Have you ever been around those children who can’t seem to take no for an answer? Who grab all the toys and goodies from other children around them, saying hurtful things to everyone around? If a serious whooping is not meted on the child (forgive my African upbringing: timeouts were only observed in the movies), chances are high that they will grow up believing that everything in this world is designed to revolve around them. I am no psychologist, but I have this belief that selfishness is an inherent human characteristic where the ME FIRST mentality takes precedence over WE or US.
This ME FIRST attitude is not just in our children. We all have it! As human beings, our first instinct is to look after our own interests before considering the interests of others around us. Have you ever noticed how the first person you will look out for if handed a group photo is yourself? Yes, we all have a Selfish Gene, as highlighted in the book by Richard Dawkins who speaks to the fact that our genes are naturally selfish and act in a way that promotes their own survival at the expense of any other competing forces in the same environment. When we love ourselves excessively, we are activating this selfish gene, one that believes in the ME FIRST mentality.
This is probably the reason why one of the greatest commandments God left us with was for us to ‘Love our neighbor as we love ourselves’. When we extend our love towards others, we automatically become a much better version of ourself. There is no better test of this view than what is portrayed in a marriage. Couples that have been together for a long time know that even though their partners may fail them more times that they would like to admit, it is the selfless nature of both parties in the relationship that holds them together. Only in this selfless state can they give more of themselves…, more love, more forgiveness, and everything else in between.
So, is your Personal Brand driven by the Selfish Gene?
I certainly hope not. A successful personal brand should never be driven by the ME FIRST mentality. One of the mistakes we make when developing a Personal Brand is believing that the authority we will command by having a visible personal brand, is or will be all about us.
This is definitely wrong. Have you ever been on a date with someone who just talks about themselves? I bet you did not want to return their call for a second date. Well, when a personal brand is driven by the selfish gene, that individual is more than happy to brag about their own accomplishments than talk about the interests of others. And when you make it all about yourself, you make it about your ego.
Instead, a good personal brand should be driven by the needs of the audience it seeks to serve.
When you put your audience first, you will take the time to discover and understand them as intimately as possible and you will find that just like a couple in love will bend over backwards for each other, you too will bend over backwards to make sure your audience is well serviced and ‘fed’ with knowledge.
To establish a credible personal brand, you must:
- Be of service to others. To win with people, you must put your selfish interests aside and ask, what is in it for them?
- Be a catalyst for the learning & development of others. The value you bring must speak to the value your audience seeks.
- NOT be ego centric. When you make it about you, you make it about your ego and ego always loses out in the long run.
How intimate are you with your audience? Do you really understand what is in it for them?
Put your selfish genes aside and #Standout4Growth.