Category Archives: Uncategorized

What’s in a name: a Legacy-that’s what!

Call the rose by any other name, and it shall smell as sweet.

But call a Brand by any other name, you are insulting an identity, a promise, a legacy.

I am not sure that the mighty Shakespeare will agree to my humble musings, but then again Shakespeare did not live in the era of brands and me-toos!

A brand-Your brand, is your identity, your YOUnique value of promise, your legacy-that is at the least-irreplaceable. Your brand evolves from your identity to your promise of value to your legacy thus bequeathed. Name it any other, and you are insulting not only the person, but his lifetime of legacy too. Today, your personal brand: your name, your reputation, your YOUnique potential, your performance, your value, your inspiration, your legacy is as inseparable as the fiery flame of the coy candle.


People brands devote a lifetime of passion to pursue their dreams and build a larger than life personal brand; such that their legacy runs synonymous with their names in the history of mankind. Good, Bad and Ugly- legacies are legacies. You cannot separate Gandhi from the triumph of the Indian independence like you cannot discount Hitler from his racist genocide of innocents. You cannot ignore Jobs from the celebration of modern and revolutionary computing and you cannot miss out Teresa when you honor the Global philanthropists! You name one, and you hail the other.

That is the power of legacies and brands and people. All for one and one for all.

But the beauty of legacies is, they are worthy of celebration, regardless of their stature; all that matters is ‘how’ you changed a life; even a single life. That becomes your legacy and, it keeps on snowballing from thereon.

So, brand your name, your passion, your vision- this indeed, is what gets immortalized in the heart of future.


When you find your calling…

There are these rare moments of enlightenment that one experiences in life, after which life changes as one knows it. 

These are the moments when one realizes/discovers/ experiences a sort of divine intervention (minus the rain and thunder ofcourse!), when he comes face to face with what he is meant to do in this singular journey of life. 

These are the moments which are the milestones in the making of an epic legacy, of history.


So when you do have the fortune of experiencing this magnanimous moment of life, do welcome it with open arms and heart and mind; ‘coz the worst tragedy that you may have to live with….would be to live with the fact that you ignored your life’s true calling-your raison d’etre-the purpose of your existence.


I am now going to help you get a step closer to this moment; to discover the love of your life…

1. Enlist your 3 deepest passions in life: the things which make you selfishly happy

2. Now think how you can add value to other’s lives with these passions

3. Commit to 3 activities that you will adopt to hone your passions while you add serious value to others

4. Explore whether you can convert this activity into a viable business model;  if not-don’t fret-money is not everything in life

5. Business or no business,  when you will experience the gratification of enriching others by the virtue of your passions and/or gifts, will you then realize, this is what you are here for; that this what life is supposed to be like! 


And, once the realization dawns, once you find your higher calling, nothing will ever be the same again.


So ask yourself: Are you there yet or do you even wish to get there…


Get there; as soon as you can. It is what your brand will stand for, it is after all, the legacy that you would be leaving behind.

Living your Dream: Dream. Dare. Do!

Dreams are what…

Dreams are the often unspoken desires that manifest in nights.

Dreams are the hopes theat fuel our days and keep us going.

Dreams are the changes that we wish to see, to do, to become.

But how often do you hear one say that they have become what they had dreamt of?  That they are indeed living the life that they dreamt about?

For me, dreams are goals with deadlines. Because only when you dare to put a serious deadline on your dream; my friend it shall cease being just a dream. It will then become your goal: A goal which is then converted into smaller sub goals making them more achievable, every one of which then prioritized as per its urgency as well as feasibility, thus making resource identification and allocation more efficient and finally putting a number on every sub goal thereof to facilitate its execution before the said deadline.

Use this SPRAD (Sub goals-Prioritize-Resource Allocation-Deadline) framework to ensure that your every single dream is celebrated as a goal beautifully achieved!

Go on…. Dream. Dare. Do.

Make 2014 the ICONIC year of your dreams!

Dream it. Dare it. Live it.

