Chances are, if you’re reading this blog, you’re searching for something. Not searching as in Googling – I mean really searching – for a way to describe and display your unique gifts to the world. You may be searching for the precise words to describe your talents, the most relevant differentiating message, or the most effective methods that will demonstrate your dedication to excellence, thought leadership, and industry expertise.
In short, you are passionate. Passion creates art. Art is a gift.
And your gift is your brand.
So, are you ready for today’s activity?
Grab your cup of coffee and your e-reader. Put on your thinking cap, too, because there’s a lot to capture: you are going to define your passion, your art, your gift – and ultimately, your brand.
First, if you haven’t already read Seth Godin’s latest bestseller, Linchpin, now is the time.
Here’s why: Becoming a linchpin is the key to achieving the success you desire.
According to Seth, a linchpin is someone who is an indispensable resource to his or her organization. A linchpin is someone who has the desire and passion to make something work, to create something better, to add value where there is a void.
To be clear, becoming a linchpin is not about being the most famous or most well known. A linchpin puts heart and soul and emotion into the work they do, regardless of the task, and creates situational art, brilliance, and beauty.
And, without even trying, linchpins ultimately create the most compelling personal brand possible.
In the book, Seth writes, “The only way to get what you’re worth is to stand out, to exert emotional labor, to be seen as indispensable, and to produce interactions that organizations and people care deeply about.”
That my friends, is brand nirvana.
So – what makes you indispensable? Remember – it’s not the tasks you complete (there are others who can do the same) – it’s how you complete them. What is your passion? What are your gifts? When you look back on 5, 10, 20 years of work, what is the one thing about your approach – constant and unique to you – that positively affected change and provided true benefit to others?
Seth describes art as “the intentional act of using your humanity to create a change in another person…Art is unique, new and challenging to the status quo. It’s not decoration. It’s something that causes change. Art cannot be merely commerce. It must also be a gift.”
Your gift is your brand. It’s what you bring to the table every single time.
I asked Seth who he was thinking about when he wrote this book – who, specifically, was he writing to? He told me, “I was writing to the people who are in pain, who can’t understand why the deal our parents got isn’t in force any more. And I was writing to people who have art in them, who need to contribute.”
From Seth to his readers: “I didn’t set out to get you to quit your job or to persuade you to become an entrepreneur or merely to change the entire world. All I wanted to do in this book was sell you on being the artist you already are. To make a difference. To stand for something. To get the respect and security you deserve. If I’ve succeeded, then you know that you have a gift to give, something you can do to change the world (or your part of it) for the better. I hope you’ll do that, because we need you.”