Identity Beacon

Illuminating Possibilities

Identity Beacon - Illuminating Possibilities

What’s on your business card?

How do you present yourself to the world? Do you — can you — present your true self or do you present the traditional, expected “data?” — What you do, who you work for?

Here’s another approach for fashioning a personal business card that asserts your more powerful, more meaningful parts. Stay with me …

Earlier this month, I had the opportunity to make a presentation to the Association of Career Professionals(ACP) here in Connecticut — a diverse group of career coaches and consultants, outplacement executives, and individuals in various states of transition. The session was entitled: My Brand, My Career: Building the Relationship of a Lifetime

While shaping one’s personal brand was the ostensible focus of the meeting, my intention was to take the crowd to a deeper place — a place that, once reached, would become the foundation of their personal brand, but also provide them a fresh perspective on how to build a life and legacy they’d be proud of. In short, their brand would become their authentic, distinctive, and sustainable center of gravity.

To get to this “deeper place,” we tackled a variety of questions ranging from who am I? and what makes me special? to where am I going?, who can I trust?, and what is my message? All of these questions, and others, were aimed at cracking the code on one’s essential identity as the starting point for shaping a truly meaningful brand.

Once you crack your code, you’re ready to get real. Put your personal brand statement on a business card — if you don’t have one, or only have a company card, have some made — you’re inviting people to get to know you faster and better. You’re inviting notable discussions, which could lead to a new job, or even a new career. (And, it’s a great conversation starter at cocktail parties!) You’re promoting what you’re really “good at” and what makes you unique. That’s what your brand needs to do.

What are you waiting for?

For the sake of humanity, join the Ubuntu party!

Politics has gotten in the way of our humanity and it’s time to change that. To borrow a phrase from the 1976 movie, Network, I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore!

So, here’s my proposal: Let’s launch a new party — a decidedly unpolitical party — dedicated to celebrating the stuff that makes us who we are at our core, and that we can all get behind. Further, I propose we name that party the Ubuntu Party.

Ubuntu is a term meaning “humanity,” whose origins trace back to Southern Africa. According to Wikipedia, Ubuntu is often translated as “humanity towards others,” but is often used in a more philosophical sense to mean “the belief in a universal bond of sharing that connects all humanity.”

One of the key markers of Ubuntuism is what is termed “extroverted communities” — the idea that there is sincere warmth with which people treat both strangers as well as members of an existing community. (Translated for today’s rabid climate, this refers to the people who don’t agree with me and the people who do).

There is an Ubuntu deficit in America today and we’re all suffering for it. There’s just too little appreciation of the fact that we are one, human community, our differences notwithstanding. This is not a political statement. I do not care which side of the political spectrum you lean into or who you voted for. I do care about how we treat one another, how we speak to and listen to one another, how we build communities that will be productive and self-sustaining.

According to a recent CBS News poll, 7 in 10 people — regardless of party affiliation — say the country is losing its identity. The article opens with these words: “We can’t even agree what it means to be an American.” That may be the case. But can’t we at least agree what it means to be human? I’d like to think so.

We’d do well to bring a little more Ubuntuism into our lives.

 

What do you believe?

Welcome to the believing season, otherwise, known as “the Holidays.” It’s a time of year when we give ourselves permission to believe in, and be grateful for many things in our lives — a close family, dear friends, snow-driven evenings; whatever aspects of our lives mean the most to us, but which we don’t always take stock of.

That’s the romance behind what we believe and believe in and it’s wonderful.

More practically, our beliefs profoundly influence our lives — for better and for worse. What we eat, who we hang out with, how we relate to our co-workers, the choices we make everyday are shaped by our beliefs. So, what are some of yours?

In this month’s Identity Insights newsletter, I invite you to weigh on what you believe about a variety of topics, which are likely to stir emotions stretching from anger and frustration to hope and peace.

Check out the newsletter and share your beliefs about one or more items. Examples? Well, what do you believe about trust? How about Twitter? Congress? Integrity?

Finally, of all the adages about believing, perhaps, the one that’s most common is this one: I’ll believe it when I see it. In the spirit of the Holidays, permit me to offer a different take on this line: I’ll see it when I believe it.

Think about that for a while.

Happy Holidays.

 

 

 

 

The ‘R’s lose. The ‘D’s lose. The ‘A’s win!

So, I’m sitting on the train this morning, from Westport CT to New York City, reading the paper. Today’s New York Times had three articles addressing the tug-of-war going on over the fiscal cliff (no pun intended), between the Democrats and the Republicans. The capstone article was David Brooks editorial The Truly Grand Bargain.

When I was finished with the article, I had this epiphany: Party victory isn’t the solution to our fiscal ills; party defeat is! At least, if you want to serve the American people (see ‘A’ above.) The only constructive, viable, America-saving outcome, is if BOTH parties feel like they’ve lost. The Dems on entitlements and the GOP on taxes. For, in the crucible of that dual defeat is a nation poised for renewal, with real, if gut-wrenching, prospects for righting our fiscal ship.

There is, to this proposal, a visceral sobriety – a quiet consciousness – that neither party so far has reached. But must. I’ve come to view our politicians as juveniles, protecting their egos, like kids in middle school do, when they refuse to take any responsibility for