Authenticity, Learning, Branding and More

tulipFriday, I attended the 5th Annual Pink Magazine empowering women event. Held at the Intercontinental Hotel, it attracted business women from all over Atlanta interested in business building and professional development. Segments on Leadership, Marketing, Balance and Finance followed the kick-off keynote delivered by author, Gail Evans. What I appreciated most about Gail’s comments was her reminder that we – as women – have not come as far as we might think. One key place still holding women back, according to Evans, is the lack of teamwork. Too often, women are still trying to go it alone. It is an important point for women to think about.

Later in the day, I headed to Emory Goizueta Business School to talk with a roomful of budding entrepreneurs about social media for smart sales™. As the way people buy business products and services continues to evolve, the sales process must adapt to this new buying behavior, which is largely internet based.

It was interesting that between the two events a common theme for the day emerged. Authenticity was the first theme to emerge early in the morning. The second was that successful people make mistakes, fall down, pick themselves back up, learn from the experience and move on.

Authenticity and transparency are becoming vital skills when doing business in our digital economy. The success of the buyer/supplier relationship is based on mutual trust. Representing yourself and your business in open, honest ways are critical to your success. Buyers are a bit fed up with the hollow promises of vendors more concerned about their personal goals and not the goals of their prospective buyers. “Over deliver” should be the customer loyalty theme shouted from the corporate mountaintops. Do the unexpected and separate yourself from others in your field.

It was an inspiring day really. All day I was surrounded by people who understand that success comes from making a commitment to our professional development. That means investing time and money. It also means taking risks, making mistakes and learning from them, so we can achieve even more. In email I received from Seth Godin, he had this to say…

As an organization grows and succeeds, it sows the seeds of its own demise by getting boring. With more to lose and more people to lose it, meetings and policies become more about avoiding risk than providing joy.

Embrace risk, embrace change, create incredible customer experiences and ignore anyone who tries to take you off course. Always remember that success is never earned while merely sitting on the sidelines!

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