Aligning Your Brand with Your Personal Values Equals True Success

I can remember when I first saw the movie Wall Street, there is a poignant moment when Charlie Sheen’s character after earning all of his money, winning the beautiful girl and buying his new condo was shown staring out the window in the middle of the night asking himself  . . . “who am I.”

It was a powerful point in the film because after getting all that he had apparently wanted he didn’t know who he was, or for that matter for what he stood.

To an outsider looking in, Sheen’s character had arrived!  This young upstart was in the early stages of the apex of his success with nothing but greatness awaiting him.  Of course the character’s fatal flaw was that he had knowingly and willing compromised his personal values to achieve the success that now appeared to imprison him.  In the end it was the disconnect between his outward brand and his personal values that was his ultimate undoing, which showed itself in the form of a very public and embarrassing downfall.

Saddened by the news of Whitney Houston’s recent passing, I was again reminded of the above scene because of the difficulty in understanding how someone with such a special talent,  who was adored the world over,  could come to such a tragic end.  It would appear that what we saw and who she really was conflicted with each other.

I can only imagine how difficult it must be to live up to an outward facing image that doesn’t align with who you really are.  In the end, it just doesn’t work.

While perhaps not on the same scale of both celebrity as well as the tragedy of a life that was ended far too soon, how we align our values with our brand is nonetheless of equal importance as it determines our living legacy in the here and now.  What do I mean by living legacy?

First, creating a legacy requires a fundamental shift in the way we think about ourselves in relation to success.  This is not about being the fastest rat in the race or the one who knows how to play “the game” better than anyone else. This is about acknowledging and honoring who you really are and aligning your goals with the opportunity to feel satisfied with your daily contributions. When you operate from this platform of strength, not only will you improve your chances of success, but you also will greatly enhance the happiness you experience along the way.

Second, all the success you achieve will mean very little if your brand (your authentic self) and values are not aligning with the other.  Eventually and sometimes tragically, this disconnect between the two will come to the surface and when it does,  you will be faced with a legacy that no matter how great your prior accomplishments, they will pale beside the revealing light that will show you were not true to yourself.

In the case of Sheen’s Wall Street character, his moment of truth (or departure from truth) was when he was faced with Gekko’s ultimatum to do that which he knew was wrong or walk away, and he chose to turn his back on who he really was with the word’s “okay Mr. Gekko, you got me.”

Unlike the movies, life rarely provides us with such a moment of transitional clarity. Never having the privilege of meeting Whitney Houston, it’s hard to say when  she turned away from whom she was and whom she was meant to be,  given her amazing gift.  However she did turn away.  Sadly, and tragically, after she had died, Houston’s career and music experienced a renaissance that unfortunately she is not around to enjoy.  In this regard, the money and the posthumous fame are of little value to her family and those around the world who were so moved by her incredible voice and presence.

So what is the moral of the story?

If your brand truly reflects your personal values and aligns with your goals (not someone else’s vision of who and what you should be),  you will have created a magical harmony from within and will present a unified and sustaining image that will neither disappoint nor surprise but instead endure.  This is the ultimate legacy.


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10 responses to “Aligning Your Brand with Your Personal Values Equals True Success”

  1. Heather Loisel says :


    Thank you for your insightful comment. I think it takes a few gray hairs to figure out what you are talking about, and then the accomplishment of that alignment comes in small moments. Those are the times when the realization hits you – “Oh that’s why I’m here.”

    I couldn’t agree with you more.

    All the best,

  2. Yvonne Evans says :


    I love this piece on alignment. The high performance Zone where we are inspired, engaged, focused and energized can only be accessed via such an alignment.

    Of course, you know this Roz as your passion and your inspiration shine through with everything you do. You live in that Zone.


    • Richonda Pelzer says :


      You always have great insight and I grow a tad more with each article/newsletter.

      Heather/Yvonne, I agree with you both. A few gray hairs are necessary to realize it is best to follow your passion and not the crowd.


  3. Pamela says :

    I don’t think I found that alignment until I left the corporate world and set up my own business. Looking back, it’s so clear how the many unproductive tasks required by corporate life were draining my creativity, focus and energy. Having said that, 25 years in the corporate world gave me the experience and skills that enable me to be successful today. Perhaps the key is knowing when to shift.

  4. Mark Lange says :

    A terrific piece, Roz. Thank you.

  5. Michelle Gillies says :

    This is something I think of often. What is my legacy? Thank you for this wonderful post with the analogies included to ponder.

  6. Dawn Lang says :

    Your post is timely. Love your insight, as always.

  7. Sonia Boudreau says :

    Love this post – so, so true. Without our own conscious compass it’s too easy to head in a direction that causes internal stress.

    Enjoyed chatting at the Chigago HBA event.

    Take Care.

  8. Denise Hughes says :

    Thank you, Roz, for annunciating and illustrating this point so well. I guess that’s why I still like getting up in the morning and going into the office — even after more than 3 decades in the field. Well done.

    Onward and upward ~ Denise

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