When you think of branding, you probably don’t think of it in regards to yourself, but rather for a product or organization. But personal branding, how you define yourself and contribute to the value of your organization in a way that others take notice, is extremely important if you want to be recognized as a trusted leader. And since most of us are leaders in the business of lifelong learning, it seems this is something we should all pay attention to.
Dorie Clark, author of Reinventing You and Stand Out is a branding expert and professional speaker who is passionate about helping others leverage their unique strengths and abilities to make an impact, both personally and professionally. She also happens to be the keynoter for the upcoming Leading Learning Symposium.
In this episode of the Leading Learning Podcast, Celisa talks with Dorie about the importance of personal branding, thought leadership, and the value that we can contribute to our organizations in a way that provides meaning and creates lasting impact. She also shares what people can do before the symposium to get the most out of her upcoming keynote.
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Read the Show Notes
[00:20] – A reminder to check out the Leading Learning Symposium, an event designed specifically for senior leaders at organizations in the business of lifelong learning, continuing education, and professional development. The symposium takes place this year on October 24-25 in Baltimore, Maryland.
[01:24] – A preview of what will be covered in this podcast where Celisa interviews Dorie Clark, branding expert, author, and keynote speaker at the upcoming Leading Learning Symposium.
[03:25] – Introduction to Dorie and some background information about who she is and what she does.
[03:57] – Can you talk a little bit about what branding means to you and how you see savvy individuals using personal branding? Dorie says personal branding sometimes has connotations about it where some people associate it with fakeness or phoniness. She explains how she sees it as the opposite of that and argues that personal branding helps others uncover their true talents and the value they bring to their organizations while making sure others recognize it.
[05:57] –What do you see as the connection between or the interplay of personal branding, organizational branding, and departmental branding, such as branding for an education business? Dorie explains the connection between individual branding and company branding as similar to a Venn diagram. Ideally, at your core there should be things about your brand that overlap with your organization and that are values-based. She says in order to make yourself valuable, you need to bring something distinctive and unique to the table that other people don’t.
[09:21] – Your book Stand Out addresses what it really means to become a recognized thought leader in a field, and you mention that there’s been some recent pushback around the concept of “thought leadership.” Can you talk a little bit about why thought leadership got a bit of a bad wrap, and how you define true thought leadership? Dorie shares why she thinks we shouldn’t dismiss the term thought leader and she explains why there’s something really interesting and valid about it. She asserts that it should be a term conveyed by other people (people shouldn’t call themselves thought leaders!) and that aspiring to be thought of as a thought leader is a worthy goal.
[11:28] – Dorie breaks down the term thought leader – “thought” implies that you are known for your ideas and “thought leader” implies that you have to have followers which means that what you are saying has to be relevant and interesting to other people. She explains why working to become a thought leader is beneficial.
[12:46] – Do you think personal and work life will become less compartmentalized in the future? And, if so, what do you see as the implications for lifelong learning? Dorie says this has become the trend at a basic level and that if we look at what technology has enabled there are always pros and cons. When it comes to lifelong learning, she explains that we aren’t the same people we were when we started at our jobs, regardless of the length of time. Oftentimes people keep the same impressions of you over time, regardless of the changes you’ve made, and she explains why this makes personal branding even more important. The more we are able to share with other people about our learning journey, the better equipped they will be to understand the trajectory of where we are going.
[18:23] – At Tagoras, we’re big on the power of reflection and questioning. In Stand Out, you talk about the importance of cultivating a questioning mindset in order to find the next Big Idea, and you have “ask yourself” questions throughout the book to promote reflection. Do you have any tips you can offer for how to fit this type of reflection and questioning into our weekly lives? Dorie shares a framework she likes to use that comes from Stew Friedman, professor at the Wharton School of Business, and founding director of Wharton’s Work/Life Integration Project. She describes his framework, the four-way win, which shows what people can do to integrate the four domains of people’s lives: work, home, community and self/health. She explains how you can use your time effectively to perhaps combine tasks that fall within multiple domains.
[22:27] – Both your books talk about making an impact and the way I read you, you believe rebranding and standing out can be about making make the world a better place. Can you a talk a little about how that value perspective, that belief that we’re making an impact, can shape branding and standing out? Dorie says fundamentally, we need to ask ourselves why we are doing what we do. She talks about her educational background and explains why she’d like to enable more people to find meaning in what they’re doing.
[25:28] – As the keynoter at the upcoming Leading Learning Symposium, what recommendations do you have for those coming to help them get the most out of hearing you? How do the best audiences interact with you when you’re speaking? Dorie suggests that listeners (even those who aren’t able to attend) can think in advance about how to apply some of these ideas. You can download a 42 page self assessment from dorieclark.com ( see top of page) in order to help you think about developing ideas that you might become known for and how to get recognized for them.
[26:49] – What’s your approach and develop your own talent? How do you undertake your own lifelong learning? Dorie reveals that she is an avid reader who reads at least 2 hours a day, beginning and ending each day with reading. She also shares that she is a big consumer of podcasts, listening for 10-15 hours per week.
[28:38] –How to connect with Dorie:
Please note that in addition to the 42 page self assessment, you can download all of the articles Dorie has written—over 400 free articles available.
[29:54] – Wrap-Up
A reminder to check out the Leading Learning Symposium to be held October 24-25, 2016 in Baltimore, Maryland.
Thanks again to Web Courseworks for sponsoring this podcast episode.
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[31:39]- Sign off