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Friday, December 12, 2008

Ron Gettelfinger...

... is he the UAW's Last Samurai ?
by David Bookout

From a Personal Brand building perspective it is always helpful to get outside of yourself. So, as I tuned to MSNBC early this morning I was presented with a swirl of information, and wondered how might this be valuable to you? First, came the story of the return of Tom Cruise, a familiar personal brand. Tom's movies have grossed an incredible $1.5B. Then came a lengthy segment on the Auto Industry Bail Out. ( Forcing two, completely random thoughts in my brain to collide - The auto industry and Hollywood have been holding hands for years. Perhaps, THEY should get more serious about their relationship, and work together to save the U.S. Auto Industry? ) The segment featured UAW President, Ron Gettelfinger, who, compared to Tom, has a much less familiar Personal Brand, but maybe not for long.

Then I wonder - What if Ron took a few tips from Tom? If you've watched The Last Samurai you know that Tom takes an incredible beating, more than once, and survives. Ron may not be so lucky. As UAW President, elected to his second term on June 14, 2006, I'm sure Ron, in his wildest dreams, didn't imagine that he would ever be in the position he's in right now. Getting a few Samurai lessons from Tom might not be a bad idea. Even if Ron submitted to a few whacks with a big stick it might be less painful than his next press conference.

Don't get me wrong, I don't even know Ron, and certainly wish him no harm, or ill will. But, I can certainly argue that Ron Gettelfinger is in the midst of THE Personal Brand challenge of his life ! For example:

What would you do if you were Ron ?

What would you be concerned about if you were Ron ?

Would you be concerned about the potential brand damaging personal attacks on your integrity, your sincerity, your motives, your competence ?

Would you be concerned for the people you lead ?

Would you maintain clarity relative to the "real customer" in this process ?

What can you learn from Ron as it relates to building your own Personal Brand ?

Regardless, Ron faces the kind of challenge that we might all agree that we would look back on before we pass on, and think either: (a) What a mess and what the heck did I do to deserve that !?, or (b) I'm proud of who I am, what I did, and I'd do the same thing all over again. Perhaps, only Ron will know.

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The article "Ron Gettelfinger...", the subtitle "...is he the UAW's Last Samurai ?" and contents herein, unless otherwise specified in writing - by Effetti, Inc. are ALSO licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available by contacting the author through Effetti, Inc. http://www.effettigrowth.com/about-contact.php.

The photo of Ron Gettelfinger may be © Copyright to Ron Gettelfinger, and / or the UAW. Image obtained @ UAW.org.

The Tom Cruise Last Samurai image is © 2003 Warner Brothers. All rights reserved. Image obtained @ IMDB.com.

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