203. Duke Business Prof Offers Tips for Reinventing You to Stand Out
Dorie Clark is the author of Reinventing You and Stand Out, which was named the #1 Leadership Book of 2015 by Inc. magazine. A former presidential campaign spokeswoman, she teaches at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, and is a consultant and speaker for clients such as Google, Morgan Stanley and the World Bank.
How Did You Start Using Your Talents?
Starting college at 14, Dorie spent several years in academia, earning a Bachelor’s degree in philosophy, then a Master’s degree from Harvard School of Divinity. Hitting a roadblock as she sought a doctorate in English literature, she became a political reporter, then a campaign staffer for a gubernatorial and a presidential campaign. Both candidates lost, so Dorie examined the roadblocks she had encountered and began researching her book, Reinventing You.
The Most Impactful Turning Point?
When she was turned down by doctoral programs in English literature—which felt like her first professional failure—she shifted her focus away from a career in academia and toward the world off campus. Years later, she has come full circle. Now she teaches at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, and is a consultant and speaker for clients such as Google, Morgan Stanley and the World Bank.
The Most Powerful Lessons Learned?
“I am very much an advocate of people doing things in a measured and responsible way. It’s a theme I explored in depth in Reinventing You. I never tell people, ‘Oh, just quit your job! It’ll be fine!’ You need to be a bit more strategic with it. But if you are strategic, you actually can really make a lot of progress over time.”
Steps to Success from Dorie Clark
1. Believe that your ideas are worth hearing and sharing.
2. Have a plan, a strategy before you make a career transition.
3. Find ways to develop your sense of purpose and increase your autonomy. These are hallmarks of happiness.
4. Leverage your charitable involvement for career development and for learning more about what you want to do in the world.
On Her Bookshelf
Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, by Robert B. Cialdini
Reinventing You: Define Your Brand, Imagine Your Future, by Dorie Clark
Connecting With Dorie Clark
Free 42-page workbook adapted from Stand Out. This self-assessment workbook will walk you step-by-step through the process of developing your own breakthrough ideas and sharing them with the world.
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