When We Were Wonderful.

No answers. No suggestions. No advice.

With the ongoing deadly attacks from ISIS, (the horror in Mali is unfolding as I type), today I offer only a few heart breaking observations and questions.

When did the men who are steering this barbarity become so filled with hate?  So cruel? As my seven-year-old daughter, Lulu, asked me, “Why do they like being mean?”

Over the weekend, she and I took the train to Dublin.  An early celebration for her birthday later this month.

We arrived at our hotel Friday evening and squeezed in a mommy-daughter swim before they closed the pool.  We were warm and dry in our fleece jammies when room service arrived – plus a special ice cream with a candle in it for the almost-birthday girl.  And then the news of the Paris attacks also arrived via the TV.

“Turn it off, Mammy,” Lulu said, using the sweet Irish version of my title. “I don’t want to spoil our dinner.”

She wasn’t being insensitive. She’s too young. Too in the moment of her own happiness.  Obviously, turning it off doesn’t make it go away.  Those precious innocent lives that were cut down have been gone a week now.  And they’re never coming back.  And neither are those from Beirut, from the Russian plane crash, from Syria, from the many other bombings, the beheadings. The grisly list goes on and on…

The next morning, when I came out from the shower, Lulu had drawn me a picture in pencil on the hotel stationery.  Along with the clouds and the lead grey rainbow were the following words of promise:

I love you Mammy, and I’ll try my best to be wonderful.”

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Her endearing note and the dreadful attacks have nothing in common, really. And yet it made me pause.  When do young children whose hearts are naturally filled with joy and play and dreams – children who want to be wonderful – turn into angry, resentful, and terrible adults?

It may be younger than you think.  Some psychologists point to nine as the pivotal year for the onset of typical adolescent rebellion. Other studies show children may experience so-called “conduct disorders” exhibiting a severe lack of empathy or caring for others much younger.

And, according to reports, ISIS is capitalizing on this.  The Guardian, this week, excerpted from the ISIS manifesto or playbook stating,

Capture the rebelliousness of youth, their energy and idealism, and their readiness for self-sacrifice, while fools preach ‘moderation’ (wasatiyyah), security and avoidance of risk.”

National Public Radio, just yesterday, ran a story from Afghanistan which told of a school run by the Islamic State. There they were, teaching students words like Jihad, Kalashnikov and Infidel.  Doing show and tell with a machine gun. Watching videos of the atrocities they’ve committed. Indoctrinating children (only the little boys, actually) as young as three. Three?!?

I am saddened by the horrors ISIS is inflicting through its wanton attacks.

I am also saddened by the horror they are teaching and spreading. ISIS: Stealing children’s wonder. Their desire to be wonderful.   And replacing it with fervent hate for people they have never met.

Somebody cue Louis Armstrong please!

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Copyright 2015 Gina London. All Rights Reserved. 

 

 

 

 

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How (and why) you can start establishing your professional brand NOW!

“Are you actively working on establishing your professional brand?”

Are you standing out from your pack?
Are you standing out from your pack?

This is a question I put to the business professionals I train and coach.  “How?” is typically the first response.

My are my quick top three:

1. Take ownership of your Social Media footprint. You need to be “Google-able.” Google yourself and what do you find?

  • Get on Linked In and get on it with power.  Google “LinkedIN experts” for tips on how to create super profiles.
  • Fire up Twitter. Even if it’s a slow-build, it shows you’re relevant and you’ll get the hang of it soon.
  • Consider what other Social Media Platforms might work for you.  Business page on Facebook? SnapChat? Periscope? Pinterest? YouTube Channel? Some may work while others may be not.  Don’t kill yourself. But be aware.

2.  Establish a blog and post regularly. Multi-purpose your blog as articles on Linked In or submit to other influential blogs in your field.  Try submitting your article to Business Insider or a trade pub.

3. Establish yourself as an expert with the press. Write a great bio (see my previous article on how to write a powerful bio) and submit it to local news producers and business editors.  Tweak your introduction email to each individual. This may take a bit time and esearch, but that’s what “Google” is for and it’s worth it for you to become a “go-to” source!

BONUS:  At the very least, Sign on to HARO – “Help a Reporter.com”  –  a free service where reporters from all over seek out interview subjects.  It’s easy!  I have placed clients and been featured myself more than a dozen times.

Why do this now?  If you’re with a company, it’s good for them, while it’s good for you. And you never know….

Just last week, I was talking to a friend from college.

She had been with her company for 18 years – most recently as an executive in charge of a large department within her organization.

Over the past year, there was a revolving door of senior management types. Changes were announced and never implemented before a new person arrived with a new announcement.  When the spinning finally stopped, one of the newest announcements was that my friend’s position was eliminated.

Without warning, and sequestered from her own direct staff, my friend was given 15 minutes to pack up her office and leave the company she had worked for for nearly two decades.

That’s it.  Job over.

We were talking because she is now positioning herself as a consultant.  Certainly she has plenty of experience and knowledge to offer.

The question is how to establish an identify that is all her own.  One that isn’t merely supported and enhanced by the name of the company that she is no longer connected with.

In short, she must quickly establish her own brand.

For you, like her, it’s not too late.

And it’s not too soon.

I know you may be busy with your “real” job, but remember,  while you’re employed with someone else, establishing your point of distinction makes you more valuable for them – and for you.

Copyright 2015 Gina London. All Rights Reserved.