Monday, December 20, 2010

Playing From Strength Makes You a Rock Star

Do you typically think of your self as a rock star? Neither do I. Sure, we all have those exhilarating moments; and some of us even play Guitar Hero. Yet, when things settle down, we return to our own status quo – whatever that may be.

Imagine though, that the very concept of rock star were to be reinvented, allowing us to be a rock star in whatever career we pursue. Well, this is precisely the premise behind a well-known television ad for Intel. It features Intel Fellow Ajay V. Bhatt who is identified as co-inventor of Universal Serial Bus (USB), and “The Real USB Rock Star.” The commercial, which makes an event of Ajay grabbing a cup of coffee, ends with this point: “Our Rock Stars Aren’t Like Your Rock Stars.”

We know this intuitively. We know and acknowledge accomplished people who “rock.” Still, in one deft and creative move, Intel has elevated this cultural association and clearly redefined rock stardom. And yet, there is also a critical distinction here. Ajay Bhatt has attained his celebrity through achievements that reflect a strong commitment to and passion for what he does. Read his bio and you realize his work is more than simply a job – it is the reflection of a strong personal brand.

So, what does this mean to you? Simply this: By taking the time to understand who you are, what you excel at doing, and how you engage the world, you can attain the kind of clarity that can make you a rock star – no matter what your field of endeavor.

Walter Akana is a certified personal branding and online identity strategist, and career coach. After more than twenty-five years in the financial services industry, he founded Threshold Consulting, where he works with mid-career professionals in transition. In addition, he is a trusted resource for clients of Reach Communications and Right Management. Walter’s career advice has been featured on,, and He is a long-time blogger, an avid user of social media, and can be found on Twitter: @walterakana

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