Reaping the Rewards of Living Your Brand

Soaring The old adage is so true… you never know who you will run into.  I remind my clients of this all of the time.  It is important to live your brand every single day.

The scene was a bustling suburban bistro where I was meeting a client for lunch.  Out of the corner of my eye I noticed a tall gentleman walking over to our table.  A huge smile formed on my face as I recognized the stranger, Oh my gosh, it was J.D.  J,D. was a C-level that I worked for about 12 years ago.  He was nearing retirement age at the time and was a great mentor to me as I was an aspiring executive.  Since I left the organization we tried to stay in contact. We exchanged the perfunctory holiday card each year, but I had not seen him in a long time. 

We exchanged pleasantries at the table and he mentioned that his new office was just next door (he hadn’t retired but had moved to a new part-time -but- really- full -time job that he loved).  He invited me to stop by and visit when I finished lunch. 

At the office, sweet memories of working for J.D. surfaced. Those were some of my happiest career years. He was (and still is) a master at building social capital in his organizations.  I always felt fortunate to have learned from the best.  His easy, no-nonsense, warm and honest way of dealing with people gained him tremendous respect with all of his employees.  I was delighted to be in his presence again.

We spent about an hour reminiscing and sharing "Back in the day…" stories.  J.D. said that he had been following my business career and was reading my blog <grin>.  He said that he always knew that I was talented and he really enjoyed watching my business soar during these past few years.  From God’s lips to my ears, I was not only flattered but honored.

And then he did something so totally unexpected, I was blown away.  He asked me if I wanted to work for him on a part-time basis.  To have his organization as an anchor client.  Wow!  Was this a little slice of heaven or what?  Isn’t this something that you see only in the movies?  We hastily worked out some details.  He gave me some things to read.  He introduced me to one of his Directors and my "on-boarding" began. 

The moral of this story is "live your brand everyday."  You never know who you will run into where and when you do, you want to be ready!

Photo: Flickr

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