A Breakthrough Formula for Standing Out from the Crowd
When David McNally and Karl Speak approached me to help them research and produce the book you now hold, I admit to being skeptical. At first, it seemed a mix of viewpoints and styles at odds with each other—David's expertise in motivation and personal development, as evidenced by his bestselling books Even Eagles Need a Push and The Eagle's Secret, and Karl's hard-driving business edge, resulting from his work as a brand development consultant to organizations such as Cargill, FedEx, Target, and The Wall Street Journal.
One guy soars. The other guy digs. One speaks to the unquantifiable elements of human potential. The other focuses on very tangible aspects of business performance. And yet, who better to approach the tantalizing prospect of using business wisdom to create personal success than two very different experts who, between them, cover all points on the spectrum?
As people of all ages and backgrounds struggle to come to terms with a world where little appears solid or constant, the idea of personal branding has become more and more intriguing. The importance of brands in building and sustaining corporate success is well documented. A brand is a reflection of the relationship an organization has with its customers, embodying that which an organization is committed to and stands for.
David and Karl believe that for individuals to succeed in an ever more competitive and complex world, they need to be diligent about building the strength of their own personal brand. In other words, what are we committed to, what do we stand for, and, more critically, how do we represent that to the outside world? As people cannot see inside of us, the recognition of our beliefs and abilities can only come from what people see us do, the perception they form from observing our day-to-day actions. Through our actions, therefore, we build our brand.
What David and Karl will show you in the pages that follow is elegantly simple, yet highly sophisticated. They present a formula that combines a number of different elements—some from the business world, some from more personal dimensions—into a larger whole. Their purpose is to help the reader not only identify and establish his or her unique place in the world but also benefit from the recognition of their individuality.
To help you in your process, Be Your Own Brand leaves out the celebrities and focuses on examples of people you've never heard of but who exemplify what it means to have a strong personal brand: a trainer from Texas and a heart surgeon from Minneapolis; a California-based financial advisor and an icon of Canadian national pride; a fashion-trend spotter with a flair for making large systems turn tight corners and an ex-hippie whose hair may be shorter, but whose gentle spirit has not been suppressed by the world of corporate cubicles.
These are people who have figured out how to be their own brand. They have found a way to break through the noise and clutter of modern life to give a clear impression of who they really are, what they value, and how they can be counted upon to act. They clearly stand out from the crowd.
What they can do, you can do, too. David and Karl are about to show you how.
- Dick Schaaf
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