It took me quite a while to develop my first personal brand statement and tagline. Part of the reason was that early in my career, I didn’t give personal branding much (any!) thought. I mistakenly believed my work would just speak for itself. If you are in a similar situation, stop reading this post and immediately start working on your personal brand! Or better yet, finish this post and then take action!! 

Doing great work is an important element of being in control of your personal brand, but it doesn’t tell the full story of what it’s like to work with you. That’s where your personal brand comes in – it guides people toward the impression you’d like them to have of you. 

The critical question you need to answer, then, is what impression do you want them to have? And what impression are you making right now? Do they align? Your personal brand is the way to tell the story of what it’s like to work with you so that people’s perceptions match reality.

Getting clarity around the type of impression you want to make is the first step in telling your best story around the value that you bring. It’s also one of my favorite parts of coaching. I get to be part of the process as they recognize and celebrate their unique contributions. How cool is that?!? 

If you need help getting started, reach out to me today! 

The principal at my kids’ school holds an all-school assembly each week where they celebrate the positive behaviors they want to encourage the students to have. At a recent assembly, they talked about the idea of a superpower; basically helping the kids to think about what their strengths are.

My kids were excited to share the concept with me and it sparked some pretty awesome (and sometimes deep!) conversation in our house over the course of a week. I believe in the power of language and sometimes the hardest thing about being a kid (besides not being able to reach the cookie jar on the top shelf!) is you don’t always have the words to describe what you’re thinking or feeling in a way that you can help others understand.

The same can be true in the workplace. Sometimes, we don’t effectively communicate our value to those who most need to understand it. If you’ve ever been surprised in a performance review, you know what I’m talking about! 

Everyone benefits when you get clear on what your superpowers are. If you’re not sure, take some assessments. One that I’ve used is the Clifton Strengths, but there are many options available if you do a quick internet search.

A word of advice on determining your strengths. There are no good or bad superpowers – each is useful in various situations, so don’t spend time wishing you had different strengths. Embrace the ones you have! The key is to figure out how to use your superpowers for good as often as you can, both in the workplace and in the world.

When you know your superpowers, it’s much easier to talk about them to other people and when other people are clear on what you bring to the table, it’s more likely that they’ll reach out to you when they have a need for your particular skill set. It’s a win-win situation.

In my house, my kids have enjoyed not just talking about their superpowers, but also sharing how they have been able to use them each day. We took it a step further and talked about the superpowers of everyone in our family, so they have a better understanding and appreciation of what we all bring to the table and how we’re all unique.

My superpowers are building productive relationships, applying efficiency to all that I do, anticipating obstacles, solving problems, creating order from chaos, and having great taste in music*.  What are yours?

*Note: This last one may border more on opinion than fact.

I enjoy writing. That’s one of the reasons I started this blog – I get the opportunity to write and share my ideas along with my personal story. And yet, today, the words aren’t flowing. My creativity has stalled out.

But that’s a lot like how real life works, isn’t it? Sometimes when we really need to create an amazing presentation or report or piece of software, the ideas don’t come. We wait… and hope… and wait some more. And so you try to make it work, even if it’s not your best idea, because you need something (anything!!) for the deadline.

If you’re like most people, that’s also how you approach your career development – waiting until something else forces you to take action in the form of updating your resume, applying for a job, editing your LinkedIn profile – and then the panic sets in and the ideas don’t come.

Stress has a funny (strange, not haha) way of reducing the quality of our work by hijacking our brains. When we are stressed, the fight-or-flight response is triggered and our body reacts to the perceived threat. This was helpful in bygone days when we needed that response to stay alive. Now it just makes the stressful task at hand all the more challenging because you don’t have all your wits about you.

So what should we do? How do we get back into creativity mode so we can do our best work, whether on a resume, an important presentation, or a blog post?


Wait a minute! I thought we were going to talk about how to generate brilliant ideas that make billions of dollars?!? Nope. It’s about putting in the work so that you can keep moving forward when the stress happens and the creativity slows down, since it happens to everyone.

Successful writers write everyday. Successful painters paint everyday. If you want to be successful in your career, you need to be taking action daily on those things that will make you successful. Make sure you’re communicating your value to your current and potential employers with your personal brand. Make updates to your resume and LinkedIn profile quarterly. Develop an impactful elevator pitch for when you get your shot to talk with your CEO or other leader. 

As for me, I carry around a notebook and am daily jotting down ideas for my coaching clients, speaking gigs, and yes, even blog posts. Then, when inspiration refuses to strike, I still have a whole bunch of options to choose from.

Is this blog post a make or break moment for me? Probably not. But we can’t always predict which moments will be course altering until after they happen. Wouldn’t you rather be ready for whatever the future might bring? I know I would! 

I have a friend whose superpower is to state the obvious in a way that makes people suddenly realize the truth that has been staring them in the face and they take action. It’s truly a magical thing to watch unfold. So I’m going to do my best to channel that power for this post.

There was a wonderful article published in Fast Company this week about relationship currency. The idea is basically that doing good work is not enough in the work world; you also need to cultivate productive relationships.

My knee-jerk reaction to the article was, “Duh.” But in the same way that common sense isn’t all that common these days, common courtesy is arguably on the decline as well. There are many reasons for this. The corporate world has changed from a 9-5 to a 24/7 always-on environment. Workers are stressed and that stress often causes people to behave badly. My advice is to inject some kindness into whatever you do at work – people need it more than you know!

More times than I can count over the past 20 years, the best things happened at work because I took the time to build productive relationships. Not because I hoped to one day get something out of it, but simply because I believe in treating everyone as a human who deserves kindness. Interestingly, whenever I needed help with something at work, help appeared in the form of the many relationships I had developed. 

Even now, as I work to grow my own business, my relationships are here with me, helping me and cheering me on. I honestly can’t imagine how anyone could expect to be truly successful without having the advantage of relationship currency.

So in the age of automation, don’t let someone’s interaction with a chatbot be the nicest thing they hear today. Instead, be the uncommon courtesy your workplace is missing. People will respond in kind.