Power and Vulnerability. For me, those two words couldn’t be more different. Then I watched watched Brene Brown’s TED Talk on “The Power of Vulnerability” and my mind was changed forever. So much so that I actually felt empowered to share it with my team and expose my weird obsession with self-improvement, forums, books, podcasts, and the like. I found Brene’s talk to be appropriate and relatable to me as a business development manager. On a daily basis, I am forced to be vulnerable by putting myself out there offering our services with a chance to be rejected. Depending on the day, there could any number of emotions that I am faced with.
Throughout her talk, Brene shares many useful anecdotes that apply to business. One story about brand/agency alignment caught my eye. Despite having reservations about the values of one brand he was looking to do work for, this agency lead decided to move forward with a pitch that he felt would mean big things for the agency’s portfolio from their own brand development perspective. The team worked tirelessly to put together a pitch they thought would win. At the proposal meeting, the brand’s employees were disengaged and uninterested. The agency thought they blew it. They didn’t. The brand decided they wanted to work with this particular agency above all the pitches they’d seen! But after much reflection, the team lead came to the conclusion that it didn’t matter. He had to be honest with himself and true to his brand to make a decision that wasn’t based on money, but instead based on values. The lack of alignment on values would have meant an endless struggle to do work that mattered. Sometimes saying “no” frees you up to say “yes” to something better. You just have to be patient.
By being honest in the business development process, assessing companies and their alignment with our own values, we can bring truth to our work. As we ask brands to dig deep into their Why, we hope to understand the character of these brands. When they align, we shout a big “Hell Yeah!” That’s when great work is done.
Looking forward to the many vulnerable moments in 2016!