GETTING OR NOT "GETTING" BRAND YOU
(1) Met the most extraordinary Brand You ... the chauffeur who took me this morning (9-29) to and from the ABC Good Morning America studio in Manhattan. He's Romanian. Got out and came over in 1978. Drove a Yellow Cab at first. Then a series of jobs. Never unemployed. Now this one ... which he calls "the one I was aiming for." Says he's not had a "minute" of schooling ("I didn't say 'not a day,' I said 'not a minute'"). Taught himself English. Well! Brags that he's never had "a penny of government support." Proud of his work, which he calls "my chosen profession." No patience for those who "make a career of complaining of what the world hasn't given them. Good economy, bad economy, they always have a different excuse."
(2) It got me thinking. (Dangerous.) Many -- most??? -- have trouble … still … with the Brand You idea. Can't imagine how they could break out of the box-cubicle that confines them. Most such "stuck" folks are well educated white-collar "professionals." Contrast: In the last few months, on my farm in Vermont, we've used the professional (no "quote" marks!) services of a
- furniture maker
- stone mason
- well driller
- sheep shearer
Each of them de facto -- if not de jure -- "gets" Brand You. Each assiduously works at his/her craft. (Contractor Paul Roberts, Stone Mason Nance Dean and Furniture Maker Dan Mossheim have "signatures" which -- locally -- are as distinct as Martha's!) Each knows that tomorrow's employment/project depends on reliability/skill/imagination/trustworthiness/disposition. Each knows that self-reliance is the only game in town. These are bright men and women, though not rocket scientists.
How come they "get it" so readily and are seemingly so comfortable with who they are ... while millions of well-educated (in terms of years of incarceration in an educational institution) white-collar "professionals" are so frightened?
- tomTom Peters posted this on 09/29/1999.
THE PHAT MANIFESTO!
WHY "PHAT" ?
An Amazon.com reader-reviewer of the Professional Service Firm50 questioned why I'd use a word like "Phat" in "business writing." Implicit message: Grow up. My response:
- I don't intend to "grow up."
- I don't like "business writing."
- I am on a Mission!
- The "mission" is to drive Dilbertian Cynicism out of the workplace! Why: Because what's going on around us is so extraordinary: "cool," "kewl," "phat," even ... "fly phat." To not view "all this" - WebWorld, globalization, white collar revolution, etc. - as a matchless opportunity is ... well ... criminal/ tragic.
- I AM ALL ABOUT: PASSION, TECHNICOLOR, COMMITMENT. WORK THAT MATTERS, WORK THAT MAKES A DIFFERENCE, WORK THAT BECOMES YOUR PROUD SIGNATURE.
- We have chosen a logo for our The Work Matters! "movement": It is a red exclamation mark. Why? Because "it" - and the "phat" WOW Thing! icon that our partner Ed Koren designed for us - is as far from old-time Babbitry and modern-time Dilbertian Cynicism as we can get!
- MESSAGE I: I DO NOT INTEND TO AGE GRACEFULLY!
- MESSAGE II: LIFE - worth living - IS ABOUT RED EXCLAMATION MARKS! [OR: PHAT RULES!] [BELIEVE IT!]
tom peters/ 9-26-99*
* Today is my Mom's 90th birthday! She is soooooooo ... alive! Sooooo ... technicolor! Soooooo ... phat!Tom Peters posted this on 09/26/1999.