10 Ways to Brand You

Wednesday, December 19th, 2012

Photo by Ben Amstutz

When a ranch brands a cow, they craft an iron as an identifying symbol. The ranchers dip the iron in fire and scorch it into the hinds of their cattle, staking their claim, letting the world know this excellent batch of heifers belongs to them. They are making a statement.

Fortunately, personal and professional branding doesn’t have to involve scorching skin. What it needs is a little styling instead, and that means more than just having a cool logo or dressing nice.

Your brand is all about identity–who you are, how you express it and share it with others–and it’s crucial to personal and professional success. Essentially, a brand is how others perceive you or your company so you want to make sure your brand is expressing what you want it to.

The Chamber’s Capitol Club gained some insight on personal and professional style and branding this morning from Molly Mazzolini of Infinite Scale. She shared a countdown of 10 ways you can craft and hone skills to brand yourself or your business.

10.  Be consistent. This includes the style, or the look and feel, of all of your presentational efforts.

9.  Customize it. Make it personal in every communication or collaboration you have. Hand written notes are a perfect way to do this, either as a “thank you” or “nice to meet you” gesture. Hand written notes are also a great tool for connecting personally and professionally.

8.  Be succinct. Short, sweet and simple.

7.  Go digital. Even if you’re not tweeting or Facebooking yourself, having that profile up and following people can help. If you’re more active online, embrace your presence and interact with others. It’s the new frontier!

6.  Thank you! Share your gratitude to everyone who helps, supports or simply opens the door for you. Being gracious is a good way to get and keep friends, colleagues and supporters on your side. And it’s good manners.

5.  Show and tell your process. People like knowing the story behind you, your business and its brand. Share it!

4.  Spell check. Everything you write or post online should not only be spell checked, but also checked for context (like their vs. there, your and you’re–spell check can’t catch those) as pointed out by Ted McAleer of USTAR.

3.  Research. Get to know your supporters, a prospective company and other people. Become acquainted with more ways you can help people and how to extend your brand.

2.  Passion play.  ”Be passionate about your work, who you are and what you do,” said Mazzolini. If you lack that passion, no one will care because you don’t.

1. Be you! Staying true to yourself in everything is the most authentic way to extend your style/brand–from clothing to appearance to professionalism. No one else can be you or your company, so it’s up to you retain that authenticity.

Executive Vice President of the Salt Lake Chamber Natalie Gochnour also suggested that you constantly reinvent yourself or else you risk becoming stagnant. The worlds of business, technology and interaction are constantly evolving, and so should you. Branding is also about staying relevant in a progressive climate.

A big thank you to Nordstrom at City Creek and Sixth and Pine for hosting the Capitol Club meeting this month.

Utah Economic Council weighs in on post-election economy, fiscal cliff

Wednesday, November 14th, 2012

With the threat of running off the fiscal cliff by the end of the year becoming more of a possibility with each passing day, members of the Utah Economic Council expressed cautious optimism Congress would at least keep the worst case scenario from becoming reality.

At a meeting of the Salt Lake Chamber Capitol Club, Kelley Matthews, a retired economist from Wells Fargo says he believes, “both sides are serious when they say that we will not actually hit the fiscal cliff,” but he also dismissed the suggestion that any significant, difficult choices will be made soon. “It won’t be an immediate, drastic cut. It will be gradual. The bigger question is will anything they do or propose create jobs?”

Matthews says he is of the opinion the 2013 economy will be “less robust than 2012.”

Darin Mellott, a senior research analyst with CBRE says, despite the elections returning the same group of leaders to the nation’s capital, there is reason to expect a change in the way they get along.

“We have the same fiscal situation and same set of players, but have the incentives for those players changed? Probably,” he said. “Will those players overplay their hand? Probably. But there are issues to resolve by the end of the year and bigger issues coming in mid-February. That’s the hard deadline.”

The so-called fiscal cliff includes expiration of the Bush tax cuts ($281 billion), the Obama payroll tax cuts ($115 billion), changes to the alternative minimum tax ($120 billion), the end of emergency unemployment insurance ($40 billion) and other tweaks slated to happen by the end of this year. The can kicked down the road during the last debt ceiling showdown hits in January 2013, when automatic budget sequestration kicks in ($100 billion in first year). At the time, sequestration was designed to be the motivator to get a bigger deal done—it includes pain for both parties.

Giving both parties a reason to make a deal is a step in the right direction. Alan Westenskow of Zions Public Finance believes the long-term solution will require a smart, balanced approach.

“There has been this feeling that we can grow ourselves out of our problems,” says Westenskow. “Greece thought the same thing—that growth will save them. It didn’t.”

“The GOP will be more moderate because they no longer have the motivation to try to make President Obama unelectable,” says Steve Kroes, president of Utah Foundation. “Good things will happen because this election didn’t go the way that obstructionists wanted it to go.”

