There have been many tributes and posts since the passing of Dr. Maya Angelou last week. People writing about how Dr. Maya (this is how I always address this grand dame in my imagined conversations with her) touched or changed their lives in some way with her words and profound thoughts. I love the tagline on her webpage: “A Global Renaissance Woman”…a perfect and glorious encapsulation of who she was in the world. When you read her biography it is a study in embracing passion + opportunities, zest for life, exploration, and alignment and resonance.
An extraordinary life lived. Woman Phenomenally. Phenomenal Woman.
Can you imagine what it must have been like to have been invited to Dr. Maya’s house? To sit down and just listen and absorb her essence, her wisdom, hear her beautiful voice ring with resonance and truth…and maybe cajole her into sharing her world famous banana pudding recipe? 😉
There are so many nuggets of wisdom that she has shared in her writing and speaking. Work that has created a legacy of imprint, influence, and impact. Work that has changed lives, perspectives, and viewpoints.
Dr. Maya probably didn’t know it, but she was a helluva a brand evangelist. Two of my favorite quotes of hers perfectly describe the meaning of “brand”
A brand is an experience.
It’s about how you want others to feel about who you are, what you do, and how you serve. The wise Dr. Maya called it perfectly, “People will never forget how you made them feel“.
Forget about taglines, logos, fonts…how do you want people to feel during and after an interaction with you? That is a vital part of your brand essence. Spend some quality time really figuring this out and you will be well on your way to a brand that is resonant and aligned.
A brand is a story…it’s your story
Your story is what connects your Right People to you. It is the emotional connection that shows you have empathy, understanding, and caring for those you want to serve.
It shows you.get.them. Your story is a validation and a permission that allows others to own + share their story.
So many of us have known that agony of the untold story, but when you get clarity around your brand; your story tells itself.
One final thought…
You know that I help soloprofessionals, entrepreneurs, and intrapreneurs get in touch with their archetypes (which are so powerful in telling your story) in order to discover their aligned and resonant brand, so here is my take on Dr. Maya’s dominant archetypes:
Ruler: Role Model, Leader, Conductor, Uses influence wisely, Stewardship, Leadership, Noble, Dignity, Serenity, Confidence, Seeker of Harmony
Sage: Philosopher, Wisdom, Truth, Clarity, Curiosity, Independent, Autonomy, Service to Humanity, Experiential, Objectivity, Presence, Excellent judge of character. Sharing of knowledge to empowerment
Creator: Innovator, Visionary, Idea Generator, Imagination, Expression, Authenticity, Perceptive, Intuitive understanding of the world, Empathy, Compassion
I’d love to know if you have a favorite quote of Dr. Maya’s and what it represents to you…care to share?