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Become your office icon

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in Career Management,Workplace Communication

Lady Gaga, Madonna, Michael Jack­­son, or Elvis … we can learn a lot from these pop culture icons. I’m not suggesting you wear a dress made of meat, highlight body parts with tassels or moon dance between cubicles. Yet, here are four lessons pop culture icons can teach us:

1.  Consistently perform. What makes these celebrities different is their consistent stellar performance across many experiences and over many years. No one is perfect. All their biographies include failures and mistakes. Jennifer Lopez has fallen on stage; Michael Jackson’s hair caught on fire! As opposed to short-lived careers of one-hit wonders, the difference is that stars keep delivering again and again. A badly received album, stage mis­­hap or poor choice is soon forgotten when they keep rolling out hits. Over the long haul, consistent, repeated output of stellar performances outweighs mistakes or poor choices.

2.  Reinvent yourself. Keeping up with technology can be a big chal­­lenge. Don’t get stuck behind the times and become the office has-been. Refresh your skills, your outward appearance, your office attire, your goals and comfort zone. Keep current and interesting while staying true to who you are.

3.  Connect from the heart. When artists connect their hearts with their gifts, they create magic. Lip-syncing fakers, stolen lyrics and overproduced “studio” artists that sing live off key have short-lived careers. No one ever faked it for long. Don’t be afraid to be vulnerable, passionate, and take risks within professional limits. Connect your heart with your gifts and you will create raving authentic fans.

4.  Provide public performances. The No.1 fear is still public speaking. Stars learn the power of public performance, know their audience and how to win them over. They combine their well-practiced message with memorable performances to truly connect with those listening. If you’re asked to take center stage, go for it. Whether it is a meeting of one person, 20 people, or more, channel you inner icon and wow the room.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Richard I. Garber August 8, 2012 at 9:44 am

Your claim that the number one fear is still public speaking is nonsense.
See my blog post about a Harris interactive survey of workplace fears reported by CareerBuilder last Halloween:

It’s one of fifteen surveys I’ve blogged about, and public speaking was ranked first in only five of them:


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