I have a baby brain, even now after all these grown-up years.
A baby’s brain is exceptionally plastic, “captivated by the most unexpected events” and keen on seeing probabilities, while not terrifically impressed by certainties, per Alison Gopnik in Sunday’s New York Times.
Sounds like an entrepreneur’s brain, at least during the start up phase of business. And, a successful CEO’s brain if the company is continually evolving, even during the most inelegant of times: disruptive change.
I think, a lot. I do, quite a bit of very different tasks. I speak around the world on communication, publish and promote authors in a variety of fields, coach young managers and mature CEOs who have life changing goals, lead a company of consultants and experts in social media and marketing, and directly serve clients who want to develop their sales and product portfolios. I’m deeply engaged in the research and literature of buying behavior. In other words: there’s a ton of shiny objects in my average day, which is unlike the average day of anyone else I know and rely on. I need a lot of “newness,” which makes me dependent on clients and colleagues to present puzzles, that to them look like problems or inconsistencies with how they would like to live life or grow their businesses. In the tornado, I can duck below flying cows and cars, and see where the land has been cleared with the opportunity to build a new and better structure.
Authentic to a fault
I am the same in my personal life as I am in my business life. I am authentic to a fault. I have a puny small talk center in my brain. I love to be on the phone if the discussion is nearly brain crushing. My skin itches awfully if the conversation is a continued, unending loop of the politics of anything, a relationship or some overworked knot on the planet that some people want to revisit for lack of taking action – like trying something different.
Embrace or be embarrassed by your brand
That, fundamentally is my brand. I can either embrace it or be embarrassed by it. I accommodate it by reaching out to clients and strangers in order to fulfill my desire and talent for leveraging disconnected facts, people, opportunities or even chaos. I can’t ignore the truth that I like to work with people who are much, much better than I could imagine being if I had their mission, talent or strength. It doesn’t matter if you’re a hyper talented Sudoku master or the guy in the gym who lifts more weight per inch of body mass than anyone else, or the person with the solution to healthcare in the US.
I want to be with people who are remarkable, because like babies I am drawn to what is remarkable, as opposed to what is the same or certain.
How about you? The sooner you come to grips with what drives you wild, both “good wild” and “bad wild,” the more successful you’ll be in defining your brand. When you know your self and what’s good for your self, you will draw the right opportunities toward you. You will also push away from things that don’t feed you.
What can you do to find the real you in your brand?
1. Visit the first 200 pages of digg.com, and identify 20 posts that appeal to you. Tip: Start at the last page and move toward the first – to avoid the whole peer group bias thing.
2. Get to Paris. Visit the Louvre with only 30 minutes left before closing and pick the exhibit(s) that you are dying to see. Alternative: visit the virtual tours page of the Louvre online and mimic the same strategy.
3. Make a list of the 100 people you must meet before you die. Then, start working your list.