Talk Story: Brand versus Reputation ”“ 4 Questions to start with

Here’s a great subject for a talk story with your team:

  • What are the perceived differences between your BRAND and your REPUTATION?
  • Why is this important, and how can each person on your team affect each one?
  • How does COMPANY brand affect PERSONAL brand? How about reputation?

If you are a manager, consider this:

  • What is the role of the manager in regard to your responsibility shaping brand for BOTH the company and your staff’s personal reputation? Think about the gift you can give your staff!

If you are a leader, consider this:

  • What clarity can you lend to this type of discussion in regard to company vision and mission? What explicit and implicit “permissions” can you give to make it easier for everyone to take action with building brand personally as well as professionally ”“ it’s a win for everyone.

There is no doubt that you, and everyone you work with affects both brand and reputation, and both create an asset. This is a great talk story to have because you aren’t looking to debate the rightness of single answers to these questions; you are using them to talk about the behaviors that are specifically right for all of you in your own workplace.

A talk story on brand versus reputation
is terrific for setting team expectations, and for creating possible crucibles with how people consider their individual responsibility.

This past week I wrote an article for Joyful Jubilant Learning called Learn to Build Your Personal Brand, and within it I shared part of my own story of switching from corporate life to entrepreneurship, explaining that at the time of my corporate career, I didn’t even think about the possibility that I could build my personal brand while working for an employer ”“ one who had an exceptionally strong brand presence that I then felt was also mine by executive association.

My story caused David Sandusky, founder of Your Brand, LLC. to comment;

“I would suggest that a personal brand strategy is just as important for the corporate career as the self-employed or entrepreneur. These days more multi-career professionals (slash career) have a potential brand confusion. Fun stuff!”

He is right.

Today the workplace is dramatically different in a number of ways, particularly with how the internet has turned so many of us into citizen publishers. For instance, for most of my corporate career I thought you could only build a personal brand if you had your own business; now I can clearly see that you can have a compelling, strong personal brand just with a message. And you choose your message.

Have this talk story with your crew, and share some of what is talked about with the rest of us would you?
As David says, “Fun stuff!”

Here are a couple of other reading resources to help you with facilitating the conversation:

  • In While We’re Talking About Branding, Marci Alboher asked blogger Pamela Slim to guest post about the branding challenges of *slash careerists* at Marci’s column for the New York Times
  • There is a 2006 article at by Alan Bergstrom, chief brand strategy officer at The Brand Consultancy with some definitions you can start with called Brand vs. Reputation: Same or Different? but again, I would encourage you not to get stuck within them – just read as food for thought and talk this out with your team to see what they think.

Read more of our Ho‘ohana Community Learning discussions at Joyful Jubilant Learning:

Joyful Jubilant Learning

For the BEST 15 minutes in the workday, Huddle.

Hope you all had a great Thanksgiving holiday!

We certainly did. The four-day Thanksgiving weekend is somewhat predictable for us ”“ and very happily so ”“ centered on 3 F’s and a G: Gratitude, with scoops of it for Family, Food, and Football.

I have a theory about the winning teams in the weekend’s football match-ups. Those who are more savvy in all the nuances of the game don’t necessarily agree with me on this, but though I understand the strategy with no-huddle offensive drives, I believe that good huddles win games. It just doesn’t strike me as smart or even logical, that choosing no-huddle to shorten perceptive reaction time in your opponent is a better decision than using the time to optimally communicate with your own team.

Huddles make the difference. And nowhere is this more true than at work.

You know of my D5M as the Daily 5 Minutes ®. Another daily staple in the managed with Aloha workplace is the D15M, or daily 15 minutes used for the Morning Huddle. It’s a smart practice for talking right story, and thankfully, it is catching on more and more in workplaces everywhere:

“Every weekday at 9:30 a.m. sharp, the executive team at Bishop-Wisecarver, a Pittsburg, California, manufacturing company, files into the boardroom. They stand around the table; no sitting allowed. Then rat-a-tat-tat–each fires off a brief synopsis of the items on his or her frontmost burner. If the controller reports trouble with a vendor, president Pamela Kan promises to intercede. If the sales director says a client has requested a custom product, the team quickly decides whether it’s worth pursuing. Ten minutes later all are back in the office armed with the information necessary to barrel efficiently through their days.

Bishop-Wisecarver is one of many companies embracing daily micromeetings–affectionately called “huddles” or “check-ins”–as a way to keep everyone moving in sync.”