“How you fix it depends on your politics,” says Mellott. “You want gradual austerity. This is a political crisis as much as anything else. We have $2 trillion locked-up in corporate balance sheets, but until there is some predictability in the economy it’s not going to move.”

Former Chamber chair shares lessons learned along the way with Capitol Club

Saturday, September 22nd, 2012

 ”Your life is as rich as the number of people you know.”

That’s just one token of wisdom Dave Golden, executive vice president and manager of Wells Fargo Commercial Banking’s Mountain Division and immediate past chair of the Salt Lake Chamber Board of Governors, shared at the Capitol Club meeting Thursday morning. Golden shared ten lessons he’s learned through his career that would be helpful for the group of executives.

Golden shared with the group his work history: he started in 1980 during a recession and managed to slip into First Security before a hiring freeze went into place. While saying every day is a new day, Golden says over the years, he’s learned many lessons in how to succeed in business.

Here are ten things Dave Golden has learned along the way:

1-   ”If you don’t know anything about accounting, you should,” Golden says. People in business need fundamental accounting, including how to read a balance sheet. Accounting is the language of business. Golden says it’s worth taking an online class or college course in accounting, no matter what industry you end up working in. Those who really have a handle on their finances tend to be most successful.

2-   Build your network. Interacting face-to-face is critical in today’s world. Golden encouraged everyone not to be a “distant manager” and to interact with everyone at each different level of a company.

“You have to know people and look them in the eye,” says Golden.

That relationship is important, both with clients and colleagues. Carry your business card with you and set a goal–how many people will you connect with in a month? Three months? A year? Or even better, get involved on a committee, board or other group that helps the business community. Doing this can help build your network, and once you have that network, cultivate it, check in with your connections, see how they are and how you can help them beyond that first meeting.

“The thirty minutes before and after an event are infinitely more important than the event,” Golden says, emphasizing the need to interact with others during that time.

3-   Compete hard, but with class. Golden told the story of one of his “biggest rushes” from his youth: his dad charging into his bedroom telling him to “grab my gun.” Golden’s family raised sheep; dogs and wolves would attack the sheep and threaten the family’s livelihoods, which were in the sheep. “I always viewed them as the competition,” Golden says. He learned to compete hard because your competition is always right over your shoulder. Everyone is working to be better at something than someone else.

“That’s our system. That is capitalism.” So get strategic, push yourself to be better and maintain your professional edge.

4-   Hire exceptional people. Without exceptional employees, you won’t achieve exceptional results. “Average performance isn’t going to fly for everyone,” Golden says. When you find that talent, hold onto it, cultivate it however you can. But also know that, sometimes, the best people aren’t always working for you.

5-   Get good at delivering bad news. The ability to convey bad news without damaging a relationship makes you very valuable. Bad news has to be delivered from time to time. So smooth it over the best that you can, and introduce enough counter balance so it turns out okay.

6-   Keep your eye on technology. Don’t lose track of where technology is. It will leave you in the dust faster than you can imagine if you don’t get on board and hold on. It is going to keep moving. Golden says it’s fascinating to see the competitive difference between companies that adapt with the right technologies. “You have to be smart on the new things—because you might go the wrong way.”

7-   Find the balance between technical and people skills. You need both. You need that personality. You need the credibility that comes from knowing what you’re doing. Wherever you lack, add strength so there is a balance where you can better move forward in your career.

8-   Affect change instead of reacting to change. ”We like comfort; human beings like the status quo,” says Golden. “It’s human nature that when someone throws something else on the table, it shifts the paradigm.” Instead of avoiding changes, get on board and make the change work with what you have. If you don’t it may hold you back. Be flexible and look at it as a new window of opportunity. It may be hard, but those are the times where you learn the most.

9-   Ask for help if you need it. Don’t think you have to do everything yourself; use your network. ”Think to yourself, ‘who can help out here?’ Don’t be afraid get help when you need it.” Recognize when you’re getting in too deep. In fact, you’ll be regarded more highly if you get help. Golden says there is no shame in asking for help in the business world.

10-   Give back. The business community provides you with a job to build your lifestyle. The strength of the business community is so important to the future and it relies on everyone. Do something in the community to help. Golden says giving back is “not just donations, but time and investment in helping promote business, to help it thrive and grow.”

Golden says the apathy many people have fallen into over the past couple of decades won’t cut it—we should be involved and encourage others to be so as well. And of course, Golden threw out the fact that while you’re helping give back, you can build your network.

The tips Golden shared largely revolve around how getting to know people and recognizing how everyone can contribute as the main ways to succeed in today’s business climate.

To learn more about the Capitol Club, CLICK HERE.

