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Published:May 4th, 2009 22:59 EST
Insight into Brilliance:  6 Ways to Strive

Insight into Brilliance: 6 Ways to Strive

By Simon Bailey (Mentor/Columnist)

There isn`t a day goes by that you don`t hear about another organization laying off significant numbers of people.  The first reaction most people have is am I next? " The second reaction is if not now, then when? "  And the third reaction is to dust the cobwebs off of your resume and have it ready just in case. It reminds me of people who seem to move suddenly during the night. Their bags are always packed just in case they have to make an unexpected mad dash.

As a taxpayer, who has not benefited from the bailout I have grown tired of waiting for Washington, D.C. to do something for small businesses " as we are reminded we are the backbone of America. That is very nice, very sweet, and very special.  Well, my backbone is growing weary while waiting for something to happen. In fact, I am not waiting for Washington, D.C. anymore because no matter what you see on television, always remember there is a meeting before the meeting and one never really knows what is said off camera.  Am I saying that I don`t trust our politicians? No. I will just say that they are very nice people. I will leave it at that, lest I become modern day example of Will Smith`s character in movie Enemy of the State.

After working with over 100 organizations within the last 18 months, I had an epiphany while in Paris sitting under the Eiffel Tower. According to, the word Sustain means to hold up from beneath " and it comes from the root word to stretch. " Now think about this, the word brilliance or brilliant first appeared in the 17th century and comes from a French word briller " which means to shine.

Right now, you Oh Brilliant One are being  stretched to shine or being invited to shine while being stretched by this unpredictable economy. "

That`s right " your industry will never be the same again because the marketplace is not the same.  So the question is what can you do to Sustain Your Brilliance in times of change? Here are a few insights for you to chew on:

Reassess Your Personal Brand. You are the CEO of You, Inc. which means that you have a portfolio of skills talent and incredible future potential. What is it " Your point of differentiation that you bring to the organization? If you don`t know, then ask those around you.

Take stock in your life. Invest in other aspects of your life. While your career is certainly important to your well-being, ensuring you have balance is integral to your happiness. If you are happy with yourself and where you are in your life, you are bound to project that positivity at work. People WILL notice. People want to be around positive people - be someone others want to be around!
Engage, Engage, Engage. In times such as this, it is tempting to emotionally disengage as you fear for your job security. You may start sending out resumes, looking at other opportunities. While there is nothing wrong with keeping your options open, there is something wrong with sabotaging yourself. It is critical to remain engaged in your role for the success of your company and your own security.

Diversify your exposure. Branch out and partner with colleagues in other disciplines and at other levels. Ask them to lunch or coffee. Find out what they do, what challenges they face, how your job/department might impact what they do. And be genuine with your interest. If you learn that you can help or support them, do something about it. This allows you to gain new perspective, be seen as a team player, and gain allies and support from many areas and levels. 

Open your eyes.  Be aware of the changes going on around you. As companies flex to fit into the changing economy, processes, responsibilities, and goals will likely change. Make an effort to understand and know about the changes " the ones that impact you and even the ones that don`t. 

Be an innovator.  Don`t just wait for someone to tell you what needs to change.  Find ways to contribute to the new agenda. No one knows your job better than you, so use that expertise to find efficiencies. Make an impact and you will make a name for yourself.

As you are overwhelmed by news of the economy, hold on to this " you WILL be ok.  Maintain your integrity, keep your focus, and choose to be a shining light.  Your brilliance will influence others.  Simon Says " You are being stretched to shine.


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My brilliant friend Jennifer Remling and her husband Joe have written an amazing book called Carve Your Own Road " Do What you Love & Live the Life You Envision. Here is a quick snapshot.

There is an epidemic facing our world today. People everywhere, even those who are successful by most standards, are utterly disconnected from what they really want out of life. We`ve abandoned our true passions and dreams in exchange for a daily grind that offers no fulfillment. Some estimates say that fully 80 percent of people don`t enjoy their work and wish they could exert more control over their lives.

This book offers stories of dozens of inspiring entrepreneurs and individuals who have done something intimidating to most of us " quit their jobs to pursue a whole new path, one filled with uncertainty and fear " and passion and excitement.

Get this book today at

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