Here is the outline for a speech I am planning to give on Saturday to the Radio - Television student alumni association at Southern Illinois University.
The subject matter will focus on a concept I have followed throughout my own career that I call, Voice.
V is for voyage. Accept the fact that your career path is a journey and you have to prepare. It's critical that you have good travel companions along the way.
O is for opportunity. The message here is that opportunities come in direct proportion to the amount of effort we are willing to put forth to create them. It's important to understand the the effort may not have a direct bearing on the opportunity that arises. Rather, the effort itself will establish a foundation of contacts and reputation that will ultimately lead to opportunities down the road. This is the piece that many people fail the grasp. It's not the direct effort that produces the value. It's the byproduct of that effort that creates the buzz about who you are that gets leveraged through word of mouth to the right person who has an opportunity you would never have otherwise discovered.
I is for intellect. The concept here is life long learning. Absolutely crucial to success. We must constantly challenge ourselves to learn new things, continue our education, earn certifications and volunteer in our communities. The value is not what you can put on a resume. The value is internal. It gives you the confidence you need to challenge your own presumptions about what you can accomplish or what you value.
C is for Credibility. This concept speaks to our values and how we conduct ourselves in our lives and our profession. Authenticity is the greatest word in life. Be true to yourself. Integrity, Honor, Trust, Service, these are the pillars upon which the foundation of success derives.
E is for Excellence. Be prepared to compete at the highest possible level. It's not what anyone else measures that matters. It's how you measure yourself. Settle for nothing but your best effort. Always strive for a higher level of satisfaction.
Voice is another way of describing our own personal brand identities. It's a process of discovery that never ends. And you cannot define your brand in advance. It's the collection of personal experiences and accomplishments that are viewed and evaluated externally that determines your personal brand. The more we match our inner drive and passion with our actions, the more authentic or at peace we become to those around us which leads to a higher level of satisfaction in life.