Capitol Club expanding scope

Wednesday, January 4th, 2012

Just announced, the Salt Lake Chamber is expanding the scope of the Capitol Club and we’ve named the 2012 chair and vice chair for the program.

Launched in 2010, the Capitol Club is comprised of Utah business leaders with a keen interest in policy issues affecting the business community. Members engage top policy and business leaders to gain insight on the most pressing issues impacting the community. This year, events will also include an emphasis on sharing business and career development expertise.

Aaron Call, regional vice president of G&A Partners, will serve as the 2012 chair of the Capitol Club. G&A Partners is a licensed professional employer organization and human resources outsourcing provider. Call has been a member of the Capitol Club since its inception. He takes over for outgoing chair Anne Marie Gunther of Vivint.

“As a member of the Capitol Club, you can’t beat the access you get to the key decision makers in our state,” said Call. “With an increased emphasis this year on career development and counsel from the top business leaders in the state, we will provide an even greater value for our membership. I’m very excited about the opportunity to be a part of it.”

Call will serve a one-year term as the chair of the Capitol Club. Angie Welling, director of public relations at Love Communications, will serve as vice chair. Welling previously served as director of communications to Gov. Gary R. Herbert.

“There is a real value to this type of setting with the business leaders who are key decision makers and run businesses in our state,” said Welling. “Capitol Club members are able to build relationships while gaining a stronger understanding of the issues that impact our economy, which is a true benefit for members and for the community long-term.”

Capitol Club membership is available by invitation of the chair. Members pay an annual fee. For additional membership information, contact us at 801.364.3641.

Justice Lee champions civility in Capitol Club meeting

Wednesday, November 16th, 2011

The Capitol Club got a lesson in civility from Utah Supreme Court Justice, Thomas Lee. Today’s Capitol Club meeting was hosted by Ray Quinney & Nebeker.

Justice Lee shared his feelings on the importance of civility in public debate, in government and in law.

Justice Lee pointed out failures to maintain civility on both sides of the political isle. He encouraged Capitol Club members to adopt a habit of civility in their professional lives.

Justice Lee says there are three root causes of our civility problem:

1. Anatomical or chemical
He says we are wired to respond to acts we perceive as threats or attacks with incivility. ”We are committed to civility in the cool comfort of our living room but we lose that commitment in the heat of the dispute.”

2.  Civility does not mean concession
Civility is pushed on us as something we must embrace at the expense of good debate. Justice Lee says that is civility in a caricature. Acting in a civil manner does not prohibit intelligent, passionate debate.

3. The affect of incivility on the listener
Since becoming a judge, Justice Lee says he has noticed how the bombastic, Rambo-like arguments from many lawyers, hurt their ability to be an effective advocate. He says the message gets lost because the listener begins to wonder why it is being presented in such an aggressive manner.

Having identified the three roots, Justice Lee pointed out remedies to the problem. He says we need to educate advocates that it is misguided to believe the argument is better when you use inflammatory language. He also says we need to debunk the misconception of civility—it is better to use civil tones and tactics than to simply attack. Disagreements can be debated on merit, not on volume.

He says we need to surround ourselves with models of civility. Everyone has these people in the workplace: those who will not be taken off point, never engaging in name calling, never questioning motives.

“If we consciously seek to pattern ourselves after their behavior, we can change the way we react. We can gradually move ourselves in the right direction.”

Capitol Club gets tips on organizational change

Tuesday, November 1st, 2011

Leading an organization through change was the hot topic at this morning’s Capitol Club meeting, held at the Vivint headquarters in Orem.

Utah Valley University President Matthew Holland (pictured, right), who leads the largest public institute of higher learning in the state–and one of the fastest growing in the nation–shared his insight on the role leadership plays in change.

Holland says every organization creates culture to some degree. He says change management is about culture management.

“Leaders make mistakes by paying too little attention to process and pace,” said Pres. Holland.

Vivnt CEO Todd Pedersen added that innovation and evolution are key to the survival and success of any organization.

“We know if we don’t look completely different in five years, we won’t likely be in business,” said Pedersen.

Both leaders addressed the issue of balancing the need for input from the team and charting the course for the organization. Both say you have to listen and take input, but ultimately the decisions rests with the leader to move the organization forward.

The Salt Lake Chamber Capitol Club is composed of business leaders with a keen interest in policy issues affecting Utah’s business community. The Capitol Club meets monthly to engage with policy and business leaders regarding the most pressing policy issues of the day.

Mayor Becker meets with Capitol Club

Wednesday, October 26th, 2011

Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker fielded questions from the Salt Lake Chamber Capitol Club this morning.

Mayor Becker is campaigning for a second term in office. He discusses everything from the Occupy Salt Lake movement to the city’s non-discrimination ordinance to his plans for the next four years should he win re-election.

The mayor said this is the biggest time of change in our city since the valley was originally settled.