Read the rest of this article by Leigh Buchanan at The Art of the Huddle [If you hate pop-ups, be sure your blocker is on before you click in]. Buchanan profiles “how five CEOs use a meeting a day to keep chaos away,” calling them

  1. The team builder
  2. The coordinator
  3. The efficiency expert
  4. The motivator
  5. The strategic planner

Take their lead in your workplace. There is so much to be gained, and so much otherwise-wasted time to be saved in these huddles. These were some of the take-aways Buchanan took from her profiles, calling them “huddle hints.”

  • From the Team Builder: No one notifies participants that the meeting is starting. Regular, prompt attendance is “another cultural flusher,” says Kan. “If someone consistently doesn’t show up, the group sees him as not wanting to be part of the process.”
  • From the Coordinator: Halasnik holds his 15-minute meetings at 11:45 a.m. “People are always hungry then so they won’t let me drag things out,” he says.
  • From the Efficiency Expert: Citizant’s huddles commence at 8:43 a.m. The odd time gets people thinking in increments of minutes and subtly influences the meetings’ pace, says Roberts. A musical clip that plays on employees’ computer speakers is the cue that it’s time to gather.
  • From the Motivator: Twenty employees–mostly rank-and-filers–trained as “huddle masters” take turns leading the sessions.
  • From the Strategic Planner: Brault signed on to a conference-call service so he doesn’t waste time connecting people traveling for business. He has also asked employees with BlackBerrys to set meeting alarms.

Share more examples with our Ho‘ohana Community:

How do you huddle?

From the Talking Story Archives: The Generosity of the Huddle.
An excerpt:

Huddles are generous because players are acknowledged, valued, and trusted. It’s a generosity they thrive on.

If you’re a player on the sidelines, chances are you are aching inside for the coach to look your way and send you out on the field to join in. Think of the value of Kākou: inclusiveness, and the Language of We. It’s a privilege to be included, and it’s an affirmation of the talent, energy, and team-player reputation you have.

Thanksgiving Blessings and Aloha

I have always loved November, for it is a beautiful month of thoughtfulness and reflection.

Nānā i ke kumu; it is a month which seems to exist just so we can be reminded to look to our sources of well being, sources rooted in the basic simple goodness of aloha.
November encourages our intentional practice of appreciation, gratitude, and thankfulness so we can become content in the understanding of just how rich our lives are.
We could strip away half of what we may now carry through our days and not even reach the outer shell of who we are at our core.
Our aloha.
November is a gift to our humanity, for it keeps us more human and less contrived.

This is my mana‘o: I know these things to be true because of the evidence in my own life.
For as if aloha weren’t enough, three years ago November became the month I would publish Managing with Aloha, and my blessings would multiply by magnificent number.

MWA would ‘talk’ in its own language of intention, and it would give me an astounding gift; I would live with Mahalo, the Hawaiian value of thankfulness, connected to my work, and to my life every single day.

MWA has done much for the success of my business, but leaps more with the people it has brought into my life.

Blessings counted in smiling, caring faces are the very best kind.


To everyone who reads these words, thank you for being part of our Ho‘ohana Community, and part of my life.

I write knowing you are there, and that we are in some way connected.

Be thankful knowing how your aloha spirit will thrive and grow.

I wish you the contentment of gratitude.

I wish you simplicity and serenity.

I wish you wonder and joy.

Me ke aloha e Thanksgiving maika‘i nui,

~ Rosa Say

My Sharing of Thankfulness: The How-To of Managing with Aloha Coaching.

Leaps in Thankfulness, and Gifts From the Heart

I have two shout-outs in my Writing Elsewhere, which I would love to have you weigh in on if you would. Please share your mana‘o (thoughts) if you have a moment or two:

1~ ~ ~
At Joyful Jubilant Learning, we are asking readers to contribute to a group posting for America’s Thanksgiving Day;

Share your Thankfulness with us: What have you learned, which has brought you the most Joy over the past year?

All that is needed is a sentence or two. Find out how you can participate too: A Thanksgiving Day Leap in Gratitude.

Black circle 2~ ~ ~ At Managing with Aloha Coaching, I am trying to figure out how I can approach the shopping craziness of the holiday season with Ma‘alahi;

“Ma‘alahi is a Hawaiian word I want to use more, folding it into my chosen habits.

Ma‘alahi means contentment within simplicity and ease.”

So I am on a mission to be much more creative with my gift-giving this year. I want to give gifts that people want, really feeling they are valuable and highly desirable, but I want to see what I can come up with that will not add to their material clutter in any way. I really need more ideas; will you help me?

You can read my full article here: Sunday Mālama: Please don’t shop for me!

Talk Story with us! Many thanks,

~ Rosa

My Flickr numbers are thanks to the PHP and javascript wizardry of Erik Kastner.

Managing with Aloha Coaching