An homage to Freedom

My favorite piece of sculpture in Philadelphia is Freedom by Zenos Frudakis.

There is something about the piece that brings me joy every time I see it.  The clarity of what it means.  The exuberance of the figure who has overcome a struggle and broken out of his confining wall.   The piece rewards the driver who spies it while waiting impatiently for a light to turn, the passerby who happens upon it and pauses to take it in, and even more so the individual whose regular path takes her by.   There are many intricacies embedded in the backdrop of its journey: faces, tools, bodies.

The one who seeks most to understand freedom is in the best position to be delighted by its presence.

PS My homepage pictures were both taken in front of the sculpture and spliced together by my partner, Geoff, in the early giddiest days of our romance.

Know. Live. Grow.

In today’s KnowHR post Living Your Mission, Vision and Values, Frank Roche writes that organizations need to do just that. Articulating statements is pointless garbage if an organization doesn’t demonstrate its beliefs in everything that it does.
Personal brands work the same way. Identifying and articulating what you stand for only gets you part way there (and not such a big part at that). It’s what you do that matters. Step one is twofold: first figure out what you are known for now. Second know what you want to be known for in the future. Are you moving in the right direction?

Step two is about expression: What are you doing day in and day out to be consistent with your vision, values and mission? How are you living your brand? If you value clear communication and feedback are you sharing important information on your business with your team? Have you sat down with your abrasive and sometimes off-putting employee to let him know how his style is getting in the way of effectiveness?

And step three is knowing where you want to get to and implementing the plan to get there.

Know. Live. Grow. That’s the brand life cycle.

On Motivation

This is an awesome TED talk by Dan Pink.  He’s talking about the science of motivation and tells us that there’s a mismatch between what science knows and what business does. He goes on to say that traditional motivators are great for compliance but are crap for engagement.   Self direction works better.  Intrinsic motivation.  An approach that includes autonomy, mastery and purpose.
[ted id=618]
The same goes for managing your career and is what career stewardship is all about.  We all have autonomy when it comes to the directions our careers take.  How can you better express yours?  Where can you seek mastery?  What is your purpose?

Wine Steward v. Career Steward

A wine steward provides suggestions on wine.  He or she is intimately familiar with the wines on offer — the intricacies of their composition, how they sit on the palate, what they pair well with and so on. A key difference between a wine steward and a career steward (aside from, uh, the wine) is that you can rely on someone else to provide you with guidance on your selection.   You must be your own career steward.  You know yourself best and are in the best position to identify how different career choices and options will sit on your palate (and with the life choices you are most interested in making).

Career Stewardship

Career Stewardship: kə-ˈrir, stü-ərd-ˌship: the conducting, supervising, or managing of one’s work or calling; especially : the careful and responsible management of one’s professional activities and direction.

What would it look like for you to move your career forward intentionally on your own — knowing what you know, what you are currently known for and what you want to be known for in the future?