“I meet with other mayors from around the country quite often and I’m almost emberassed to talk about SLC and what’s going on here,” said Becker. “There is so much positive news in our city, it’s a stark contrast to the rest of the country.”

Mayor Becker fielded a question about the city’s handling of the Occupy Salt Lake City protests. He praised the Salt Lake City Police Department for its calm approach. He said Occupy Salt Lake City is certainly costing us more for police protection but, “that’s the price of protecting free speech.”

Becker also answered questions regarding the non-discrimination ordinance. He said the support of so many in the community, including The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was key to it’s passing and to what he called the, “seamless transition.”

Looking ahead, economic development throughout the city and energy conservation will be a priority. Education is another issue he would like to take on.

Becker says his plans are still in the early stages but he did mention the need to better utilize technology and measuring achievement.

“Education is a great economic development tool,” said Becker.

Utes A.D. discusses Pac-12 opener with Capitol Club

Wednesday, September 28th, 2011

Three days before the University of Utah hosts its first Pac-12 football game, Utes Athletics Director Chris Hill visited the Salt Lake Chamber Capitol Club to discuss the opportunities that come to our community thanks to the move.

Hill says the opportunities for the state that reach far beyond the five conference football games.

“For better or for worse, the athletics program is the first impression people have of the university,” said Hill. “We want the economic development. We want this to be a boost to the economy.”

The U is going to great lengths to make fans and alumni feel welcome in Salt Lake City. He says even parking attendants have been trained to welcome guests with a smile.

“We are a whole different deal than we were a year ago,” said Hill “We’re jumping from non-BCS to a BCS conference. It is essential that our experience begins with the airport, and continues to the parking lot and into the game.”

Part of the new experience is to make a Utes game more than just three hours at the stadium. Hill’s off-field team is working with the business community to make a Utah game a 48-hour experience. Programs like Paint the Town Red encourage downtown businesses to decorate their buildings in red during home game weeks, and UNight, a program that brings local business leader together with influential alumni from fellow Pac-12 schools, are both part of the Red Movement.

“This is an opportunity to align ourselves with Seattle, Phoenix and Los Angeles,” said Hill. “We were associated with Colorado Springs, Albuquerque and Wyoming. We want to make the most out of this new opportunity.”

Hill also discussed some of the challenges his athletics department faces. The Utes have the smallest budget in Pac-12, just $4 million compared to $13 million for a school like the University of California at Berkley. He says to compete, every resource has to be used to the fullest.

“We’ll never have USC money, but we are out raising money,” he says. “When you move up a step, things cost you more.”

Hill says the Pac-12 is impressed with Utah, but both the conference and the Utes know they have “a lot of work to do.”

For now, that doesn’t mean expansion of the stadium. Some Pac-12 schools are actually planning to reduce their seating capacity. Hill says there will be improvements to the football facilities, specifically a media center to accommodate national broadcast requests and an updated sports medicine facility.

TV money will be a big boost to the Utes. The new Pac-12 TV deal kicks in next year and jumps the Utes’ take from $1.2 million last year in the Mountain West Conference to $15 million by the fourth year of the new deal.

Hill will gladly take the money, but the real benefit comes in notoriety.

“This is a boost to student and faculty recruitment,” he says.

Hill also discussed the international element of the move. To compete in some sports, the Utes will have to recruit from other countries. He believes the Utes and the Pac-12 will have a significant presence outside the U.S., specifically in the Pacific Rim.

Chamber Board Chair discusses, “Things I’ve Learned Along the Way.”

Friday, August 12th, 2011

At the Capitol Club meeting held at Vivint in Provo this morning, we heard remarks from David Golden, he’s the chairman of the Salt Lake Chamber Board of Governors and, for his day job, he’s the Executive Vice President and Manager of Wells Fargo Commercial Banking’s Mountain Division.

He discussed the importance of embracing change, including technological advancements, as well as never being afraid to ask for help, competing with class and building a strong network.

His complete comments can be heard in the podcast below or on iTunes.

PODCAST: David Golden Capitol Club

Caucus system insight

Wednesday, August 3rd, 2011

The Salt Lake Chamber Capitol Club learned from some experts on the Utah caucus system at the annual retreat held today at Workers Compensation Fund.

We got some great information at the Captiol Club retreat this morning. LaVarr Webb, partner at the Exoro Group, Kirk Jowers, director of the Hinckley Institute of Politics and Senator Pat Jones provided shared some important insight on candidate selection and elections in our state.

The big takeaway? Increasing participation across the state is key to making the system work the way it is designed to work.

Webb and Jowers sat down to discuss the caucus system. Here’s the link to the podcast. You can also find it on iTunes. We encourage you to subscribe to our channel for more great insight from Utah business and community leaders.

Capitol Club Podcast-Caucus