Throw away the mould!

Yesterday, when my nephew asked me what domain I would like for the blog site he was setting up for me, I was stumped. Seeking ideas, I wrote to the members of my Marketing team. The subject line of the mail was ‘Just for fun.’ The mail itself read, “Use one word to describe the following”. The following was a list comprising every member of the team, including myself ūüôā

I hid my agenda from them as I wanted some feedback on how I was positioned in their minds, hoping the one word descriptor would lead to my domain name.  I knew I was unlikely to get honest to goodness one word descriptors of myself (I head the team) but I dashed off the mail on an impulse.

I didn’t get any ideas for my domain name but the results were great anyway. There was a commonality in the descriptors of all the members of my team (including myself). ¬†Seeing the output, I wrote back suggesting, ¬†“Career management is about personal brands and how you position yourself in the minds of your colleagues. Food for thought, people? ¬†I am sending each of you the SWOT analysis you did of yourself some time ago. ¬†Review it and also see how your positioning in the minds of others maps with your SWOT. And then give some thought to changes you need to make. Define your desired personal brand position and then do a desired SWOT. And, then work towards what you would wish to be seen as.” What I didn’t add (and perhaps should have is a descriptor of what traits management across the business world looks for to fast track careers).

During my rebellious teen years, my father once said to me, “In this world, it is easier to swim with the tide than against it.” What he said was true. Social acceptance is by far the easier way to navigate through life. ¬†So, you learn to dress a particular way, sport all the trappings of a management suit or creative type, and speak the current fashionable language. ¬†In other words, you study the trends and adapt. You give the world what it wants.

Question is, is it right? Is it even needed? Humankind has always endeavoured to expand its body of knowledge. It can be argued that the best ideas flow when the mind is free of the fetters society imposes (imagined or otherwise), and left free to wonder, explore and express.

So, wouldn’t the business and the world at large gain by encouraging people to be themselves? I know that every single member of my team has some unique strengths. I think the company (and I) would lose if we try and mould these young people into stereotypical moulds.

Best to nurture their unique strengths and help them realize their inherent potential in their career pathways.


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#SWOT #careerpathways #personalbranding


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