The name’s Bond . . . James Bond: Connery, Moore or Brosnan, your pick as the best Bond tells a great deal about your personal brand
The question regarding who you’re favorite Bond (mine’s Sean Connery) may seem a bit superficial perhaps, even somewhat trite, but I bet that this isn’t the first time this query has been posed. However, beneath the veneer of a friendly Saturday afternoon debate over coffee at the local café, there is also a substantive aspect of the question as it relates to how one projects themselves to be credible.
Think about this for a moment, in that Connery – who was the first Bond, indelibly established the 007 persona in the audience’s minds. This made the task of those who followed even more daunting in that how does one go about putting different personalities into an “established brand” while still maintaining or meeting fan expectations.
This parallel can of course be applied to every area of life, especially business, in which there is an established expectation as to what is the perceived ideal or standard by which all others that follow will be compared or judged.
Very few of us can of course be the first in any field of endeavor, but knowing who you are and being your authentic self means that you can still be an original and distinguishable brand in much the same way that those who followed Connery in the role of Bond added their own unique persona to the character. Some did this better than others . . . sorry George Lazenby, but nonetheless the opportunity to emerge from the shadows of expectation into your own spotlight of success is up to you.
A good starting point is to ideally seek opportunities where you are not expected to be someone other than yourself. This is not always an easy task as demonstrated by the example of a number of executives with whom I have had the opportunity to work with. As is common with top level management, these high performance individuals are often called upon to stand before large audience to introduce a new business strategy or present their vision for their organization. They are told by those that advise them, to be enthusiastic, engaging and passionate when they speak. But acting like guru motivator Tony Robins doesn’t work, as corporate captaincy and possessing the dynamic personality of one of the best presenters in the world doesn’t necessarily go hand-in-hand. In fact, such an approach forces them to be someone other than who they are, and in many instances makes their interaction with the audience appear contrived and even lacklustre.
So, as an executive branding coach, I tell my clients to honor their authentic self but encourage them to step out of their comfort zone to standout and be noticed, but never at the expense of appearing fake and disingenuous. Enhancing style of delivery is a definite competitive advantage provided you tap into your personality, not your boss’ or anyone else.
Brosnan who, in my estimation played the Bond character closer to that of Connery’s Bond, still managed to add a dimension of his own and in the process brought a whole new generation of fans to the franchise that might otherwise not have been interested. Timothy Dalton’s portrayal of James Bond in his albeit shorter stint as the intrepid spy, unlike the characters before him, was not the stereotypical Bond womanizer but was instead for the most part monogamous in the areas of romance. This was reflective of the attitudes of the time and as a result was perhaps more appealing than the original version was two decades earlier.
There is an important lesson here pertaining to following your own path rather than being shortsighted and becoming a copy of someone else.
So here is the question . . . how can you in your own right, be big on stage or in life without giving up your true personality? After all, choosing to trail blaze your own path is not always going to fly well with those around you, even though it will ensure that you will get noticed because no one can be you better than you.
The answer is pretty straight forward, and to take a phrase from another great Englishman (okay Connery is Scottish and Brosnan is Irish, but Bond was English), “unto thyself be true” and you too will become memorable.
By the way,enjoy the short video clips and remember to cast your vote in our poll for your favorite James Bond: