Monday, September 7, 2009

All the Hats and Faces We Wear

From Chris Brogan: I’m asked often how I can keep the various roles in my world straight. The question baffles me, to be honest. But, for the sake of education, I’ll share what I believe are all my roles, and then I’ll tell you a bit about what this means to me, to the online space, and to my life in business so far.

First, Who I Am and Who I Am Not

-I am human. I most certainly conduct myself like one.
-I am a blogger. I write about what captures my attention.
-I am a business man. I run a company of marketers and business communicators.
-I am a marketer. I promote my clients, and help them gain more business.
-I am an author. I write books about things I feel are helpful.
-I am a father. I have two loving children I enjoy playing with.
-I am a husband. I have a supportive wife (who made the collage in this post).
-I am a speculator/future-thinker. I love thinking about what’s next.
-I am a community guy. I love people. I live in that world. I love community.
-I am a friend. I have lots of friends, and often wish I could give each of them more time.
-I am a fan. I love lots of things: hotels, media making, reading, scotch, liquor.
-I am a consumer. I buy and use products all the time. I have opinions.
-I am a publisher. I write a successful and well-ranked blog.
-I am NOT a journalist. Wish I had that training. I’m a reporter at times.
-I am NOT a PR or Marketing person by education. I’m a hack.
-I am NOT ever going to sell out my community for a dollar. (Though I would for $10 million.)

I could go on for a while. You get the picture. For some reason, people seem to think this is hard to keep straight. When I wrote the list, I didn’t have to think too hard about it. I just wrote down some things that I am and some things that I am not. I believe we know what we are and what we aren’t. I tend to like for my actions to prove what I am and what I am not.

Sometimes, that can get murky. I understand that. In my case, I disclose and report, and comment, and explore when those kinds of moments happen. I jump right in. If I feel I should, I apologize (though I receive many emails telling me that I apologize too much, so I can’t seem to win on that one).

The Future of Human-Shaped Business

Humans are messy and complex. They are non-linear. They don’t think in straight lines. They don’t act in clear-cut ways. They don’t fit into simple slots very easily. Thank the sweet *.deity for all that.

Business, however, tried really hard for many decades to push us into those slots. It still does for most of the world. Here’s the thing: factories aren’t here any more (for the most part). Industrial-age workers aren’t necessary. The entire US school system is built to educate children to take jobs as servants to the factory culture, when what the world needs most right now are entrepreneurial-minded individuals, who understand the importance of execution, and who can form and dissolve business to match their goals and objectives instead of as a means of sustaining the corporate construct.

Social media and social networks are just one signal that things are shifting. If you’re a publisher online, you are often in a shop of one, or two, or less than a dozen. That makes you sales and editorial. (Oh, there went that journalist’s wince.) That’s just one example. Business never was neat. Now, it’s downright frayed and smudgy and organic.

Ahhh, organic. Human.

I am fully and utterly embracing my facets. I make no apologies. Instead, I aim to educate, to build bridges and interfaces, and I intend to inject this human-shaped-business DNA back into the corporate culture until we all come back into alignment between our passions and our vocations, and have companies to fit those shapes.

And My Point?

Call me by whatever label suits you best. I’m making my own game. I’m bringing it to my networks. I’m spreading it with idea handles.

Sound familiar to any of you?

1 comment:

  1. He is an idealist. yes humans are complex and wonderful creatures but if you look harder they are extremely simple as well. They follow generic patters and are easily manipulated. They can be put into categories and thats how marketing has been doing it for ages.

    Yes maybe he is not one of the masses but there are many who fit in his category as well. Human existence is compliance.