Finding your own sound

“Sometimes it takes a long time to sound like yourself” Miles Davis.

Building a brand that stands out from the crowd often takes time. In the startup world which often resembles a game of snakes and ladders with companies that are on top suddenly slipping down to the bottom of the board and others racing ahead, the buzzword is ‘pivoting’. The ones who make it through the ups and downs are often those who eventually find their unique voice. They find a big enough problem to solve and they do it in a novel way.

Around this core offering a brand emerges. Experts in communication can help shape and sharpen a brand proposition and make it appealing and engaging for different audiences. This process takes time, and like the wonderful jazz that Miles Davis gifted the world, the brand too can become part of world culture in a good way. Constantly evolving while remaining true to the core seems to be the key. As a Jazz trumpeter, he also became a bandleader and composer and built a career that covered about 5 decades, creating fans around the world.

This quest to find one’s unique voice holds as true for people as it does for brands. In my search for my own unique persona, the key has also been to find out what is my music and what is my instrument. The buzzword for this is finding my ‘authentic self’ and then having the courage to dance to that tune.

A big part of finding oneself is about tuning into one’s intuition. Self-aware leaders often talk about it as a superpower in the workplace. Listen to your intuition it is leading you as a guide would. I often call it my “spidey sense” telling me which way to go and what to watch out for.

However, it is imperative to distinguish between intuition and conditioned responses. Sometimes past trauma sounds like intuition, but it is often misleading you. Be guided by the current reality not past default settings. You have the option to choose a new response. This ability to sense the options and find a way forward is much alike the improvisation that jazz musicians master.

In both cases, brands and people that stand out and endure the test of time are those that find their unique voice. As Miles Davis pointed out, “Sometimes it takes a long time to sound like yourself”. If you have found your unique sound and instrument, play on, if not keep searching, your voice and your music matter.

The views and opinions published here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the publisher.

Nikhil Dey
Nikhil Dey is Executive Director, Adfactors PR.

A trusted coaching and communications professional, Nikhil Dey is a certified life and leadership coach (International Coach Federation - ICF). Nurturing talent and helping clients achieve their goals is what makes him happy. He loves learning from students of communication, teaching courses and guest lecturing at various educational institutions. When he is not working you will find him on the tennis court or out for long walks with his family and four legged friends.

Previously he has held senior leadership positions at Weber Shandwick and Genesis BCW.

He can be reached on twitter @deydreaming

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