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"The reality check is if you find an intersection between what you love and what you're good at and what you can get paid for, that's your icky guide. That is your reason for being. That is your purpose"

Episode 33

How to build your personal brand and discover your real purpose in life

Deanna Lane | Director, Media & Communications UDIA (National & NSW) | CEO Fastlane Consulting Group

As CEO and Founder of Fastlane Consulting Group, Deanna has been engaged by CEOs and Boards as a consultant in the field of professional services for high growth ASX listed companies including banking, finance, infrastructure, urban development, universities, professional education institutes and industry associations, as well as major arts organisations and global luxury brands.

Deanna is currently engaged as the Director, Media & Communications UDIA NSW & National and has led numerous leadership and on-line courses on marketing, media and communications and professional development training programs.

Deanna brings deep sector experience, advising on strategy, business development, corporate fundraising, stakeholder engagement, business planning and alignment of value proposition & purpose with key messaging.

In this episode….Deanna explains how to build your personal brand and discover your real purpose in life.

Enjoy.

Transcript

Anthony Denman:
Deanna, welcome to the Property Marketing Podcast.

Deanna Lane:
Thank you, Anthony. It’s a pleasure to be here.

Anthony Denman:
Now, this is an interesting one. We talked about this in our pre-podcast. We landed on barbecue as opposed to a cocktail party or the back of a cab, or an Uber. So you’re at a barbecue, it’s kind of like a social setting, so not really that sort of business orientated, and you’re having a sausage on a piece of bread or something, depending on how fancy said barbecue is, of course. And someone you’re having a bit of a chat to a new person that you never met before and they ask you as they always invariably do, what is it that you do for a living?

Deanna Lane:
Well, it depends on who I’m speaking to. Originally, when I was the head of business development with the top tier law firms, I would say I help new partners to build a thriving practice. Quite often the new partners have to build a $2 million practice. It has to be sustainable. They have to demonstrate that they attract and retain clients before they’re accepted as a partner.
So in that journey from being a senior associate, making the leap to new partner, that’s where I come in and I help them across all aspects of growing a thriving practice. So that’s what I used to say if I was asked. But the other one I do is I talk about my new Laneway Potential program and I just say, “Hey, the new program has four lanes.” So if you’re a student or a grad, it’s choosing your lane. You want to change your career journey. It’s changing lane. If you’re a startup or a business that wants to really grow quickly, it’s accelerate into the fast lane. And for those who don’t fit into an org chart, I won’t suggest that it might be me, but it is, create your own lane. And that’s really how it works.
So all of the consulting, all of the guidance, all of the mentoring is around one of those four lanes. And I absolutely love doing that because it’s all about helping a person on their journey in some way.

Anthony Denman:
What about this one? It’s a cocktail party as opposed to a barbecue. People ask me what I do and you say what makes people tick will make you money, and what ticks them off will cost you money.

Deanna Lane:
Correct.

Anthony Denman:
And I work on both.

Deanna Lane:
Correct. Absolutely correct. And that really speaks to the behavioral profiling that I do. When I first start mentoring someone or coaching them, and there’s a difference, which I’m happy to discuss later. But when I’m working with somebody, the first thing I want to do is I want to know who they are. I want to know what makes them tick. I do that through the disc profile and it’s called extended disc because it explains to me who they are naturally in a natural setting, who are they at work, what are they like? What are their preferences? What are their communication styles? And then it also gives me how they’re adjusting their behavior in the current circumstance. And that’s where the conversation starts.

Anthony Denman:
There’s a difference between mentoring and coaching.

Deanna Lane:
Yes. Mentoring is where you’ve got an advisor, someone you admire, and you want them to talk to you about your career and things, share stories, share them, guidance. It’s a fireside chat basically with a mentor. They help you by sharing their experiences and hoping they can steer you through your issues that you might be dealing with or really it’s more of a conversation and a more of a guidance. The way I approach coaching is in real time, it is actually hands-on to.
Together, I write their cover letter. I rewrite their CV. I rewrite their LinkedIn. I show them how to identify a new job position. I tell them how to find the decision maker and then how to conduct an interview with absolutely real time together. We work on it, we whiteboard everything, and I’m in their corner a hundred percent of the time. You imagine a coach coaching anyone in the Olympics or any kind of sport, they’re right there showing you and demonstrating what it is they want you to do. They don’t just tell you from their experience. It’s literally hands-on coaching. And that’s the difference in my perspective.

