don’t confuse process with progress

This was a catch phrase with a company I once worked for and I also think it has application in our efforts to build a personal brand.  There are so many things we do each day and, after while,  they can begin to seem a routine.  We blog, connect on linkedin, twitter, facebook, and countless other things but is performing these acts moving us closer to our goal?  I will be the first to tell you that I certainly do not know but I have suspicion they do not not.  I am in the process of internal debate on the issue of strategic planning vs. black swans vs. self  organizing systems and, depending on where you fall in that spectrum, the answer could be vastly different for you as well.

I believe there is tremendous value in doing many of the aforementioned items to build the brand of you and continue to develop your prosperity plexus.  At the same time, if we begin to imagine that that activities somehow represent success or attainment of our goals, then I think we have a problem.  I have seen a number of people who tout their network and their main skill seems to be just that.  Don’t get me wrong, I am a believer in the need for self-promotion but there has to be something to promote.  First and foremost there must be something of value to promote.  I know people are valuable but in an economic marketplace, there must be more.  I have been involved with networks of people and they continue to interact with one another and bring others in who are similar but the network never grows.  It is almost as if their focus becomes the connecting instead of the connecting being an avenue to distribute content.  

I do believe we all need to continue to build our networks but also believe we need to do it judiciously and with consideration for those we connect with.  Here are a few questions to think about:

  • What value do you bring to people?
  • How can engage with them?
  • Can you help them in some way?
  • Can you connect them with someone who can?
  • Do you spend most of your time talking or listening?
  • Do you strengthen your network through diversity?
  • Are you building relationships or adding contacts?

In the end, the value of our lives will be equal to the sum total of the value we have brought to others’ lives.  The kicker is that it will be those we connected with a deeper level than dollars and cents.  When we are gone from this earth, our legacy will be determined by how we are remembered by our friends and how you impacted them.  The question you have to ask is, “Have you been taking the time to add value to others’ lives?”

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Filed under Organizations, Strategy, Thinking about thinking

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