Lleida, 11 November 2016, 9Morning h of a cool and unusually sunny day in the autumns of the area.
Before us, an imposing Templar castle. Gardeny Castle is a monumental complex located on top of Gardeny Hill, one of the two hills of the city of Lleida. It was raised during the second half of the twelfth century, by the Order of the Temple.
Rehearsals and preparations continued, that started the day before, to celebrate the 2nd edition of the TEDx Lleida 2016. Nerves, people running back and forth, Electricians, sound technicians, cameras, catering managers, volunteers...
If you're short on time, I explain it to you in 1 minute.
Ricard Pons, speaker curator at TEDx Lleida and good friend, he had invited me to give a TEDx talk, about two months before the event. Believe it or not, I initially rejected going because of scheduling issues. Two good friends, when they knew, they called me crazy... How are you going to miss this opportunity??
I thought and thought... What the hell am I going to tell that I may be of interest in a TEDx?
At last, I managed to postpone the presentation I had scheduled for that day, The 11 November, and took a look at some of the most popular TED talks:
Rene Brown, "The Power of Vulnerability", Sir Ken Robinson "Why Schools Kill Creativity?", Amy Cudy "Your body language can explain who you are", David Christian "The history of our world in 18 Minutes", and some more.
I got scared, the level was unattainable for me. So I decided to expand my vision to some of the TEDx talks that had been held around me.. I was encouraged, I thought maybe I had a story to tell, and that that story could help someone, transform certain ways of thinking.
Contact Ricard. I didn't know if I had time to regret my rejection and accept. I was lucky, the square was still there.
A two-month period of certain nerves began, why deceive you. It wasn't just the thing to say, but something very important, who I wanted to reach and how to do it.
As I already told in the article And you, you have already discovered your super-powers?, a few days after the video of my talk was published, what helped me face fear was having a purpose.. Yes, as difficult and as simple as that.
"Helping to draw futures" is the phrase that sums up my purpose, and became the backbone of my TEDx talk. I was very helped to manage the scrutinization and non-verbal language the coach specialized in conferences Terry Mclean.
Before my talk, it was quim Vilamajó's turn, a crack with the super-capabilities of those with Down syndrome, who delivered the title talk "I am able", which you can translate as "I am capable" or as "I am kind". The level was very high. Quim and I were nervous together watching the rest of the talks.
When it was my turn, Quim wanted me luck. But Quim did something else.. Within seconds of starting my talk, titled "Small Data: the power of people", I asked the audience, "Who among you think has super-powers."? What happened was very nice, I'd rather you see it.
Now you can "read" the TEDx Lleida talk
Now, on the occasion of the 5th anniversary of that talk "Small Data": the power of people", I celebrate it with this written transcript in this personal space that is my blog. Here I leave it:
Small Data: The power of people
I wanted to ask you, First of all, Do you think companies are people?
(Some hands are raised) Not bad, Not bad, we're doing well!!
Second question… Do you think that people may not be fully exploited within companies? (All hands are raised) Jo…. absolute unanimity.
And third: Do you think you have superpowers?? (a single hand is raised and a loud applause is generated towards its author).
Not bad, my intention is that at the end of this small talk you all raise your hand with this last question. I agree? that you are very aware that you all have superpowers.
Well, I'm going to start with a date, a date that for me is very very special, which is the date of the 26 September 2000.
It is a date that may not tell you anything, but for me it's like the 23F of 1981 in Spain, or as the 11S of 2001 in Manhattan.
That day something incredible happened, bittersweet news. The best news of my life, which was the birth of my daughter Berta, and at the same time, the worst news I have ever received in my life, I was told that my wife would live two months. A tumor was detected during childbirth, terminal, and finally, there was very little to do.
That, Imagine, the blow that life gives you…. at that time I had 38 Years, was a senior executive of an advertising agency, that was going very well, worked about a few 15 hours a day, on average, Also, almost every weekend, and I'm not ashamed to say that my life sucked... real shit.
What happened then is that my scale of values was centered., especially, in two words that are the ones that stand out the most: work and success. Success in my work, and I don't know if you notice but…. very small you see two words that put friends and family. That is , it's not that they weren't important to me., but there were others much more important.