Sinful Personal Branding Tip #7 : The ‘Luxuria’ art of building the Brand YOU

If it wasn’t for the innate luxuria (lust or desire) of mankind; our civilization would have still been primitive in many senses. The desire for more is what keeps us evolving from one generation to the other. How we define, dictate and dominate our desires is what makes us a superior race, and how you explore this so called sin of desire makes your brand superior to the fellow brands. The philosophy of desire is simple: Want more, Work More, Win More. However, naked desire isn’t what sails your boat towards the shores of success; you must also fuel your desires with the motivation to achieve ‘em, to be worthy of such uninhibited success. Use my Luxuria formula for Success to ‘up’ your desire quotient and motivate Brand YOU to want, work and win it all!

Desire Quotient + Motivation Factor = Unrivalled Success


Up your desire quotient and motivate yourself to-

  1. Be more: Empower Brand YOU to accomplish more + be motivated to bridge the gap between you and the ideal you. TIP: Know your brand to grow your brand
  2. Do more: Egg Brand YOU to act more + be motivated to apply your knowledge and skills to make a humble difference. TIP: Expand your network to amplify your actions
  3. Be known more: Express Brand YOU to connect more + be motivated to reach out across social media and build worthy relationships. TIP: Stay real in the virtual
  4. Deserve more: Enhance Brand YOU to rise more + be motivated to raise brand YOU above and beyond mortal reverence. TIP: Respect is a two way street
  5. Be loved more: Enable Brand YOU to love more + be motivated to share and care-share your expertise to be viewed as the expert. TIP: Focus on what you know better than the best

When personal desires are fueled with noble motivations, success beckons and how! I believe you don’t make your destiny-you brand your destiny; and once you decide to- the universe is just another player involved in this glorious game of empowering you to make, brand and own your desires, your destiny.

When thou desires, universe conspires, Brand YOU transpires.

Thought Leadership is the compass of your Leadership

Leaders are very many; but thought leaders indeed, are a rare and distinguished breed. They may hail from the most unexpected echelons of life, and yet get immortalized as Icons; Icons who changed the world.

Thouht Leadership Compass

It does not matter who they were; but what they have do. A true thought leader is someone who envisions the day after tomorrow, today; and evangelizes the world towards it. Change is the soul of thought leadership; your thought leadership is the soul of your leadership; devoid of which your leadership journey is set on a compass that points nowhere.  The 3 strategies that empower your thought leadership to navigate your leadership sojourn are:

Branding Your Leadership

Brand Your Thought Leadership

Brand Your Thought Leadership

If thou matters; show me how!  In the journey of leadership, the destination is not as important as the reason thereof. The most important strategy while playing leadership is envisioning a journey worth taking; in other words branding the story of your leadership and its contribution in making this world a better place.

Your Thought Leadership is your Brand. Period. How you lead the change and grow your brand by mastering the art of leadership-is what legacies are made of. In this journey your thought leadership will serve as the magical compass, which will always guide you to achieve your brand’s beloved.  The 5 traits of thought leaders who transform their passion into a legacy by leading their community, their organization, their world towards the change are:

  1. Passionate Perseverance: Passion prevails profession. But when the twain meet: Thought Leadership is born.  If thought leadership is your calling: Either adopt your passion as profession or grow to love your profession. Following your passion, with relentless perseverance is the hallmark of a true thought leader.
  2. Ideation fixation: When you are in love with your work: It rains Ideas. Ideas that empower you to create, claim and dominate that one big Idea that becomes your Brand. Get drenched in the idea deluge till that big idea peeks out and bestows some warm sunshine on you.
  3. Super-Human Self Conviction: Every BIG Idea is first ridiculed, opposed and rejected before being celebrated. As a thought leader, self-belief is your super power. “I guarantee there’ll be tough times, I guarantee at some point, you will crave a way out, BUT I also guarantee that if you do not uphold this insane self conviction paradigm, then you will regret it for the rest of your life; because you do know in your heart, this is what you are meant to do!”
  4. Inspiring Change: Does your idea inspire a change in the world? Brilliant! Now be the change. Thought Leaders aren’t preachers; but doers. ‘Think, Do, Inspire action’ is the mantra for you.
  5. Eternal Commitment: Your thought leadership is the raison d’être of brand YOU. Staying true and committed to this purpose of your life is critical to your brand, even after being hailed as the messiah of change.