Anthony Denman:
How old were you when you realised that empathy and communication be your vocation?

Deanna Lane:
Yes. Look, I think I’m going to say I was about three because I think I’ve kept getting told by my mother that I would be choosing my own outfits. I’d be making decisions about what games we would play in the backyard, but most certainly it was standing next to her when she was cooking or at the kitchen sink. I knew that if I would say something or tell her a story or give her a vision for the future, it would put her in a good mood. And you imagine in a European household, it’s all go, it’s all noisy, and it’s busy. And if I could do that one thing to put her in a good mood for the day to make her laugh, make her smile, then I would set the scene for the rest of the day.
It was about changing a mindset and I knew very early on that was something that I needed to do and I was quite good at it. My friends now say, that’s exactly an indication of why I do what I do today. And it has been the continuing thread throughout my career.

Anthony Denman:
Yeah, that’s awesome. I don’t think many people realise deep down within what their real purpose in life is. So it’s nice that you’re able to find that so early. Three years old, goodness, June Dally-Watkins.

Deanna Lane:
June Dally-Watkins.

Anthony Denman:
June Dally-Watkins, I remember her name. In actual fact, it may even be that one of my sisters attended one of her courses and she was like one of the most famous and well-known people who were able to create an environment that puts the finishing touches, if you call it. I think they call it a finishing school.

Deanna Lane:
They do, they do. There are very famous ones in Switzerland that the aristocracy would send their children to. Royals would send their children to learn all of the skills, life skills, communication skills, supportment, how to carry yourself. The most important thing that I learned, and I went at an early age as my sisters did as well, was to learn to walk into a room with confidence and posture is everything. Anthony, you would know that some people can walk into a room and nobody notices that they’re there. They can be there, they can leave, and nobody realises that they were there.
It’s how they have pulled their energy into themselves and they’re not projecting a level of confidence. Then you’ve got someone who walks into a room, everybody turns around. I wonder who that is. And it’s because of their posture. As leaders, it’s so important to have a strong posture, straight back, shoulders back, head high, and people then gravitate towards that person because they are exuding a style of confidence and leadership.
Leadership doesn’t have to be that you are running a country or a company. It can be the fact that you know yourself and you arrive and you know why you’re there and you are there to find out what’s going on at an event or just to be present. Presence is everything. It also taught me how to stand in a photograph, and you know there are a lot of photographs that will have been taken of all of us. And you look at that photo and you think, “Oh my goodness.” But standing in a photograph also exudes confidence and there’s a way of doing it.
We learned that in finishing school, good manners. I learned that at home. But it doesn’t hurt to be reminded about what it means to have good manners. And I think today where communication is less personal, it’s more about the things that you do that set you apart. For example, writing a thank you note. The company you’re working for puts on this great team building day or they’ve got an event to celebrate end of financial year. You go, you have a great time, and that’s it.
Those that write a note to the CEO or their boss to say, “Thank you so much for including me inviting me, I found that the event was incredibly valuable so I could really reconnect with the strategy and remind myself of our purpose and my role in contributing to that success.” That thank you note goes a long way. It also is important to do a thank you note after an interview for a job.
Not many people do it, but it absolutely separates you. Those are skills, they’re good manners, and you’d be amazed at the positive impact it has. Look, one of the tips that I learned was how to walk with a book on my head, but I haven’t had to do that. Not even at a party trick. I’ve yet to use that one. But those are the kinds of things that when you do, I can say to you, Anthony, that I can walk through Wynyard station with 200 people walking towards me and I won’t not bump into one of them. And it’s just having presence when you walk through. That energy of knowing where you’re going and making a path and you go and people seem to work around you, it’s extraordinary. You should try it.

