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Personal branding: overrated, or common sense?

I’m sure you’ve seen a number of posts that talk about ‘personal branding.’ They mostly have something to sell you, or an approach you really ought to take, which involves hundreds of hours of sustained work, and buying books and seminars.

BUT: to get started, keep it simple. If your blog is your primary website, keep it that way, and give it the focus of how you are talking to the rest of the world. (A great posting on this is here…)

First, be consistent in what you say. You are talking in public, and it’s going to be around (probably for the rest of your life).

Second, put ALL of your social media links on your blog. If you are using wordpress, it’s remarkably easy. (I’ll do a quick tutorial if there’s interest.). Remember the big three (FOR YOU): twitter, linkedin, and delicious are mine.

Third, see if this makes a difference on your blog stats. (Second edit: yes, it did, see the graph.)never trust graphics without vertical scale ;-)

Regards,
Dak

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Dak human-in-the-loop inspiration linkedin people time management Worth reading

Why morale matters

The McKinsey Quarterly has a good interview with Brad Bird (director of The Iron Giant, The Incredibles, and Ratatouille). I’ve been following Pixar with great interest over the years, partly because I have a couple of old friends who work there (Hi guys!), and partly because I really believe in what they are doing (changing from being a software vendor in a niche market to being a major motion picture studio: brilliant!). In my opinion, Pixar is the poster child for the “eat your own dog food” school of management, and deserves their success. (How good is Renderman? Well, it’s good enough that we’ve won Oscars with movies we’ve built on it!)

In my experience, THE key issue on the performance of teams is to get the morale and the synergy of the teams going. This involves selecting the right people, keeping the great players in the team, and keeping the ideas flowing.

Here’s a great quote from the interview:

The Quarterly: It sounds like you spend a fair amount of time thinking about the morale of your teams.

Brad Bird: In my experience, the thing that has the most significant impact on a movie’s budget—but never shows up in a budget—is morale. If you have low morale, for every $1 you spend, you get about 25 cents of value. If you have high morale, for every $1 you spend, you get about $3 of value. Companies should pay much more attention to morale.

Brad is being very low-key here; the emphasis is mine. In my experience, this is exactly correct.

Read the rest of the interview for how and why Brad worked on morale.

What are you doing to increase the morale of your team (and your family, and the broader group of people you work with) TODAY? I’m talking about hugs and compliments; what are you doing to recognize people as individuals, to listen to them, and to make them feel listened to?

More later in the blog, on building a team of “Developers versus Programmers.”

Have a great weekend,
Dak