Every once in a while I get to step back and look at the work I do with my clients from a larger, more expansive perspective. Ordinarily, we are laser focused on developing a branded executive resume and LinkedIn profile that will attract interviews and job offers. But what is really at stake here?
Nothing less than your life. I'm currently reading The Great Work of Your Life: A Guide for the Journey to Your True Calling by Stephen Cope, Director of the Institute for Extraordinary Living at the famed Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health in Western Massachusetts. I tell you I did a double-take! He's talking about personal branding using the vocabulary of yogic fulfillment!
Yet, the criticality of discovering who you are, who you are given to be in your life, is rarely mentioned in personal branding discussions. Personal branding sounds like it's "nice to have," optional, a smart thing to do for career advancement, for making more money, and achieving greater fulfillment, but - is it a tragedy if you don't do it, find it, live it out?
Steven Cope says it is. If people "miss the mark" by even a little - say, they're a priest when they reallly want to lead the choir - that person may well experience ill effects from boredom, depression, feeling out of sync with what they do with most of their waking hours. And the world will have an uncomfortable, conflicted priest instead of inspired sacred music making.
Another thing that happens is that people undervalue their gifts, and therefore continue to do what they do with a nagging sense of falling short of "the big thing" they should be doing.
This is the situation I see most often. Wiliam Arruda's Reach 360 Survey is a fabulous tool for helping my clients see the gifts that others see in them - that they are too close to to see - or that they discount because their gifts come so naturally to them.
Learning that others DON'T usually have their particular gifts and that they turn to them for their gifts is a real eye-opener. The process helps my clients achieve a new sense of themselves as highly valued for their unique, natural-to-them ways that they do their work and interact with others.
What does the world lose by inidividuals not valuing themselves for their intrinsic personal brand? A person on fire with their passions and coming from a place of inner alignment with the greatest life that they can have - who does his work skillfully and with joy.
So, when you come to write your executive resume, be sure to let employers and recruiters know who you are - someone no one can duplicate - along with why the company needs someone like you. Get your personal brand out there - and give the world a chance to be benefited by you, living out your greatest life.