Anthony Denman:
I will. I might even try and do it with a book on my head and a glass of chardonnay in my hand. We’ll get to that. So they’re not really finishing schools. They’re not much of a thing anymore, are they? I mean, you’ve been having to be called into certain educational institutions to teach students some of this information because you can’t readily find one nowadays, can you?

Deanna Lane:
No. I was in UNSW, University of New South Wales for the big picture program. The dean invited me to come in and speak to the young men who were looking to move into university, into the men’s college and he wanted me to help them understand what it takes to be a gentleman, how to get on in a professional environment, skills. Really important communication skills, also eating, drinking, and mingling, which we can come to later. But it was funny. I would start out with 35 people in the class, and by the time the hour or the two hour and a half was over, I have 90 people in the class including the dean.
And the dean would come up to me and say, “Tell me how I can work a room, speak to the parents that I need to speak to and not have to stay here until midnight. How do I do that?” So I would end up giving some tips on that as well. And the other thing I would do is go into girls schools and talk to them about how to be treated because you teach people how to treat you in every aspect of your life.

Anthony Denman:
So how do you teach a young man to be a gentleman?

Deanna Lane:
Yeah. Again, it’s about showing up. It’s about respect. It’s about listening. It’s about if you are at a school event where parents are there, you don’t rush forward and eat everything and talk amongst yourself. You see who’s in the room and you make small talk with them. So it’s all about making small talk. It’s about how to introduce yourself and letting them know what your interests are in school, what your plans are, what you’ve done in sport. Quite often no one in those school environments have had any work experience, but you can talk about the things that you did in school and the things that you really enjoyed, and that gives them a sense of who you are.
So knowing yourself, being courageous enough to go up and speak to somebody you don’t know if they’re standing on their own, offering them something to eat or drink, that kind of thing. It was usually around a school event. And so the purpose was there, but then later on I’d be invited back to the school and I might’ve been walking down the street and a parent would rush up to me and she said, “You taught one of my sons how to eat, drink, and mingle and speak in public. I’ve got another one on the way. Can you…”

Anthony Denman:
I reckon if you can teach a young man to eat and drink responsibly, three quarters of the way there, right?

Deanna Lane:
Exactly. And the other questions they would ask me, “What about dress, what to wear?” And also if I question, they’d say, “Miss, miss, if I take a girl to the formal, does that mean I’ve got to take her home as well?” I’d say, “Yes. You have to be responsible for that person if you invited them and you are responsible for bringing them to the event, you’re responsible for getting them home safely.”

Anthony Denman:
You know what? I’ve got a seven, almost 8-year-old daughter. I think when she turns 17 or 18, I might just, when she brings home her first boyfriend, I might just make sure you’re in the room with me.

Deanna Lane:
Happy to be. Happy to be, yeah.

Anthony Denman:
How do you teach a young woman to be treated like a lady?

Deanna Lane:
Yes. Really important. And it’s not even to be treated like a lady, but to be treated with respect. And that means you’ve got to respect yourself too. Really important to know yourself, know your value, and know really what you expect from someone that you are inviting into your social circle. But knowing yourself and your skills, this is why I keep saying my favourite saying is know thy self. The more you know about yourself, the more you honor yourself, the more you understand what you are here to do and to be, the more you would be more careful about looking at the person that comes into your life.
And with a lot of people, I won’t say only women being chosen, now, all the fairy stories about being chosen, all of the things on Disney, about being chosen, to be chosen is quite flattering. But the other thing is what women need to choose. They really need to focus on choosing themselves, choosing who they let into their life, choosing who they want to spend time with, working out if this is the type of person that will respect me and that I’ll enjoy their company, are they interested in who I am as a human being? And those kinds of things about how to be treated.
So someone, we do like these concepts of being cared for. And if a man’s being behaving like a gentleman, he will know what to do and how to treat a woman. And that’s what she can expect as well. And people might think it’s old fashioned, but good manners never, ever, ever go out of style. Good manners are all around respect and caring for the person that you’re with.

