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The Link Between Actions And Outcomes

filed in Brand Strategy, Success

When we set a goal to achieve a particular outcome, we zoom out to consider the big picture. And while a result is dependent on knowing what we’re aiming for, it also requires us to do the things that give us the best chance of accomplishing it. A successful attempt to get fit doesn’t hinge on joining the gym or buying the running shoes. It depends on us setting the alarm and doing up the laces.

What are the three smallest steps you can take today, and every day to get you to where you want to go? Start there—then do up your laces.

Image by Stefano Coroso

Gaining The Advantage

filed in Brand Story, Brand Strategy, Success

This week you answered a customer query and solved her problem. You responded to every email, tweaked your resume and made your case well in the last meeting. You ticked off the things on your to-do list, had a look at your numbers and made solid plans for the weeks ahead. And that’s exactly what your competitors did too.

We spend a lot of our time doing the busy work of trying to gain an advantage in an attempt to compete and win. It turns out that the most sustainable path to significance is to do the things that the competition would never dream of doing—the things that only you would do.

You don’t need to compete when you know who you are.

Image by chat des Balkans

In Praise Of Curiosity

filed in Brand Strategy, Success

Not so long ago conversations with strangers just happened anywhere and everywhere. This was especially true in Dublin where I grew up. It was not unusual for someone you’d never met to practically tell you their life story while you were standing waiting for the 16A bus into the city. Showing an interest in other people, or being what some people might call, ‘nosy’ was part of our Irish DNA. That’s certainly changed the world over.

I’ll never forget the story author, Maeve Binchy once told during an interview, when she was asked where she got her ideas from and why her dialogue so good. She was sitting on a bus one day and overheard a conversation between two friends who were heading into town. One was planning to buy a 25th wedding anniversary card for her parents. “That’s nice.” her friend said. The couple’s daughter made a face. “Not at all, they have a terrible marriage,” she said. “But you know, the worse the marriage, the bigger the card.”

That conversation inspired Binchy to write her bestselling book, Silver Wedding.

Today, eyes down, earbuds in, thumbs scrolling, we are the losers. Our capacity to be interested is diminishing, as a result of our obsession with being interesting. We don’t know what we’re missing.

Image by Toshihiro Gamo

Perfect Ten

filed in Brand Strategy, Success

When we think of our work or products and services, we imagine the perfect ten version of them. The days without a wrinkle, when we are in the zone, and everything is running like clockwork.

Striving for ten while knowing it’s rarely achievable is not easy. The ability to live that paradox is how we make progress and create change—by the millimetre. Showing up to do our best, even when we wish it were better.

Image by Andrea Passoni

The Art Of Differentiation

filed in Brand Story, Success

We, humans, have always been good at noticing what’s compelling about others. Our species’ survival has depended on our ability to recognise strengths and weed out weaknesses. Today, that skill leads us down the road of unhealthy comparison. We have no trouble rattling off the positive attributes of a colleague, competitor or even the guy working out next to us at the gym. And yet we struggle to be as generous about our own.

It’s fine for Roger Federer to study a competitor’s gameplay before they go head-to-head because he needs to respond tactically in the moment. But the majority of Federer’s winning shots come from understanding his strengths and working on what he does well. Becoming more of who he is gets him over the line.

It’s doubtful that comparing yourself or your work to someones else’s will get you to where you want to go. Whether as an individual or a brand—you can’t own your unique identity if you’re spending the majority of your time looking over your shoulder. Differentiation happens when you authentically amplify the best of you. Not by finding ways to be a version of the competition, but by discovering how to be more of who you are. That’s where your search for clarity needs to begin.

Image by Marianne Bevis

 

Unlock the magic in your story now.

Get the free 20 Questions to ask before launching your Idea Workbook when you sign up for updates.