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Wonderful post, Walter! I think the operative phrase for me was "unexpected gift." It's the surprise of receiving something valuable that provides the magical moment. And as you said, the gift is offered up freely, with no strings attached. That perspective makes the gift all the more special. Thanks for providing a new take on personal branding.

Walter Akana

Carol, thanks for your terrific comment!

As another Seth Godin fan, I know you share the view that he brings brilliant perspective to all he touches. And while “Linchpin” is not specifically about “personal branding,” it sheds new light on the evolution of this concept.

I think the basics of personal branding, especially as advanced by Reach, are sound. Yet, Godin’s notion of an artist freely offering gifts is powerful.

Perhaps this could not have happened before social media started driving a culture of generosity; but now that it has, we need to extend our own perspectives too!

City Sylvester

Walter, this was an excellent post. Personal branding has been associated with the inanimate, "the wooden personality", and "the fake". Once we remove the human element from the equation, we're left with something that is not only unattractive, but entirely useless.

Walter Akana

Hey Karl! Thanks for your comment!

I agree that the prevalence of inauthentic brands makes us feel that the human element is out of the equation. What’s more, a contrived brand, it seems to me, is a faceless one. We really don’t get to know the person behind it!

Actually, you really hit this with “inanimate” and “the wooden personality.” By contrast, human connection is vibrant and alive. It generates emotion in the moment, and transforms others in the process!

Kathy Bitschenauer

Hi, Walter,

I love the way you put the human side to "branding". It's a concept that is still evolving and sounds artificial to many. Your way of explaining with in fresh insights and terminology that makes it easier to "wrap your head around".
Words and phrases such as "your magic, the unexpected gift, ability to give generously (my favorite), and artist", go a long way to help others understand that branding is all about AUTHENTICITY. Brilliant!

Walter Akana

Hi Kathy! Thanks for your terrific comment!

I’m especially happy that you’ve gained some new insights.

Actually, while I’ve always felt that we’re seeing the concept of personal brand evolving (perhaps by necessity), I’ve long felt authenticity and service are key. Sill, the more I read, the more I see other complimentary elements. I’m particularly fond of Godin’s “Linchpin,” and draw on several of his key ideas for this post. If you’ve not read it, I recommend it!

We’re seeing an emerging culture of generosity, and it’s great to be a part of it, isn’t it?

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Threshold Consulting

  • Walter Akana is a Career/Life Strategist who works exclusively with mid-career professionals who want to achieve more self-direction and satisfaction in their careers and lives. He is Reach certified as a Personal Branding and Online Identity strategist, and is a Reach Keynote Speaker




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