EditorialsBy Matt Bud, Chairman, The FENG

The process of self-assessment is never easy. It is sort of like taking out your own appendix, but without anesthetic.

As senior financial folks, it is often the case that we don’t have to engage ourselves in the game of “What is it we do? And, who are we?” until very late in our careers. Unlike the denizens of other professions, we tend to stay at jobs a long time and until we hit middle age, many of us have never known a day out of work.

As many of you may be aware, I was Chief Financial Officer of an advertising agency for almost a decade. While I could take a few moments to wax eloquent about the difficulty of managing the prima donnas who make this business happen, I won’t. That is not the purpose of my bringing it up.

What I would like to share with you is the symmetry that exists in the world. It is not actually great advertising that moves the product off the shelf, it is great advertising that is accurate that moves the product off the shelf and keeps it moving off the shelf. Great advertising can create trial, but if the advertising is an “over promise,” you can easily put a client out of business. (One of those little known facts that I thought everyone in The FENG should know.)

In much the same way, the purpose of most of the psychological testing that goes on in the corporate world using such tools as Myers-Briggs has as its purpose to help you make your self image match the test results. If you think you are who you really are, you are more likely to be successful. Its purpose is not to actually change the person you are, but rather to get you to understand who that is.

As you go through the process of self-assessment to create your very own powerful 90-second announcement and resume that truly speaks to who you are, your best resource is to tap the honest opinions of those who actually have worked with you.

Yes, I know this is hard to do. Most people will tell you what you want to hear because they are afraid of hurting your feelings. If you assure them that you have a sense of self that they cannot destroy, perhaps they will “have at it” and give it to you with both barrels.

Trust me, you need it.

With careers spanning 20+ plus years, it is not that you are set in your ways and cannot change, it is more that you have developed a winning style that needs to be communicated as the “real” you.

This is what you have to sell. This is the product. I wish you luck in causing it to “fly off the shelves.” (Too bad there is only one of you.)

Regards, Matt

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