Living your Leadership

Live Your Leadership

Live Your Leadership

Lead all you may; but where to? Your thought leadership compass is due at north for the Brand YOU. But is it exactly where your tribe also wishes to go? The second strategy to adopt while living your leadership is leading the world to the place they wish to go to-and not where you wish to take them to! The Golden Rule of Leadership is to know the answer to the singular most important question in your tribe’s mind: ‘What’s in it for me?’ Under your inspiring leadership it is your moral responsibility to empower them to lead their lives to their next milestone. Know thy answer and ensure they understand it as well; lest you do that, you might end up north-alone or maybe not at all.

Leadership, when set upon together is a beautiful journey. It’s a journey where the power of ‘we’ is amplified to its best by your tribe; because unless there is a ‘we’, the leader’s ‘I’ factor matters naught. You truly become a leader only when you are a part of this ‘we’; only when you have something to offer that truly resonates with the needs and desires of the ‘we’; only then you shall get the chance to embark upon your journey of leading the ‘we’, and thus living your leadership. So, my dear friend, if you do not inspire the ‘we’; rest all becomes a moot point.

Growing your Leadership

Grow Your Leadership

Grow Your Leadership

Like Life, Like Brands, Leadership must evolve. Like your dreams, hopes, aspirations, passions and destinations, your brand and your thought leadership must also evolve-must move forward perpetually. Thought leadership is anything but a onetime fixation to accomplish a journey. Leaders may not always be thought leaders; but thought leaders are leaders forever. They are fuelled with an insatiable desire to lead the world to the day after tomorrow, every single day-even during the brightest dawns and the darkest nights. In the true thought leader’s day, even after the sunset, his thought leadership compass illuminates his journey up to the next dawn, and the day after’s, and so on.

The third and the best kept secret of the most iconic thought leaders is Growth: ‘They do more of less.’ My personal advice to each one of you reading this is to do exactly that: Grow the thought leadership of your leadership—‘Focus on the focus of your brand’s thought leadership; then every single day again focus on how to leverage on this focus to continually dominate and own your brand’s thought leadership.’ Simply put: Build and Nurture the singular Idea Tree of your Thought Leadership that is empowered to flourish come what may. Every day religiously water this tree and let it grow one more leaf that further amplifies that expanse and benevolence of your thought leadership. When you look back, I promise, you shall witness a beautiful legacy of your thought leadership growing and flourishing every single day-under the dedicated aegis of your leadership and commitment to its growth.

Leadership becomes a fascinating experience and not a liability when you brand it with your thought leadership. My closing words for you:

“Thou are not born to follow, but lead; and not just lead a few men, but the world through a glorious experience of your brand, your thought leadership…All you need is that compass pointing right towards this very change you seek.”

6 Secrets to MAKE & LEAVE the ‘bulls-eye mark’ of Brand YOU

I am delighted to host Peter’s guest post on the Premier Personal Branding Blog in India. Peter has been a dear friend, who is championing this mutually beloved cause as the Pioneer of Personal Branding in Japan; In this post Peter shares his 6 personal secrets on how you can hit the bulls-eye with your Personal Branding, time after time!


Peter Sterlacci

About Peter: Japan’s Personal Branding Pioneer, Peter Sterlacci advocates using personal branding to enhance success. As a long-term resident of Japan—where “fitting in” is the cultural norm—Peter intimately understands the challenges facing Japanese to “stand-out” and is dedicated to empowering on-the-move careerists in global companies in Japan to “break away” from the pack and ride to success. He capitalizes on his 21-year career in training and development and his passion for cycling in his powerful messaging.

What’s Your Personal Brand’s First Impression?

Does your personal brand capture others at “Hello” when you enter a room? Whether you are interviewing for a job, meeting potential clients and partners at a networking event, or even commenting on someone’s blog, how you use your brand to say “hello” and engage others both in the real and virtual world will provide the differentiation you need to stand out.  Bullseye Branding

The first impression you make goes a long way towards defining how others perceive you, and remember, we don’t get a second chance to make a first impression, in hitting the bulls-eye with our Brand!