Anthony Denman:
That’s really good advice. Okay. A Harvard business paper, and correct me if I got this wrong, but it was the same answers. One was marked as being completed by Harry and the other was marked as being completed by Harriet. And same answers, but different results. And surprise, surprise, Harry got the higher marks. So I just want to talk about the inequality, the gender imbalance I guess you’d call it. In fact, interestingly enough, the Super Bowl is on at the moment.
Now, I’ve never in my entire life watched the Super Bowl. My wife, now I’m going to call her my wife because even though we’re not married, she’s the mother of my children. What should I call her? I’ve just sort of resigned just to calling her my wife, right? You say partner, I’d say, “What does that mean?” So de facto, so wife. I just call her my wife. Doesn’t matter that we’re not married. We probably will. We may get married one day. I don’t know. That’s another story altogether.
But look, the reason I’m bringing it up is because as we speak, she’s in there in another part of the building watching that Super Bowl game. And the only reason she’s watching it, she’s a little bit into sport. We watch cricket, she played cricket, and we do a bit of cricket stuff together and watch a bit of footy together. She’s in there watching a Super Bowl because Taylor Swift is somehow involved. She’s not into Taylor’s music so much.
She likes a few songs, but she just loves her as a human being because she’s just carrying can, like flying the flag and doing what she can to try and address that gender imbalance. One of the things that my wife showed me recently was an interview that she did, and she said this, “If you’re a man, you react. If you’re a woman, you overreact. If you’re a man, you’re strategic. If you’re a woman, you’re calculated.” And it goes on and on. How do you give women a stronger voice and a stronger persona to help them overcome the inequalities that they face on a daily basis?

Deanna Lane:
I hope I wouldn’t have to project forward 20 years and say this would be the landscape and it’ll be equal and there’ll be equality and equity and pay equity and all of those things. Right now, while we still have a generation that was born in the ’50s, raised in the ’50s where things were different. All you’ve got to do is watch that show Mad Men and see what life was really like back then. Unfortunately, I can’t watch it because I worked in advertising and I don’t want to be reminded really.

Anthony Denman:
Just stop it.

Deanna Lane:
Yeah, I have to move on. But the thing is that it is there. It is there. And I think the key is, again, for you can’t be what you can’t see, and we do need more women to step up for speaking opportunities for keynotes, for panel discussions so that we can see the absolute skillset that we have amongst these amazing women. And they’re not all strong women, they’re just people who have amazing background. Maybe their work has really inspired others., but the key is for us to see more of them and to hear them. And the more that you see and hear that, the more you are creating an even level playing field.
And that’s all I’m interested in, Anthony is a level playing field. Not better, not worse, just level. There’s a wonderful Chinese expression, women hold up half the sky. We need to look at us as human beings, as people who have something to offer. That example of the Harvard paper, the thesis that was written, and they sent it out as an experiment to find out if people would react more favorably if it was written by Harry than it was written by Harriet. And the answer was, it was a little while ago that it was done maybe 10 years ago and it did show that people did not respect Harriet’s work as much as they respected Harry’s, even though it was the same paper, they just changed the name.
So what we need to do is seeing more of these amazing women. I love reading the Fin Review these days and seeing more with female CEOs being written about, which had been lacking even a few years ago. And we are, as I said, hold up half the sky. There’s half of the population that are in business and doing what we do, and we need to be rewarded, respected, valued for the work that we do.
Regardless of gender, it should be a level playing field. And the more young women see other women like Michelle Obama, amazing, great speaker, very strong, Taylor Swift. She took on her agent and her manager who or her, I don’t know the exact term of the person who was trying to keep her songs that she wrote from her and she said, “Fine, I’ll just rerecord them myself under my own brand.”
Now, that is an empowered woman. She’s a young woman. She’s a great role model. I’m not surprised that your lovely partner, wife is interested in seeing what she’s doing because I’ve got a niece who is going to go to her concerts simply because of the fact that someone they can look up to. She is honest, she’s authentic, even self-deprecating, but there’s an authenticity to her and a genuine desire to be a good role model and nothing about her is plastic. It’s all genuine.

Anthony Denman:
How did your niece get tickets?

Deanna Lane:
Don’t ask me. It was six months ago or when they first came out and she said, “I’m coming down to Sydney. I’m staying with you. I’m bringing a friend we’re going to dance with.”

Anthony Denman:
Oh, that’s awesome.

Deanna Lane:
It is awesome.

Anthony Denman:
My wife was on the… Unfortunately she missed out. She tried hard for her and my daughter, but it didn’t come off. She could have sold out another half a dozen concerts

Deanna Lane:
Easily. Easily. And there are after parties where they’re going to have an after-party about the event. And the after-party is almost as big as the crowd that are going to the event.

Anthony Denman:
How do you practice to speak?

Deanna Lane:
Yes, yes. Really important. I do this coaching specifically, speakership, particularly for women, but really for anybody. And again, young senior associates or young managers wanting to make the leap to a senior role or to get onto a board, there are skills that you can acquire. One of the easiest things that I teach people to do is to write a presentation and deliver it to yourself in a mirror. Not video yourself because you’ll be distracted by the fact that it’s a video and do you know what do I look like and everything?
When you deliver a presentation to yourself and you look yourself in the eye as you are speaking, you will identify idiosyncrasies, you’ll identify quirks that you have in terms of how you use your hands, where you look and how many times you blink, how many times you say um, and you are the best critic for yourself. And practice, practice, practice. The other thing is controlling your nerve. How to control your nerves before you stand up to speak. They say that public speaking has the same stress level as thinking you’re going to die.
And people who are great public speakers still experience a great level of their body goes into stress mode and it’s how you recover from that. It’s all right to have butterflies in your stomach. It’s important to get them flying in formation. That’s the key.

Anthony Denman:
Oh, that’s beautiful. Talking of Harvard, this is a quote, a Harvard study found from you. A Harvard study found that the choice of applicants for jobs was 85% based on a person’s interpersonal skill. Social intelligence is important because getting ahead in life is based on how you get on with other people. So it’s very important for us to understand how we are perceived and how people form an impression of us, and we’ll get to that shortly. So if 85% is based on your interpersonal skills, what does the other 15%?

Deanna Lane:
Technical skills on your CV, and that’s why when people are in an interview situation, they shouldn’t really talk about their skills because they’re in black and white on the paper. What they need to do is how they’ve applied those skills, how they have led people, how they’ve interacted, how they’ve joined a group, the value that they brought to any situation. That’s what you should be talking about in an interview situation because that’s how they get to know how you will fit in culturally, strategically, and interpersonally.
How you’ll lead the team, how you’ll interact, how you’ll fit really is what they’re looking for, which is why I’m retained to do disc profiling during a recruitment process so that the organisation knows what they’re getting a little bit deeper than just what’s on the page.

Anthony Denman:
Yeah, very good. There’s one person in particular who shall remain nameless and he used to say to me that, “You could take me anywhere twice the second time to apologise.” Thank you, Rick, if you’re listening. Look, I did a bit of research. Apparently this is Oscar Wilde, but it’s not confirmed. You never get a second chance to make a first impression, and this is from you. 50% of the impression you make is based on how you look and how you walk into a room. 40% of the impression you make is based on the tone of your voice, and only 10% is based on the words you actually say. That’s crazy.

Deanna Lane:
It is. And you just imagine somebody walking on stage and all they’re doing is focused on reading something to people. That’s all they’re doing. Their presentation is about reading from their speech and unfortunately it zones people out. They don’t get a good impression of the person. The best thing that you can do is to walk on stage or walk into a room or come into a meeting and be present. Look around the room, see who’s there. That few seconds that you don’t speak are super, super important to get that message about who you are, who is this person in front of me? How did they greet, wait staff?
How did they interact with somebody in reception? How did they greet everybody around the room? How did they pay attention when they were being introduced? They are skills. And for all of the people who don’t believe that those skills are important about etiquette, about good manners, it’s about presence. The people that reject those kinds of things are the ones that need it the most basically. So good manners will never go out of fashion and walking into a room, being present, looking around to see who’s there and being prepared before you walk into the room.
There’s a lot of work that has to happen before you walk into a room. You need to know who’s there, why you are there? What is it that you want to take away from this particular moment that you are arriving into a room? I’ll tell you one thing, the most important thing is not literally what you think they’re going to say when you walk into the room. It’s what you want them to say when you leave the room. When you’re no longer in the room, what did they say about you? That is the key. That’s why knowing yourself is important.
That’s why knowing why you are there, that’s why making a good impression the first time because when you come in and you’re busy. “I’m sorry the traffic was really bad.” And da, da, da. All these things that you are… It’s all about you. What you need to do is not say, “Sorry I’m late,” and do all of those stressful actions. You have to say, “Thank you for waiting for me.” That changes the whole game completely.
You are in charge. You’re in control. You are thanking them for waiting for you. You haven’t gone into some ridiculous story about the dog ate my homework and the bus was late. Nobody cares. They just want to know who is this person that’s arrived in our meeting and what do we need? How can we get to know them? And the thing is always to be present in yourself and understand the impact you’re going to make when you walk into that room.

