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Be of Service To Others To Enhance Your Career

This morning, I had the pleasure of speaking to members of my local Kiwanis Club; for those not familiar, Kiwanis is focused on helping children. Their motto is: “Serving the children of the world, one child and one community at a time.” I was very impressed with their mission, as well as recognition they give, philanthropy they provide, and attendees.

There were business owners, individuals who work in organizations, and college students; I did no realize that they have a chapter for them. I could not help think of the connections that each of the attendees had with each other, not to mention the good they do. This is one of the best ways to advance your career, not to mention giving back and helping to advance others, who will be our future leaders one day.

By being of service, it feeds off of your values, ethics and integrity, all of which enhance your self-esteem and confidence. There is the opportunity to serve in a leader capacity, which further develops your skills and abilities. They have guest speakers so you can learn more about your community resources or to get some education to enhance your personal/professional development (my talk gave strategies to up one’s performance). And it provides networking opportunities with those who are in a position to help you with your career (a great place to find a mentor or get with a hiring manager).

It’s also good karma. If you want to do good, and enhance your career, I urge you to join a community organization and get involved. It is impressive to see philanthropical activities on a resume – it says alot about your brand and who you are as a person. You will be better because of this.

If you’d like help with your career or leadership development, let’s talk. Contact us today at http://www.cyscoaching.com

I Was Hacked! Lessons to Protect Your Brand

If you have been following me, you may have noticed that there have been no posts from me in a few days.  I finished my blog challenge last week, where I wrote for 31 days.  My plan was to continue writing but to cut it down to several times a week.  What was not in my plan was an adverse situation I experienced on Labor Day Monday.

I thought the day would be a relaxing one ; I just wanted  to spend time shopping and taking it easy.  But several events that day left me shaken and wondering about the planetary alignment; we did have two full moons this month and craziness tends to occur:

  • my car got hit (thankfully, just a scratch)
  • a woman came in postal in a restaurant – she was upset over being late for work and was cursing and threatening to the manager; it was very scary
  • a tube light bulb and a stack of picture frames broke in two stores I was in and someone broke a bottle in another

If those weren’t enough, my Twitter account got hacked – that had me shaken the most.  I had not been on my computer for several days so it was very disturbing when I began to receive some messages from followers, as well as phone calls from friends, asking about messages I had sent.  Now I don’t direct message so I had no idea what they were talking about.  When I was able to get to my computer, I found that someone had hacked my account and was sending out spam.  I had to quickly work to take steps to correct it and to mea culpa; protecting my brand is a major concern for me, as it should be with everyone.

On the advice of a friend who is a Twitter expert, I have had to ‘lay low’ for several days thus not writing.  But I’m back now.   This brought me back to two years ago  when my website got hacked and I had to start over in rebuilding my site and in getting my name back out there.  It is really disheartening to know that there are people out there who take pleasure in doing this.  Maybe all of those events were actually a wake-up call that I need to be more diligent and aware of what is put out on the web and how I am positioned.

So I thought that you would benefit from the lessons I had to learn. We are in this age of being internet-driven; you have to apply for jobs online, you need to promote your business through social media.  We are all potential victims which can lead to adverse situations if not handled correctly.

  • Be diligent – when you are positioning yourself as an expert the internet is the easiest and best place to promote yourself but you need to be diligent in what you post, when you post, and for ensuring that the content you put out there is purposeful;  be leery of clicking on links as you never know what lies in there, i.e. virus
  • Be Aware – you need to always know how you are being viewed by others; Google yourself, watch your numbers and analytics to know who follows you or posts about you.  This does not guarantee that you won’t be compromised but you can minimize any potential damage to your name or brand early
  • Be Smart – often times, hackers ‘ping’ to get into your sites and they do so through your passwords so be smart on which one(s) you choose; be sure to have both upper and lower case, numbers and symbols in them; change them periodically to keep those hackers away
  • Be Sure – to watch your language and pictures on your social media sites, especially Facebook.  Employers go to this site to learn about you, your character, and your ‘brand.’  Customers go to your website and other social media sites to see what you offer and if they want to buy from you so regular monitoring is essential
  • Be Positive – as my friend told me, “this is not the end of the world – it happens to everyone at one time or another.”  If you have taken the steps to clean up the mess and focus on showcasing your brand, people are forgiving.  It sometimes is a hard lesson to learn but these are the ones that make us stronger in the future.

What Will Your Legacy Be?

I was at a networking event this week and while it was great to reconnect with some people I haven’t seen in a while – as well as meet new people – the morning was filled with tributes to a community leader we lost yesterday.  Annie Winterbottom was the President of the Seminole Main Street Chamber and earned a reputation like no other.  She was known for her generosity and her service to others.  She built the Chamber to over 1200 members in a short period of time, by most standards.  I first met Annie five years ago when she was the president of the East Orlando Chamber; I was just new in my business but Annie was very welcoming and supportive, with a ‘go get’em’ attitude.

It made me think of how I would want my legacy to be in hearing so many wonderful thoughts and memories of a remarkable woman.  Annie was known for service to others so that is what I want to be known for, and for uplifting others to succeed.  How do you want to be known when you’re gone, whether that from your organization, inner circle or in life.  We all leave our mark on someone, whether we realize it or not.

It means we have to pay more attention to how we are viewed by others and how we are impacting them.  Every action we do – how we look, how we walk and carry outselves – speak loudly to others.  Are we working to make a difference, or be of service, to others or are we just doing what’s necessary?  If you are working,  will your organization miss you, feel you have been of value and talk about your accomplishments if you were to leave? Would your friends and family have good memories or not?

One exercise to help answer this queston is to write your life backwards, from old age through birth; it can be very telling to see how you view yourself, what accomplishments you’ve had and can help you to identify the gaps of where you are to where you want to be.

Make the commitment now to create and to live your best life and leave your mark on the world.  So – what will your legacy be?

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