And all of a sudden, after this news, as you can imagine, that was reversed, I agree, I started to spend a lot more time, as is logical and reasonable to my family, and also to my friends, and take a walk in the park, and read, and to discover people who would enrich me.
This was the case during, Approximately, four years, that I decided to work half the time, that it is also not bad to work half of 15 Hours, but never again dedicate a weekend to work, but dedicate it to my family.
And so came the inevitable, dismissal.
I got fired.. I was a partner in the company, but the other partner (majority) decided that I was no longer a profitable person. To work 15 hours a day, and many weekends, Get to work 7-8 daily hours and not working weekends, I wasn't a profitable guy, therefore I went to the street.
From this moment on, Well, you have two options: Well…. sign up for unemployment and all this, or what I finally did: undertake.
Is anyone in the room an entrepreneur?? (half of the hands are raised) Quite a few huh? Hey, well, first thing, Please, an applause, Because…. because you have to have them (cojones) and big.
Notice… No, not really, There's 64 qualities or skills necessary to be an entrepreneur, And, For example, Only 8 are needed to work in accounting, without detracting anything from the accountants, therefore, really, it's a challenge. If above, as it happened to me, suddenly you change sectors, I radically changed sectors, I went from advertising to what I'm going to tell you now, because it still becomes more challenging.
What was very clear to me, was that with my new scale of values, I could never work in an advertising agency again. It was falling into a spider's web, which was to go back to work again, more work, more work, and success, success and work.
So, I decided to dedicate myself to what I like most in the world, what people are. And I started working on strategy and personal communication.. I alternated that with some food work., advertising things that were falling on me in order to survive. But the truth is that I did well, I can't complain. I did well. One client took me to another, and another and another and another and another and good… the truth is that I could not complain.
Two years after doing this, and to be relatively happy with this whole process, a friend of mine, American, Linda Reichard: what you're doing is called Personal Branding, And I… how? personal what?, Personal Branding. I hadn't heard it in my life., but imagine, you're working on something you still don't know what it's called, that is, unheard.
Well, then I started documenting myself, who were the referents, where they were, what they did, who stopped saying, how they did it, I started going to talks, Conferences , Everything. Read books, and so on, and it was about a few years later, In 2010, when I was already able to organize a company specialized in this, a bit serious.
And I joined with my current partner Jordi Collell, an economist and coach, and we created a specialized consultancy. We started working with doctors, Engineers, Lawyers, Architects, Anyway, all kinds of profiles: Entrepreneurs, managers, unemployed people also, all profiles. The truth is that it went very well. That helped me, to redefine my vision, and I re-defined it like this: Help define futures.
It is a piece of advice that I give you, the day you can, even if it is not easy to try to define a vision, a purpose, A…. how I would like to be remembered. That, helping to draw futures, I also worked on it in a metaphorical plan, and if someone likes twitter, in my twitter profile I have translated it as…. as the shoeshyper of the XXI century, who likes to help people shine. It's a bit of a metaphorical idea.
And everything seemed to be going well., However, it is true that companies were reluctant to enter a little into this history of Personal Branding. Maybe that's why the word personal, or whatever it was, but with companies there was no way. We understood that there was a trust problem, and we find out why: Companies don't connect.
And then, what we found out through a study called Edelman, which is published every year in the US on a very broad basis, 33.000 Interviews, which also include Spain. What we saw is, For example, in the media, instead of relying on traditional media such as the press, like television, like radio, and so on, the ones we trust the most is online search engines. Has fabric the theme, doesn't it?
And in those who less, Less, Less, Less, those below, Like this, down, we rely on the companies' own resources. The website, the catalogue, and so on, and so on. Ok ….. therefore there really is a problem here, a trust issue. Other information, last, that I present to you of this study, what kind of profiles people trust? who we trust the most is technical and academic profiles, especially, and in people like us.
Does anyone know TripAdvisor? I think so, right?? Why do we like TripAdvisor? Because who issues the opinion, not the hotel, not the restaurant, you are not the business owner, but the people who have had an experience for the business, people like us. Ok. And that's a point that gave us a little bit of thought.
What's going on? How can we enter into this dynamic?? And that's when we chose the phrase… by Wiliam Arruda, That says, something like, your people are your brand. It says it in English that it is cooler, "Your people are you Brand" . Arruda is a guru of Personal Branding, American.
