A Personal Branding Lesson from Kung Fu Panda

personal branding Jun 01, 2011
Personal branding lessons from Kung Fu Panda

Have you seen the original Kung Fu Panda movie? The movie is filled with principles you can apply to making your career more successful (and if you're doubtful, ask yourself which of the GAILs is speaking to you now).

Today I'd like to focus on 1 lesson from the movie that is related to the fundamentals of coaching and personal branding:

What is the Secret Ingredient?

Warning: I will be discussing the plot next.

Po, the Panda protagonist, is the large, bumbling son of a soup maker who dreams of being a Kung fu master. Through what appears to be an accident he is selected over the legendary masters in training to be the Dragon Warrior who will save the village from the evil Tai Lung. Po completes the training in his unique way and receives the Dragon Scroll, which reveals only to the Dragon Warrior what the secret to limitless power is. When Po receives the scroll he is dumbfounded to see no words on the scroll, just his reflection. Fearing the destruction of the village and his own death the village is evacuated and Po leaves along with them. Along the way Po meets his father, who tells him the secret ingredient to his soup - nothing! Things are special only when people believe them to be.

Here in lies the connection to the core principles of coaching and personal branding. You achieve your greatest success, what will feel like limitless power, when you know, understand and express who you are. You will fail when you try to be someone else or do things the ways others want you to do it or the way it's always been done.

In the movie Po was ultimately successful in learning Kung Fu and defeating Tai Lung. However, he did not learn Kung Fu in the traditional manner. In fact he was terrible. However, when Master Shifu understood Po's unusual learning style, he was able to quickly train Po. In fact, what took years for the others to learn the traditional way Po was able to master in weeks.

You too can master new skills, and the right ones for you when you understand who you are, your purpose and your values, vision, mission and live them in all you do. 

Po was able to achieve greater success than he ever imagined possible, the success he dreamed and fantasized about when he and his master trainer understood and accepted who Po was and then used that to help Po achieve greatness rather than force him to learn in a particular way and be ordinary.

Personal Branding and Coaching are the keys. Are you ready to be extraordinary? 

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