Anthony Denman:
That’s really good advice. Yeah, I mean, having been doing what I do for 30 years, certainly in the first five years, I really just wasn’t able to achieve that presence. Can it only happen with experience?

Deanna Lane:
Yeah, practice. The other thing is when you are stressed about to go into a room, there are some techniques. Amy Cuddy is brilliant. She gives a great talk. I think one of her books here is presence and it talks about what you can do if you’re a male or what you can do as a female to lower your stress level when you’re about to walk into a room. And that two minutes that you do that exercise that she suggests is completely it works every single time. It lowers your heart rate from beating, it lowers your stress level, gives you time to think about what you’re doing. You breathe. You’re letting air and oxygen into your lungs and into your brain and it changes how you arrive into that room.

Anthony Denman:
I think your point about preparation is really important. And I think the point about what do I want those people to think when I leave the room. That’s really valuable too. But you can’t really achieve the latter without the former. You’ve really got to know your shit. You’ve got to know what you’re doing and what you’re saying, how you’re going to say it.

Deanna Lane:
Yes. And it’s so important, Anthony too. If you’re going to an event, the company has paid for you to go to this particular networking event. Important to know how to find out who’s in the room, who you can use to help you navigate that room and connect with the person that you really need to see. And we really can rely on the event organiser. If we say, “Look, I can see that so-and-so is arriving from the name tag.” I really want to meet that person. Would you mind introducing us? And then they help you.
And the other one, and I must say to you, I do have… I don’t know where we’re going to get to this, but I do have a deck of 52 business development tips on absolutely everything that you could imagine. Here are the cards.

Anthony Denman:
Mine haven’t arrived yet. You were going to send them to me.

Deanna Lane:
I did. I posted them to you. They promised me-

Anthony Denman:
Oh, you did?

Deanna Lane:
They promised two days the art of networking. Here we go. And one of the most important thing, how to make small talk, making introduction correctly and making conversation, but how to break into or exit a conversation is my favourite thing because do you know how many times you’ve been in a conversation? You’ve finally connected with that person you’ve been wanting to connect with for so long, and you are just at the end of your pitch or your conversation, or your joke, or your comment. And somebody arrives and breaks into that conversation and breaks it all.
You have no opportunity to retell that story or that joke or that pitch. That person has killed that opportunity for you. And it’s about manners again. And so I teach people, when you see people interacting, read the room, wait until you can see that there’s been a break, and then go in and introduce yourself, and have a conversation. The other thing is I do have a funny situation where I ask the wait staff if there’s a group of people and there’s no way I can break into that circle because they’re all laughing and joking and there’s no room.
They’re shoulder to shoulder. There’s no room to get into that circle. I get the wait staff to serve drinks to them. Guess what happens when a waiter comes along with a tray full of drinks, everybody makes room and I just come in right behind them and now I’m in the room.

Anthony Denman:
There you go. There’s a couple of really good tips right there.

Deanna Lane:
Yeah, a couple.

Anthony Denman:
What do you do though? If you’re halfway through a joke, for example, and somebody does kind of kill it? How do you-

Deanna Lane:
Yeah, murdering them is probably illegal in some states I would say. There’s nothing you can do. There’s absolutely nothing you can do.

