Dave Gordon is an internationally recognized brand, marketing and communications expert. He is an inspirational leader, speaker and author, with a mission to help people identify, communicate, and deliver their unique value to build stronger personal, team and corporate brands. Dave’s work has positively impacted teams, organizations and associations in countries around the world, including United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand.
Dave is the co-founder of Gordon Creative, a brand alignment and communications consultancy. He is also the Chief Marketing Officer of Gallagher Bassett, the premier global provider of global risk and claims management services, dedicated to helping people face adversity and uncertain futures with confidence. He has over 30 years of experience aligning thousands of people, leaders, teams and organizations around the message and mission of personal and team accountability.
His first book, TIP: A Simple Strategy to Inspire High Performance and Lasting Success, published by John Wiley and Sons, is a story and a strategy about how to attain or regain confidence in oneself, even in the most challenging of times.
- What inspired you to write TIP: A Simple Strategy to Inspire High Performance and Lasting Success, and what do you hope to impart to readers?
I graduated from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore with a degree from their Writing Seminars program, but didn’t follow a typical writer’s journey. I was an actor for 10 years in New York and Los Angeles, doing a lot of commercials and voiceovers, then 15 years in the experiential marketing industry, then started my own brand consultancy which included executive coaching and keynote speaking around the world, and for last five years I’ve been a Chief Marketing Officer in the insurance and risk management industry.
It’s this unique journey I have taken, the fascinating people I have met, and the lessons I learned along the way, that helped to create the strategy for success that I share in the book. It’s not your typical “how-to” or self-help business book. It’s a story, because I believe a story is the best way to engage, inspire and educate. But, it’s also a strategy for anyone to take charge of their career, manage their reputation, and enhance their life.
- You speak of the ‘WOW’ factor in the book. What is Dave Gordon’s WOW?
For me, WOW is the talent and the desire to exceed expectations. When you see or experience something that makes you want to tell everyone they need to see or experience what you did. An amazing play on the field. Even an exceptional tik-tok video. Any kind of performance or experience that stops me in my tracks. It’s not ordinary. So, my WOW is the ability to tell stories that engage emotionally, and inspire others to create their own WOW.
- Tell us about a time when your skills helped transform a client?
To transform a client means you have changed them and their perspective. Disrupted their way of thinking for a better way. Being a C-suite executive and a keynote speaker, I get the opportunity to motivate and inspire people in many ways. It’s gratifying when someone comes up to me after a talk, or a meeting, and says, ‘I am going to look at this situation differently. I am going to do this instead of that, because of what you shared.’
The one story that sticks with me was the North American CEO of a large automotive manufacturing company. I sent him the manuscript for my book as part of my initial focus group, to see if it would resonate with corporate leaders. He wrote me after about a month, and explained to me that he read it while on a flight from the US to Europe, where he was going to have a meeting with the global CEO, and board of directors.
It turns out, that meeting was his last with the company because he was fired. He told me he had the feeling the firing was going to happen, and while reading the story on the plane, my book gave him peace.
It reset his perspective, so when he was fired, he accepted the new chapter he was about to face with calmness and confidence. Even better, because he took the time to embrace the personal accountability strategy in the back of the book, when he went for his first job interview for the role of CEO of another company, they told him they had never seen anyone with such a defined and aligned personal brand.
They hired him. And he thanked me for the guidance. By thinking of himself not in terms of the company he led, or the title he had, but by the value he knew was within him, he was able to transform what could have been a very challenging time into a time of opportunity.
- How, in this time of economic uncertainty and layoffs, could your book help people?
TIP is a story about a sales person who unexpectedly gets fired after 10 years. It’s during this time of self-discovery that he reinvents and recharges himself while rededicating his life to bringing his best self to his work, his family, his friends and his teammates.
I think the book is a great tool for anyone in any stage of work or life who needs the inspiration to remember, or discover, their passion for what is most important. It’s easy to look at the world right now and feel hopeless. But, we all have the power to create a new beginning to our own story. The success we desire is dependent on us, personally. We can’t control the virus, or the economy, but we can control our thoughts, our words, our actions and the value we bring to the world.
* the author of this column and the profilee are not the same person