3 Tips to MAKE Your Mark

1. Maintain eye contact

In the real world we need to look people in the eye at first meeting and maintain good eye contact throughout the discussion. Especially at a networking event, once you are engaged in a chat don’t let your eyes wander towards the person at the other end of the room you really want to be talking with. Keep your focus on the person in front of you until you find a polite way to move on.

We maintain eye contact in the virtual world with our professional head shot – one that has a full view of your face, eyes, and smile!  Use Gravatar to link your head shot to the avatar that shows up when you comment on other’s blog. And don’t be an “egg head” on Twitter! Nobody wants to engage with an egg or a silhouette image.

2. Seek first to understand…

…rather than to be undersood! Too often we get caught up with proving our brand to others by boasting about our credentials, experience, ability, and skills. Our personal brands speak for themselves, so let your brand do the talking!  When meeting people, be the first to ask questions and find a common ground. Listen actively to what others have to say by acknowledging their input and responding sincerely.

Even in the virtual world we need to be listeners. Social media channels are a wealth of insight, ideas, and thought leadership.  Use an 80/20 rule – maximize 80% of your time as a listener and 20% as a talker. By following this rule, the contribution you eventually make will give off an impression of value to your target audience.

3.  Use people’s names and personalize your connections

What’s in a name? EVERYTHING!  People like to hear their own names so make an extra effort to use someone’s names in every interaction. After leaving a chat, thank the other person for their time –  “It’s been great talking with you Peter.”  When commenting on a blog use the person’s name and recognize their contribution before giving your comment – “Thank you Peter for this great post.  I really agree with what you said about…  I often feel that…,”.  A great way to personalize your request is to avoid the standard canned request when connecting with others on LinkedIn. By making your request personal it will demonstrate your sincere interest in connecting with that specific person rather than simply increasing the number of connections you have.

What’s Your Personal Brand’s Lasting Impression?

Just as we need to be aware of the first impression our personal brand makes when we walk into a room, we also need to think about the lasting impression we leave behind after we say “goodbye.” People will always make decisions about you after you leave the ‘real’ and ‘virtual’ rooms. Their decision to connect with you will be based on their emotional reaction from that very first meeting, but they will always later rationalize their decision based on the lasting impression you leave behind after you have left the room.

3 Tips to Leave Your Mark

1. Respond and give thanks sooner than later

A good rule to follow here is what I call the “24-hour rule.” Send an email within a day after leaving a real world event to all the people you engaged with. Thank them for their time and even mention something that they shared with you. This shows you were listening and valued their contribution.

In your virtual world always thank someone for following you, mentioning a post you wrote/shared, retweeting your tweets, liking your Facebook page, or commenting on your blog. When others feel you have something valuable to share with members of their own community, show your appreciation and say thank you right away.

 2. Give credit where credit is due

To this day I remember the President of a university I worked for telling me “Go ahead and copy my idea. Just give me credit for it!”

Blogs, eBooks, and online portals have enabled any one of us to be ‘published’. Personal publishing as an important trend for demonstrating thought leadership and extending your personal brand. It is now more important than ever to share the resources where you have gained your insight, tools, and knowledge. For example, “I picked up some great tips from XYZ Blog so check it out this link.” or “My personal branding approach uses Reach’s proven 1-2-3 Success methodology.” In your social media channels always refer to the source of the tweet, post, or video you are sharing.

3. Ask yourself if you are ‘on-brand’ or ‘off-brand’

Is what you are about to say or do going to support your brand or potentially damage it? You might be a thought leader in your field, but an insulting comment could leave a mark that you do not want to be remembered for.

In the virtual world you leave digital footprints behind you. Mind what you say in your blog posts, tweets, Facebook updates, and comments on sites. Personal publishing may be an effective way to leave a lasting impression, but it is also important to realize that once you do publish something online, it is available for the world to see.  You cannot take it back. Even if you remove it or sweep it under the digital carpet, it is likely that someone has already seen it and shared it.

You may have worked very hard on building a lasting impression online, but all it takes is one bad comment or photo tagged of you to show up on the first page of your search results to change everyone’s opinion of you. Use the “grandmother test” – if you wouldn’t want your grandmother to see or hear it, then don’t share it!.  Instead share the things that support your brand and would make your grandmother proud.

