There are probably very few of us who can say we have not been touched by the work of Stan Lee in some way or another. Be it watching one of the awesome Marvel movies over the last few years, tuning into the TV series of Spiderman or Bruce Banner & The Hulk from the 80’s and 90’s or picking up and devouring a Marvel comic as a kid.
In his passing away this week I was struck by the impact he had, even my kids noticed it and commented on the influence that he had on them.
We recollected how we always looked for his cameo appearances in many of the superhero movies that he was associated with, wearing his signature tinted glasses and often uttering the word he was always associated with “Excelsior”.
Your own superhero abilities also make appearances, not in the movies, but in the lives of others. Your unique skills have an impact, just like Stan’s characters did, not perfect but ultimately making a difference and helping others to be a better version of themselves.
If you struggle with making that connection here are some approaches that might help you develop a personal brand to MARVEL.
M – Mindset, always remember that what you have or where you are now is not fixed forever and you have the ability and opportunity to change that. Stan went through a myriad of changes and challenges in his life, even sadly right at the end, but it never stopped him focusing on having a creative impact.
A – Application, using and leveraging what you are good at does not have to be done in a certain way or only with a particular group or organization. Sometimes a certain situation is not a good fit and you have to move on. I have also had VP’s of IT become heads of Marketing and Accountants become Lawyers, it is how they applied things that mattered.
R – Reflect, give yourself time to review, measure and assess the direction and actions you are taking. Often taking 5 minutes, an hour or a whole day not delivering or trying to be your best all the time is the most productive and impactful you can be.
V – Values, I repeat this often and it is because this is such a core element of a personal brand foundation. Your values are your moral compass and will guide and direct your decisions more than anything else. Not sure how? – Take the EvalYOUation exercise to understand.
E – Excellence, the old adage “If a job is worth doing, it’s worth doing well” could not be truer when it comes to your personal brand. Stan Lee does not strike me as some who looked back thinking he produced mediocre work, you shouldn’t either.
L – Leverage, you do not and should not be doing it all yourself. Others have equally great skills in something you suck at, so don’t waste your time, energy and resources figuring out and diluting your personal brand because if it.
Regardless of whether we live to 95, like Stan, or not, you need to be sure that you are spending the time working at whatever it is that calls you, engages you and makes a difference for others.
Now go be ‘Brandtastic’ – Excelsior!!