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  Time for Your Career Wake-Up Call?
by Walter Akana - Aug, 2013
Like other people, you probably have fond recollections of starting out in life. From the moment you were free to strike out on your own, life held wonderful promise of new adventures to come. The sky was the limit, and the great advice people offered, as they wished you well, fueled your visions of success. Chances are, one of the most fundamental pieces of advice you received was to “know thyself.” It probably seemed li...
 
  Five Keys To Developing Your Personal Brand Story
by Walter Akana - Jan, 2013
Perhaps the most important lesson of my life is this: there is a big difference between being alive and truly living ... I started my career working my way up the corporate rungs … Yet, I was missing work and life balance. So, I transferred to Boulder…. [and] joined the Colorado Mountain Club where I discovered my bliss! The moment I touched the rock I knew I would spend my life climbing

. I scaled 22,494 foot Ama...
 
  Re-imagining Personal Brand
by Walter Akana - Jul, 2012
“Differentiation is a way of thinking. It’s a mindset. It’s a commitment. A commitment to engage with people – not in a manner to which they are merely unaccustomed, but in a manner that they will value, respect, and yes, perhaps even celebrate.” ~ Youngme Moon Harvard Business School professor, Youngme Moon, in her remarkable book Different: Escaping the Competitive Herd, discusses the ways in which many brands have a...
 
  Be Yourself, Only Better
by Walter Akana - Sep, 2011
Recently, I posted to Instagram a photo of myself at the gym. I was wearing a Mizuno T-shirt emblazoned with Japanese characters, and the phrase, “Be Yourself, Only Better." Later that day, a Japanese Instagram friend posted the simple comment, “Me too” – along with the same Japanese characters. Curious, I went to Google Translate and found that “limit challenge” is the literal translation. I was intrigued, and even more so, o...
 
  Mid-Year Check Up: The Full 360
by Walter Akana - Jul, 2011
Okay, I can almost hear what you’re thinking: “Washington is making massive job-killing mistakes, employers are either getting by with less or unwilling to expand, and besides it’s summer. So, what can I possibly do to move my job search forward?” Frankly, if you’ve honestly been taking reasonable steps in conducting your job search, and assuming you’re using every opportunity to show your value and build relationships, there...
 
  Brand Story in a Social Media World
by Walter Akana - Jun, 2011
At the invitation of Sarah Behunek, Director of Alumni Relations, I had the privilege of doing a video shoot, with Tonya Riggs Clement, for the University of Colorado Leeds Business School. In case you don't know who she is, Tonya is one of the Everest Peace Climbers. In fact, she’s the twentieth American woman to scale Everest, and the fifth of just nine American women to have reached the top via the treacherous North Rid...
 
  Succeeding in a “Final Jeopardy!” World
by Walter Akana - Jun, 2011
Yes, I’ll admit it. Upon seeing this month’s topic, my first association was Jeopardy! Perhaps it was the listing of categories in search of answers, but in a flash, I was thinking, “l’ll take re-tooling for 100, Alex.” And in my rapid free association, the answer “commodities” came to mind, quickly followed by, “What do you call transferable skills?” As a career coach, I’ve long believed that one’s ability to identify tra...
 
  When it’s Time to Recycle Your Career
by Walter Akana - Jun, 2011
When I think about how people make career choices, I often recall the scene from the classic movie, The Graduate. In it, a well-meaning family friend, Mr. McGuire, corners young Benjamin resulting in the following exchange: Mr. McGuire: I want to say one word to you. Just one word. Benjamin: Yes, sir. Mr. McGuire: Are you listening? Benjamin: Yes, I am. Mr. McGuire: Plastics. Benjamin: Just how do you mean that, s...
 
  Conversations Without A Net
by Walter Akana - Nov, 2008
Messaging is critical to personal branding and career success. Yet, in the early stages of developing and using clear and consistent messages, it’s all too easy to rely on scripted talking points the way a trapeze artist relies on a net. However, as life coach Gail Blanke points out in the August 2008 issue of Real Simple magazine, “we live in an unscripted world.” Drawing from the many rules of improv, in her article, “How to...
 
  Increase Your Karmic Footprint
by Walter Akana - Nov, 2008
With the call for a green revolution, it seems more people are paying attention to reducing the size of their carbon footprint in order to create a better environment. While protecting the physical health of our planet is important, it occurs to me that we can make the world a better place by developing our personal brands to expand our karmic footprint in a positive direction. Many of us recognize that a pay-it-forward ap...
 
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