Kerry Tate on Personal Branding

kerry tate.jpgKerry Tate recalls what began as a chance encounter with Ann Richards at a downtown Austin eatery. The former governor instructed the PR powerhouse to sit down, and proceeded to explain her “list.” This was a list of five things that were core to her position and brand. Her strict policy? If a request or opportunity didn’t meet at least four of those five criteria, the answer was ‘No.’

Richards then leaned across the table and asked, “What’s yer five?”

Her warning was grave: “If you don’t get this right, you’re gonna live someone else’s life.”

For Tate, renowned former head of public relations and public affairs firm TateAustinHahn, personal branding is nothing less than defining your authentic self. At her talk on Friday, a fundraiser for GENaustin (Girls Empowerment Network), she focused less on the commercial origin of the term and more on her connection with its spiritual dimension.

She used words like “vocation,” “grace,” and “sacrament.”

And she urged the overflow audience to “sit, stay, and inquire within.”

More specifically, she invited us to consider the following three questions. You could use any one of them as a meditation for your next 15 minutes of nothing, or as a writing prompt:

1. What love brought you into your work in the first place?

2. What must you embrace about your identity as though your whole life depended upon it?

3. What love calls you to the next step of yourself and/or your work?

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