Kotler

 

Platform Confusion

Last week, the National Speakers Association (NSA) announced it was jettisoning its venerable brand in favor of a new name.  That name is Platform.  Though I was not in attendance, I almost immediately was made aware of the announcement via emails, texts and tweets. (See also Rory Vaden‘s excellent post on this subject).

Platform?

It was almost as if I could hear the tires screeching, the glass shattering, the metal twisting.  This was a branding collision, and the onlookers would be gathering to watch.  Why?

First two disclosures:

 

DISCLOSURE #1

One of my close friends is Michael Hyatt.  He is the NYT Bestselling author of Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World.  He runs a conference called the Platform Conference and has an online community that will make your head spin at Platform University.  He was the driving force encouraging me to blog.  On the book jacket, you will see my endorsement:

“Michael Hyatt, one of the pioneers of social networking and blogging, shares his successful blueprint for raising your visibility. Learn from his experience and save yourself time, money and frustration by following his step-by-step advice.”

July 4 Facts, Quotes and Sayings On Liberty and Freedom

Gorgeous Fireworks Display

Today is July 4, Independence Day in the United States.  Celebrations in the U.S. generally include cookouts, games, music, and, of course, fireworks.

Regardless where you reside around the world, it is a reminder to celebrate freedom and opportunity.

The founders of America led with classic leadership traits: determination, perseverance and an unwavering commitment to ideals.  Commitment to the cause meant risking everything.  John Hancock reminded the group that they must all hang together.   He was referring to the various states. Benjamin Franklin responded with one of his classic quotes: “We must, indeed, all hang together or, most assuredly, we shall all hang separately.”  Leadership, at that point, meant risking it all.

Here are some facts, quotes, and saying about freedom and liberty.

 

Fact: John Adams and Thomas Jefferson both died on the same day: July 4, 1826

 

Fact: President James Monroe also died on July 4, though five years later.

 

Fact: President Calvin Coolidge was born on July 4, 1872.

 

Fact: July 4 did not become a paid federal holiday in the US until 1938.

 

Fact: John Adams believed July 2 would be the day of celebration.

Life Lessons from Golf Great Annika Sorenstam

Annika Sorenstam is perhaps the greatest female golfer of all time.  Her many awards include ten Major Championships, 8 Player of the Year Awards, and 89 worldwide wins.  In 2013, the PGA of America named her the First Lady of Golf.  She’s the only female golfer to shoot a 59 in competition.

“There are no shortcuts to success.”  -Annika Sorenstam

 

Though Annika stepped away from competitive golf in 2008, she remains busy with commercial and philanthropic activities.  Her ANNIKA Course Design firm is busy around the world creating challenging courses everywhere from China to South Africa.  The ANNIKA Academy in Orlando is teaching players of all ages.  She is the creator of the ANNIKA Collection with Cutter & Buck.  She even created an accounting firm, ANNIKA Financial Group.  Outside of her business interests, there is the ANNIKA Foundation designed to help junior golfers.  She is active on Twitter and dedicated to her family.

“It just shows how you should never give up.” –Annika Sorenstam

 

Recently, I had the opportunity to meet Annika and her husband, Mike McGee.  In this brief 6 minute video, Annika shares:

  • The powerful words her father shared with her that motivated her throughout her career
  • How she was so afraid of public speaking that she purposely missed shots and lost games
  • How she took on the men in 2003 and how she is taking on a new challenge this year from the men’s tees at the American Century Celebrity championship
  • How she wants to give back and help others

 

“You just have to try and keep on grinding and hope that things will turn around eventually.” -Annika Sorenstam

 

“I was really never in any trouble.” –Annika Sorenstam

 

“I think it’s important for me to play well and set the tone.” –Annika Sorenstam

 

“If you think about it, the golf ball doesn’t know which country you’re in.” –Annika Sorenstam

 

“We have a challenge ahead of ourselves. You only get a chance so many times.” –Annika Sorenstam

 

“Most players practice until they get it right. Great players practice until they can’t get it wrong.” Annika Sorenstam

7 Essential Life Lessons From 7 Ancient Leaders

Academy Of Athens, Greece
Thai Nguyen is passionate about sparking personal revolutions in the lives of everyone he meets. A Professional Re-inventer: Thai is a 5-Star Chef, International Kickboxer, Writer, Speaker, and NLP/EFT Life Coach. If you are ready to stop dreaming and start living your Utopian Life, get connected with Thai today at TheUtopianLife.com.

 

1.  Embrace Change.

 

“Nobody ever steps in the same river twice, for it is not the same river and they are not the same person.” ―Heraclitus (545 BC – 475 BC)

Change is a reality weaved into the human experience. If there’s one thing we can guarantee will never change—it’s change. To move and evolve with our changing environment is crucial: keeping up with technology, advancing in careers, and constantly learning.

That’s not to say change jobs or buy a new car every year; it’s not change for the sake of change, but being more in synch with the seasons of life. Recognize when one door closes and another one opens.

 

“Nobody ever steps in the same river twice, for it is not the same river and they are not the same person.” ―Heraclitus

 

2.  Take the first step.

 

“Well begun is half done.” –Aristotle (384 BC – 322 BC)

Procrastination is often defeated with a single strike. It’s the first domino that knocks down all the rest. And yes, it’s always the most difficult. But as Aristotle emphasises, the finish line becomes a sudden reality once you launch out of the starting blocks.

A popular mantra for the entrepreneur is to start before you’re ready—everything has a way of falling into place after that.

 

“Well begun is half done.” –Aristotle

 

3.  Iron sharpens iron.

 

I don’t need a friend who changes when I change and who nods when I nod; my shadow does that much better. –Plutarch (46AD – 120AD)

It isn’t easy to give and receive constructive criticism. It’s hard to even tell a friend they have spinach stuck in their teeth. But what’s unsaid can be more damaging than what is said. Particularly when our words can significantly impact our friends in a positive way.

Much better to tell our friends what they need to hear rather than simply what they want to hear.

 

I don’t need a friend who changes when I change and who nods when I nod; my shadow does that much better. –Plutarch

 

4.  Listen more, speak less.

The Dangers of Always Trying To Be Right At Work

bigstock-Businesswoman-in-bright-office-49013006

In a previous post, I shared how the joy of being right can often be wrong.  Trying to be right at all costs comes at a surprisingly high price.

  • We waste time and energy.
  • We damage relationships.
  • We refuse to listen to the other side.
  • We cause others to stop sharing freely.
  • We stop listening as we develop arguments.

 

“Choose being kind over being right and you’ll be right every time.” –Richard Carlson

 

For all of those reasons and more, being right is not always worth the cost.

When you are right, what happens?  Others applaud your brilliance!  They nod to you as you pass them in the hall.  A gleaming trophy arrives for your new corner office, allowing everyone to know that you are “RIGHT.”

Ah, no. Not exactly.  Pretty much none of that happens.

It’s far better to allow others to be right.  Let little offenses pass.  Save the disagreements for the big things.

 

“Celebrating accomplishments is one of the fastest ways to change a culture.” -Skip Prichard

 

That’s my advice for individuals.  It happens in organizations, too.  When an entire organizational culture is centered on being “right,” what happens then?

You will find a culture:

With more meetings. Instead of having a conversation about an issue, everyone works hard to be correct.  That means that there are meetings to prepare for meetings to prepare for meetings.

With longer meetings.  Everyone needs time to share the “right” point of view.  Everyone needs the microphone to prove her point or to highlight his knowledge.  And we need time to point out the flaws in everyone else.