The Character Building Masterclass
Develop meaning, myth and influence
We live in an age in which many aspire to become an ‘Influencer’—to develop their own leadership and personal brand. And so on.
Some folk are tempted to try and find and follow ‘the Right Way’ to become an ‘influencer’. They hunt for formulas, rules and guidelines, and to pay keen attention to hacks and ‘shortcuts to success’, so that they can ‘optimise’ their efforts to build influence and/or amass a following.
But the result of all of this is—I daresay—a bit odd. You might see such folk at a conference, delivering a presentation that’s polished and professional (with the appropriate mix of pithy tweetables, pseudo-science, personal aphorisms and platitudes), to which you can’t help but feel… well, I don’t know how you feel about it. But to me, there’s something that feels a bit incongruent and bland. Like a rote-learnt pantomime that’s altogether too perfect to be true, delivered with a kind of underwhelming predictability.
But then there are those folks that have character. Folk who don’t play by the rules or edicts of convention. Folk who walk their own path, in their own way. These bright minds cast long shadows. They are uniquely charismatic and flawed, and yet have found strength in their weakness, and have made art of the weakness of their strength.
I have met and worked with many such characters. We love them and (sometimes) loathe them—but they are memorable. Differentiated and distinct.
The odd thing is: these folk aren’t overtly motivated by the notion of building personal influence. They have conjured for themselves a kind of ‘higher calling’—a worthy quest and compelling purpose and narrative. The irony of this is that such characters are often—in their own (sometimes subtle) way—infinitely more influential (in a mythic and interpersonal level) than the influencers preened for the masses.
But developing one’s ‘character’ is a deeply ambiguous, convoluted and oft-times non-sensical journey that oft goes against the grain of what society might ‘expect’. At the same time, character development draws upon mythical archetypes and modern juxtapositions, deftly weaving intelligence, artistry, wisdom and narrative flair into something ‘authentic’ and ‘meaningful’.*
* You’ll learn why I have these words in inverted commas.
In this very odd, special and unique masterclass—which I heartily accept some people may not ‘get’—I will equip you with the wit and wisdom to find your own way to your own style of charisma, influence and leadership. If you’ve ever wanted to think about your team as though they were diverse, distinct, and authentically charismatic—this masterclass may be the perfect catalyst.
Specifically, this masterclass will traverse:
How to reshape your own Narrative Fallacy—why our memory is malleable, and how the threads of fiction that weaves facts together might be re-spun to greater effect. In other words: how to tell a better story about yourself. Or more specifically still: how to write and share your own bio in a compelling and memorable manner.
How to Be a Better Imposter. As you acquire new knowledge and grow in your profession, it is inevitable that you will be surrounded by increasingly talented peers. We see their external story, and compare it to the internal stories we each harbour. This often gives rise to a sense of inadequacy or lack—that we are an imposter who is merely winging it, and will soon be found out. What many don’t realise, however, is that this can be an incredibly useful delusion. In this masterclass, you’ll learn how to use The Imposter Syndrome and self-doubt to your advantage.
How to Cast a Longer Shadow. The world needs to know you are real and imperfect—these are the things that make you relatable. This masterclass will help you find your arch-nemesis, so that you can better understand and embrace your own principles, values and tenants.
How to Identify and Juxtapose Conflicting Values. The best characters are complex. They aren’t mono-dimensional or paper-thin—they have depth. You’re no different. In refining your persona, this masterclass will help you embrace a more nebulous, complex, accurate, playful and apt ‘self concept’.
How to Choose One Word to serve as a fuzzy contextual beacon each year. This powerful ritual not only serves to generate personal principles and ‘self-leadership’—it also ensures you don’t become too attached to your ‘identity’, so that you can keep growing and evolving as a fluid (in)dividual.
How to Find Your Own Charisma and Value. There is a way, within us all, to access our own version of charisma—that unique alchemy of approachability and authority. Furthermore, there is a way that we can approach how to build value and self-worth without succumbing to the more ridiculous elements of capitalism.
How to Play a Part. Wherein we realise that it’s really not about us. By finding (and continuously updating) a worthy quest, we stay humble and not get too full of ourselves.
And there you have it. Odd, yes? If I wanted to use crude and common terms, this masterclass could be loosely considered as a combination of leadership development, ‘self’ development, personal branding, thought leadership and influence. It is ideal for any organisation or team leader that cares about the inner development of their people. This is for leaders who want their people to develop and flourish in their roles, so as to be the best leaders and ambassadors they can be.
This masterclass builds upon a few of the ideas of my upcoming book—Mysterious Title TBC—and can be condensed into a tailored workshop for larger audiences over a shorter time duration.
To get the proverbial rolling simply send my wonderful business partner Kim a short email, or use the form below.
Note: I sometimes offer these masterclasses to the public, pending my calendar and whim. If you’d like to be kept abreast of such opportunities, be sure to subscribe to my museletter.