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What’s Your Tagline?

By Michelle LaBrosse

With the explosion of social media, you’re hearing a lot about personal brands again. Now, Andy Warhol’s infamous 15 minutes of fame is a reality for anyone who can upload a video to YouTube or create a blog. However, as a project manager, when I think of personal brands, I like to think about it in terms of how people experience you. What do people think about you? What’s your reputation?

Since it’s the start of a new year, let’s turn those questions around. How do you want people to think of you? What do you want your tagline to be? If you think about what you want to accomplish this year, what is your mantra?

Think of a word or a tagline that will inspire you this year. Some people like the clarity of a single word like “simplify.”  Others get more inspired by a tagline like Nike’s famous Just Do It. My tagline for the year is “energize,” because I plan to wrap up my first round of energy self-sufficiency projects around the country as part of my Cheetah Power initiative.  I also need to keep my energy high for all the Cheetahs around the world who are practicing fast and fantastic Project Management.

In a survey conducted by taglineguru.com, here are their top taglines -- just to get your creative engines roaring.

1. Got Milk? (1993, California Milk Processor Board)

2. Don’t leave home without it. (1975: American Express)

3. Just do it. (1988: Nike)

4. Where’s the beef? (1984: Wendy’s)

6. Think different. (1998: Apple Computer)

7. We try harder. (1962: Avis )

8. Tastes great, less filling. (1974: Miller Lite)

9. Melts in your mouth, not in your hands. (1954: M&M Candies)

Once you have your tagline, here are some ways to bring it to life: Write your tagline down or create a simple graphic of it, and post it where you can see it. What we can visualize, we can make happen.

Think of 3-5 specific behaviors you need to model for your tagline to be experienced by others. For example, if your tagline is “simplify,” what are you going to do so people can experience you as someone who simplifies things? Are you going to create agendas and e-mail them at the start of a meeting? Are you going to come up with a new way for your team to collaborate online? Are you going to be a rallying cry and driver for getting rid of time-wasting tasks?

Build into your year four things (one for each quarter) that would be significant achievements underneath the mantle of your tagline. If “simplify” were my tagline, I might donate all the things I no longer use to the Salvation Army or a local charity. When you’re writing a project plan, ask yourself what you might include in your plan to show your tagline in motion.

Make it tangible and have fun with it: Your tagline is really a tangible way to motivate yourself to be the person and project manager you want to be. We all write resolutions, but the key is finding the way to motivate ourselves long after the ball drops. Try the tagline, and see how it works for you in 2010.

Read other articles and learn more about Michelle LaBrosse.

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