Things that can help demonstrate this idea that when people go together with brands everything works better., For example, you have them here.
Here we have three numbers. They don't mean anything like that loose., but notice: when in an organization, in a company, in an institution, in whatever, the professionals who work in it, share corporate messages, you can reach a scope or a coverage, 6 times higher, than that of the company itself. Ok, 6 times higher. Ok… and this is important, especially if there are entrepreneurs around here, I know there are any.
Second fact. The 82% of consumers trust a company whose president, whose boss, whose CEO, is present in social networks. And when I say it is present, it's not that you have a profile, but have it a little active, hey, and third, parallel to it, that we are willing to buy more products and services in companies whose captain is present in social networks.
At least it gives you to think. All this gives a little thought, in the sense that if… if we, if we, if a company is able to understand that its people are its brand, your market is going to be a little bigger. Then, then we'll see how.
What happens to us, and here we have three cases of CEOS, (Jeff Bezos shown, Mark of Quintus and Richard Branson) that are very present in social networks, surely you know someone, but now I will remind you. What happens when these people communicate with others?? because they are like us. They come down from the pedestal, and at that time, Mr. Jeff Bezos or Mr. Marcos de Quinto, of Coca-Cola, or Mr. Richard Branson, become people like us. We are at the same level. We can talk about you to you, we can answer, we can make a like, we can criticize, we can do anything.
We share values, we share vulnerabilities. These people show themselves as people and not as brands… Corporate, I agree…. and this is an important thing, this is something that greatly improves confidence in companies. Humanizing, putting people in front. Whether they are CEOs or non-CEOs, it doesn't matter too much, hey… and this is a pretty key element.
Not bad, here we have… I would like to do a little exercise, very fast, with you. Imagine that you are human resources managers of a company, and you have to make a decision about whether we choose the lord on the right, or the lady on the left (two people of similar appearance).
What is the case?? Both are telecommunications engineers, and have graduated in the same year, and at the same university. The two have studied a Master's degree related to business management, both speak impeccable English. Uf… It's hard not to?
It's complicated, But… Rummaging, Rummaging, we see that she, she, have a profile on Instagram, in which she appears helping children at risk, or social exclusion, in an NGO programme. Let him look at you and ask you, you are the bosses, who do you stay with??
Me too. Why does this happen?? Is it a matter of hobbies or hobbies working very well?? No. It is because it transmits values. A person working for an NGO is telling us, at that very moment, who cares about solidarity, who cares about empathy, who cares about helping others. So, you're adding much richer information to your resume, I agree? This person is showing that they have Superpowers, and Superpowers it is nothing but values, and therefore we have to be very aware of this whole journey. Values look for values.
Here is a market and there is a company. That company uses social media to reach the market.?, well, this one you see here, an important portion, But, well… improvable.
Next case: we see that the people who work in that company, share that company's information on their own personal networks accordingly? where we arrived? to a much wider market.
Why? Because we, through our values, we build trust. It's the same case with TripAdvisor, Yes?. So, it is not a dilemma between people or companies, is companies and people, and who wins are both.
That idea that.. No… if I promote my employees, I'm going to go. Well… if you do not promote them they will stay, and it's going to be worse for you. Of course, it's like that. Hey… therefore, they win, not only do the company win, and people, but the market wins, and this is important, to be taken into account.
I coined a formula a few years ago that, is very clear: corporate branding plus personal branding, is the total branding, Full, is the branding of milk…. Ok, we are already there at an important point.
And, before finishing, I am obliged to explain the outcome of a small personal story.
(Photos of Berta and Maria shown). Here, To the right, you have Berta, My daughter. Has 16 years just completed. And I can tell you that it is a gift of… in the end, a gift, a gift from God, and on the left you have Mary, My wife. It's a photo, it's done this week.
And despite the difficulties, I can tell you that the experience of this disease has been a gift, Because, I realize that when we, people, we are able to align what we feel, what we think, what we say and what we do, we are invincible, we have superpowers, and they are our values.
And I ask you again: Do any of you think you have Superpowers? (all hands are raised)
Stock Photos from Studio Fi / Shutterstock