Anthony Denman:
You start again and pull them back in.

Deanna Lane:
No, because they’re already having a conversation with a new person. What you can do is say, “Look, I really wanted to finish that conversation I was having with you. Can we catch up another time?” And that’s how you have to bring it back and do it again, unfortunately. And also you can change your body language. If you see somebody heading towards you, just move your shoulders so that you block them slightly. Not like they’re doing in the Super Bowl today, but similar.

Anthony Denman:
That’s a classic. How should you dress and walk into a room?

Deanna Lane:
Yes. Dressing is super important. So if it’s for an interview, I always recommend people wear a crisp white shirt. I don’t know why, but it works every time. It’s worked every time I’ve hired someone. They’ve come in clean white shirt. In men, navy jacket, white shirt tie? Doesn’t matter if you’ve got a tie or not in these days depending on the circumstance, but crisp white shirt is how you wear something for an interview and also on stage. You don’t want to distract people with what you are wearing unless you’re a creative type and then you absolutely must distract people with what you’re wearing.
There was an occasion where I worked in advertising and our creative director was very respectful for a new client pitch and he arrived wearing a suit and tie. The client was distraught. They said we wanted the creative guy. We wanted him in the T-shirt with some random propeller head sort of thing. Something on his T-shirt and he arrived in a suit. Get him to come back when he is appropriately dressed.

Anthony Denman:
T-shirt with a VB logo.

Deanna Lane:
Something. But the thing is that it’s about knowing why you’re there, understanding the impression that you want to make and what’s appropriate for the event that you’re going to. Cocktail dress for a morning presentation, not going to work. So you really have to work out what it is that you’re trying to communicate with your clothing. And it doesn’t mean you’ve got to go and buy an expensive wardrobe. It just means you have to be aware of the impression you want to make when you go to that event or that interview or that first meeting with the client. Match them, what are they doing? How are they dressed? Have a look on their website? How are they presented in their corporate picture? And then try and align with their…

Anthony Denman:
What about wearing all black for a creative person, director?

Deanna Lane:
No, I love it. Charcoal is my favorite colour for someone to wear, I must admit. But there’s something about a navy jacket, a linen jacket with a pair of jeans and a polo shirt that just nails it completely. It doesn’t have to be a shirt. If they’re a creative type, that works really well. I do like a nice fine knit and nice cashmere sweater under a jacket that looks really cool too. It really does. It communicates quality, but still creativity.

Anthony Denman:
Is walking into a room, is that all about posture?

Deanna Lane:
Yes, a hundred percent. A hundred percent. Walking into room head held high, looking around the room, showing interest. Not running straight to the drinks cabinet, not grabbing every piece of food that comes your way like you’ll never eat again. It’s about how you arrive in that room, how you look around, who you interact with. And if you see someone standing by themselves, go up and talk to them.
People ask me, what came first? Courage or confidence? It’s courage. Courage to do it. And then you get confidence because it worked and so you do it again.

Anthony Denman:
How do you create courage?

Deanna Lane:
You just have to be bold. You just have to know that you want to walk up to that person, introduce yourself, make sure that you have a good introductory spiel, super important. And how you introduce yourself that will be memorable and so that they know how to introduce you to other people as well. And when you’ve nailed that carefully, with careful crafting, understanding yourself and why you’re there, and I’ve always been interested in this organisation. I read something on their website today and it spoke to me and I really wanted to come along today. See? Easy.

Anthony Denman:
Yeah, absolutely. Good. Okay, so tone of voice. What’s a good tone of voice?

Deanna Lane:
Yes. When you are speaking and public speaking, the key is to slow down and drop your register just slightly to the one below. So I might speak like this if I’m excited and I’m talking to you, Anthony, “Oh my goodness. You should have seen what I did on the weekend. I’m fast. I’m not breathing. I’m really rattling it off.” If I’m speaking, I drop it down and I speak quietly and I speak carefully, and I let things land. I liken speaking to a tennis match. You don’t hit the ball and then chase it over the net. You hit the ball and you let it land. So you let your conversation land, you let your comments land, and that’s totally my recommendation is your tone has to sound professional, interesting, funny. If you’re funny, that’s fine. But always pitch your approach to the right environment.

