Monday, October 24, 2016

Personal Branding

I have had the benefit of going through rigorous self-assessment, first at Harvard Business School in a course called Self-Assessment & Career Development. But after that, through the Center For Creative Leadership's Leadership Development Program, Personnel Decisions International's EXCEL program, a Clear Purpose Management course and an executive education program at University of Kansas. And then further through Hallmark's business leadership, executive leadership and creative leadership programs. I have taken everything that I learned from these programs and from a number of courses that I have taken at Esalen Institute to create a personal branding course called "Discovering Your Truth, Living Your Truth." I have successfully delivered this through numerous companies and organizations over the past decade.

Course Objectives:
  • To help you identify and live your deepest truths
  • To help you create a life that brings you joy and energizes you while simultaneously providing you with a deep peace of mind

Course Overview:
Most people follow paths that are dictated by their parents, teachers, bosses, employers, the society within which they live, etc. rather than from within.  Studies have shown that people who have discovered who they are and what drives/energizes them are much happier and more successful than those who haven’t.  As Socrates said, ‘an unexamined life is not worth living.’  Yet many people never take the time to do just this.  This course provides a process that will help you discover and live your deepest truths.

People who love what they do are far more successful than people who are motivated only by financial reward. If you love what you do, your work becomes play and your passion makes hard work and long hours seem effortless.

Course Outline:
Session 1 – Introduction to Self Analysis
  1. Why I am here? – a sharing
  2. General principles to help guide me in this process of self discovery
  3. Introduction to journaling
    • Given a set of questions designed to provide personal insight
    • Journaling to occur outside of class over the next 3 weeks
  4. Tapping into my dreams – identifying patterns
Session 2 -- My Strengths & My Dreams
  1. Guided imagery – my ideal relationship, job, day, life
  2. Guided imagery – the ideal world, how the world should be
  3. Identifying my strengths
  4. What makes me unique – I AM exercise
Session 3 -- What I Believe – My Credo
  1. What I believe, how I intend to live my life – creating my personal credo
    • Religious/spirituality questions
    • Personal credo questions
Session 4 – What Drives Me
  1. Exercises to help me identify what energizes and enervates me
  2. Dyad partner feedback
  3. Developing a list of personal energizers and enervators
Session 5 – My Life Plan
  1. Pulling it all together – crafting a life plan including objectives for the work/career, family/home, health/physical, financial, emotional, social/recreational, personal development and spiritual dimensions of my life
  2. Tools and techniques to help me stay on my chosen path
  3. Crafting a personal "elevator speech"
To create a personal brand that is authentic and compelling, one must first do this introspective work. People who love what they do are much more successful than those who are only working to pay the bills. And one can only be articulate about one's unique value proposition if that person knows what he or she loves and at which he or she excels. 

For more information on this course or personal branding, contact Brad VanAuken at


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