10 Benefits of Executive Branding for your Corporate Brand-Part 2

The Yin-Yang of Branding

In the first part of this post, we saw the 5 instrumental influences an Empowered & Branded Executive has in empowering the Corporate Brand, by personifying the yin-yang philosophy, which thus leads to a cohesive development of both the Brands in this equation, harmoniously. This post goes on to highlight the next 5 benefits of empowering your executive’s personal brand.

6. Inspires a higher Employee Engagement Level

Empowered Executives feel Appreciated & Honored; and indeed this is ‘your’ reason behind their strategic selection of being the worthy Brand Ambassadors of your corporate brand. When you empower them to take control of their personal brand and career, it boosts their happiness and job satisfaction quotient by miles; and in the form of a win-win turnaround effect, boosts their engagement with the company, customers, associates, business stakeholders etc. and thus accelerates their performance too.

7. Enhances Customer Connect, Client Preference & Loyalty

For an executive, when his Personal Brand reputation becomes as sacrosanct as the corporate entity’s, his performance is fueled with 2X times the effort in building, nurturing and protecting both the reputations-as both are at stake. So as a result of this 2X worth of efforts in the execution of his personal branding & professional commitments, he goes on to add 2X times value to his customers, associates, potential clients and so on. Better value addition at the same or no cost of investment, endears him to them and earns him the deserved reputation of being the go-to person/brand for an enhanced value addition experience. This is the most vital outcome of this exercise- a happy and content customer and client base that is converted into a group of brand loyalists, and more importantly brand evangelists for both these brands they are experiencing.

8. Builds a Dual Halo Effect: The Thought Leadership augments the Corporate Brand Appeal & Brand Equity

The Branded Executive, a proactive brand ambassador is perpetually in the limelight advocating his knowledge and wisdom, by promoting his personal as well as corporate services & products, which enable his brand community to lead a better life. This builds and fosters a reputation of thought leadership for both these entities as they are slowly perceived as the harbingers of the better way of life. This thought leadership, magnetizes (both) your Brands and enhances the appeal they have in your Brand Community; and once a Brand builds its reputation as the thought leader, it then goes on to evolve as the ICONIC Brand that enjoys unrivaled brand equity in the industry. This is the priceless dual halo effect of Personal Branding adoption by the Corporate Brand.

9. Executive Branding brings your Corporate Brand to Life; as they become your Brand, in Action.

There is never a time, that the Corporate Brand has not once, wished to have a live personification of their Brand-in flesh & blood: an individual who epitomizes their corporate brand, talks their brand, and walks their brand! Executive Branding allows the Corporates to empower their individuals to not only build their own personal brands, but simultaneously synchronize their personal brands with their employer’s corporate brands for an enhanced brand experience at their personal as well as professional level. This effort in working towards attaining a harmony with the corporate brand empowers them to bring the ethos, values and vision of your corporate brand to life; by offering a firsthand LIVE experience of your brand to your target audience.

10. Most important: a Stronger Brand means Better Business means Bigger Profits!

Powerful Brands foster Better Businesses and Growing Businesses nourish the power of their Brands. And when this nourishment and enrichment of brands happen at the corporate as well as personal levels, then a business is said to actualize 100% of its most precious asset-its executives. By empowering them to build their personal brand, and thus evangelize and nurture their corporate brand in the process, the company ensures that the executives become the custodians of the brand-who are voluntarily and proactively contributing and building its visibility, credibility and reputation to attract better business opportunities, and hence influence the overall profitability of the company-monetary as well as the corporate brand equity.

These are the 10 benefits that your company can milk by adopting the power of personal branding and honoring your key executives-your star performers, as these are indeed the true brand guardians of your brand.

Words of Wisdom: View branding of your Company and your Executives as an Investment; the one that yields returns in a long run; priceless returns that no other investment can match.

Liked this article, and wish to experience the power of Executive Branding for your C-Suite Executives? Get in touch with its Author & the Personal Branding Pioneer in India-Tanvi Bhatt (The Personal Brand Strategist for Indian CXOs) today!