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The Brand You 50 : Or : Fifty Ways to Transform Yourself from an 'Employee' into a Brand That Shouts Distinction, Commitment, and Passion! Hardcover – September 21, 1999
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If Dilbert and Tom Peters ever attended the same party, they'd probably find themselves in opposite corners. The cynical cartoon character would have a hard time in Peters's upbeat, high-energy world of "Cool-Beyond-Belief." The Brand You50 is Peters's manifesto for today's knowledge workers. It joins his Reinventing Work series, which includes The Projects50 and The Professional Service Firm50.
In The Brand You50, Peters sees a new kind of corporate citizen who believes that surviving means not blending in but standing out. He believes that "90+ percent of White Collar Jobs will be totally reinvented/reconceived in the next decade" and that job security means developing marketable skills, making yourself distinct and memorable, and developing your network ability. His
Technology is changing almost everything. Management guru Tom Peters argues it's also going to change the entire landscape of work. In his set of self-help books for professionals, the Reinventing Work series, he declares that "90-plus percent of white-collar jobs will disappear."
Downsizing ain't over, but Peters claims he can help you through it.
The employment landscape is going to be full of "free agents," he says, and if these newly "freed" individuals want to succeed, they'll need a new approach to their jobs. One way is by approaching work as a set of projects. Find out what's most interesting about each project and thrive on that, Peters advises.
In his latest publishing project, Peters urges readers to forget about loyalty to a particular company and replace it with a self-motivated dedication to the work at hand.
The entire book series has the feel of something transcribed from one of Peters' motivational speeches; his use of bold letters, ellipses, exclamation points and oversize type is perhaps a better fit with the lecture circuit than the publishing world.
Knopf plans five books in the Reinventing Work series, but for now, there are three: The Brand You, The Project and The Professional Service Firm.
Each of the pocket-size hardbacks starts with a description of an unemployed, Dilbert-ized landscape, followed by 50 ways to sidestep such a fate. In The Brand You, the list of 50 ideas includes a chapter titled "'Inc.' Yourself." After a comment on the concept, Peters launches into The Nub, his plan for making the affirmations take flight. The idea is to visualize yourself as a company - with departments, goals, bottom lines, branding. The chapters close with a Thing to Do section. In this case, it's two things: adding an "Inc." to your name, and treating every to-do list like you're preparing for the next quarterly board meeting.
By turning everyday work into interesting and inspiring projects, Peters believes workers will become self-motivated, completed projects will become more innovative and companies will become less stagnant.
Peters constantly reassures readers that they are worthy of independence. Anyone can follow the path to success, he encourages, although he tempers his enthusiasm with comments like, "I'm not living in dreamland. I know not everyone can be a superstar."
The free-agent concept applies particularly well to the online industry, where companies must grow quickly to have more than a slim chance of succeeding. In a free-agent world, workers aren't disappointed when their company tanks, but instead move on to the next project. In fact, the rampant job-hopping in the Internet Economy has been one of the original drivers of the free-agent workforce. Establishing a reputation, networking and positioning one's easily digestible brand: That's perfect for the Net.
If you're looking for rose-colored lenses for your job, Peters has what you need. This self-help series is mostly about making work fun, which isn't a bad idea, after all.
- Laura Rich -- From The Industry Standard
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This strikes me as resonable though it's pretty generic.
Reading the book seems like it'd be a lot like seeing Peters in person on stage. It's got an evangelist style, catchphrases like 'WOW' project, BRAND YOU!, etc.
Here's a representative quote, 'Set up a Freak Collection section in your Rolodex. Add to it. Consciously. Constantly. Nurture it. Concsiously. Constantly.' The book is about 200 pages of that. (IMHO: BRAND YOU 50 = CAPITALIZATION + REPETITION + GENERIC OBSERVATION.) If you need a shot of enthusiasm about branding yourself, this book might be for you. If you are looking for more substantive reading, look elsewhere.
Peters shows you how, if you're willing to watch listen.
I first got this book from the library many years ago. Kept coming back to it. Have done a presentation on it for an Inc. Top 1000 franchise business and fired up the top executives with the ideas inside. If you work for yourself, or simply want better job security, this is the instruction manual for doing so successfully. This is a book you hop from section to section in. Read it once to get the overall idea, then go back in for specific help as needed. It's a reference I come back to every few weeks. And best of all, it'll never be out of date: the content is about Y-O-U.
Once I got past that, it was a solid read that gave me a few new ideas. I recommend this book for the person that is just realizing that it's not just what you know, but WHO you know and WHAT they know about you. I picked out the most relevant pieces by identifying what I wanted to remember (which I added to my learning journal), and what actions I wanted to take. Both are outlined below.
Why I selected this book:
For the life of me, I cannot figure out where I got the input to read this book, I think I read somewhere that this was a personal branding classic. I do remember I bought it used for .99 cents on Amazon.
Was the "The Brand You 50" helpful?
Yes. It helped me to think about what was most important in the work and I do and try to cut out the non essential items. It also helped me to think about "who I am" and "what I want to be known for." As this requires quite a bit of introspection, I do not have the results yet, but the mind is working that direction.
What will do as a result of reading "The Brand You 50"
Do a Personal brand equity evaluation:
Define: What 2 to 4 things am I known for?
Define: Next year, I will be known for these 2 to 4 additional things
Start building a personal brand equity statement (brand priorities)
* Start with skills, attitude, and character
* Develop a quarter page advertisement
* Synthesize down to an eight-word positioning statement
* Ensure the calendar reflects 1, 2, or 3 of these priorities each day
* Do an after-action-review (AAR) each night, was the day focused on one of the three brand priorities?
Look at the "to do" list, does it have a off brand topics on it? Can you 1. Kill it, 2. "Wow" it 3, postpone it
Ask, is not on-brand, stop it!
Focus on 100% on the on-brand work
Develop a contact list and manage the heck out of it!
Last contact, next contact, score each contact (in touch, neglect, etc)
Invite the project killer to lunch
Develop a visibility plan
Construct a formal word of mouth marketing campaign (see Read: Regis McKenna's "Relationship Marketing")
What did I add to my learning journal after reading "The Brand You 50"
Re read Dale Carnegie's "How to win friends and influence people"
Read: Brad Blanton's "Radical Honesty"
Read: Regis McKenna's "Relationship Marketing"
Try 1 thing really different each month
Go to the bookstore and skim through 20 magazines you typically do not read