Stick a Fork in Me. I’m Done! 10 Great Lessons Anthony Weiner Taught Us About Building Our Personal Brand

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An MP3 download and Transcription are available at the end of this post.

“It’s who we become as a result of an experience,
not the experience itself, which is most valuable.”

There is much to be learned from all of the recent scandals and these ‘once-great’ men. Personally, I’m done with this distraction, as are many of you. So now let’s get to the learning piece.

Here is my synopsis of the situation, as well as some practical wisdom that is guaranteed to help you to identify, grow and maintain your impeccable personal brand.

Most (dare I say ‘all’) of us have, at one time or another, done something that we prayed no one would ever, ever find out about. Big or small, impactful or insignificant, not one of us lives a life so pure, so untainted, so boring and dull that we wouldn’t mind sharing every detail with millions of people. No one.

However, the rules are different for people whom we’ve elected. I know that’s not what most people want to hear. I know that a lot of people wish this were not true. But it is.

It’s called public office for a reason: it’s public! Which means, not private. Which implies that if you post pictures of your privates many, many, many people in the public (including your wife, mother, mother-in-law, boss, future boss and the people who elected you) will see it.

The Men of May did not get this memo.

Let’s face it, it takes a certain amount of positive ego to have the guts to run for office. I admire these people who are committed enough to take such a leap of faith in themselves. Bravo!

And…. It takes an equal or greater amount of arrogance to think that a) you can do anything you want to get yourself into office, and once you’ve been elected you’ll be shielded in an impenetrable bubble (you know… just like the person who picks their nose in their car, under the false illusion that no one can see them) and b) you won’t ever get found out about the things you did in point A .

So what can we learn from all this?

How can we convert this raunchiness into lessons that will help us lead, inspire and transform ourselves, and those around us? How can we take Weiner’s mis-steps and convert them into actionable steps to keep us on our life purpose, in integrity with our values, and in love with our work?

Here are the top 10 things Anthony Weiner taught us about having
an impeccable personal brand:

  1. Don’t do anything you don’t want your mother to know about.
  2. Your personal brand is authentic or it’s not your personal brand. This is your life. Make it right. Make it count.
  3. A great brand emphasizes your positive uniqueness. You don’t want to be known for the less savory stuff. Enough said.
  4. Don’t compare yourself to anyone else. Unique is just that. It means that there is absolutely no one out there just like you, so you’d better know who you are.
  5. Be accountable for your thoughts, words and behavior. If you make a mistake (and you will, because you’re human), own it immediately. Don’t make excuses, don’t blame anybody, and don’t hesitate.
  6. Tell the truth, as you know it. Lying may not be a violation of congressional ethics, but it is a sign of fear, low self-esteem, and untrustworthiness.
  7. Guard your brand with your life. It takes a lifetime to build an impeccable brand, and a nanosecond to destroy it. People may forgive you, but they will never forget.
  8. Follow the 24-hour rule. Get mad, get frustrated, get infatuated – the good news is that you care enough to be invested in your own life– but don’t be impulsive. Your brand is not fleeting like a feeling, but is sustainable over time. Before you send that email, post that picture, make that call, wait 24 hours and balance your head with your heat. This will almost guarantee that you will do the right thing and stand by your brand.
  9. You are in charge of your brand. It is no one else’s responsibility to convey a clear branding message, no matter how much you pay them or how hard they work or how much they love you,
  10. Integrity means adherence to your values. Know what your values are, so you can live and breathe by them.

I would love to know what lessons you’ve learned from the recent sex scandals. I’m looking for practical wisdom, for positive outcomes that can be achieved by looking at what we ‘should’ do as well as what we ‘shouldn’t’ do to maintain and grow an impeccable brand.

I’m looking forward to hearing from you!

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