Anthony Denman:
Okay, very good. Good advice. A lot of the stuff, the advice you’re giving is really a lot of it’s got to do with just being present.

Deanna Lane:
And respectful for the person you’re meeting. Show interest. Listen to them, look at them, meet them. If you are too busy trying to find out who else is in the room, you’ll never remember them. And they will know that. They’ll know that you didn’t respect them. You couldn’t care less if you met them or not. But please everybody, please stop saying I’ll never remember your name because you are telling your brain to not remember their name.

Anthony Denman:
It’s good advice. I think it was Buddha. I’m not sure. I love this quote. “How can you be listening to me when your lips are still moving?”
There’s lots of tutorials and education around speaking, but they’re not a lot around listening. Is there? I mean, for me, it’s one of my… Something that I’ve been working on more than anything else, and I think it’s super important in a personal relationship to be a good listener. Exactly what you said, probably the biggest impediment to being a good listener is having an idea in your head, like something you want to say. What I’ve found is especially in a personal relationship is that you know you’re not listening when you’re just waiting for the person to stop talking so you can actually say what it is you want to say.
I think I’ve read this somewhere. I think it was probably in my favourite book of all time, which I’ve read three times and I now reread just certain excerpts of it when I need to. And that is the Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle. I think I read it in one of his books and that is one of the techniques is you listen with your whole body. So you just try and take your mind out of the conversation and listen with your whole body and not think about what you’re going to say next.

Deanna Lane:
I do agree. Listening with intent to understand is the key. And there are people that said, “I was listening.” They’re like this. They go, “Yeah, I’m listening, I’m listening. No, no, no. Your ears are working. You’re not listening to me. Listening is attentive. It’s facing me. It’s paying attention to what I’m saying.” That is a good listener. But people that go, “Yeah, yeah, I’m listening. Keep talking. I’m listening.” They’re writing, they’re texting. No, they’re not listening.

Anthony Denman:
Well, they’re on their phone. It kills me, man. It kills me. If I’m in a presentation and someone is on their phone whilst I’m presenting, I stop. I just stop. Especially a pitch because they’re like, “We put a lot of work and effort and passion into these things. A lot of the times no outcome, no reward. The least you can do is pay a bit of attention and listen to what it is I’ve got to say please.”

Deanna Lane:
Yeah, agree.

Anthony Denman:
This is another quote. I love your quotes. The two most important days in our lives. Okay? The first one is the day we are born and the next one is the day we discover why. Do you remember the day you discovered why?

Deanna Lane:
No. Look, I think it would’ve definitely been… There’s few occasions where I really feel completely alive and that when I’m working with someone, I’m being of service to them. I’m putting the mirror up and I’m showing them how amazing they are. Not about me at all. And that to me is knowing why that’s the most important time. I realise that is a skill. And I’ll tell you, I was going to say it at the end, but I can tell you why I think, but I would like to tell you what someone else said to me. And they said to me, “Thank you for believing in me until I could believe in myself.”
My heart just fills with joy when I think that that is the difference that I make. And there are many expressions of what that is to find your why. Simon Sinek had got a great book. You start with why. Why do I exist? Why am I here? The Ikigai process that I mentioned to you, the Japanese term for Find Your Purpose is another way of finding why you are here. And you go through a process of three ways. What do I love doing? What am I really good at? And then a reality check, what does the world need and can I get paid for it? And that reality check, yeah, it helps you.

Anthony Denman:
Damn reality. Damn reality check. You have to have the reality check?

Deanna Lane:
Yeah, it does help you understand. Well, you do because you might love what you’re doing, but you can’t make any money from it. Starving artists, writers, they’re not going to make any money from it, but they love doing it.

Anthony Denman:
Podcasting.

Deanna Lane:
What you are good at? Could be spreadsheeting, doing financials, doing the detailed work, but you don’t love it at all. And then the reality check is if you find an intersection between what you love and what you’re good at and what you can get paid for, that’s your icky guide. That is your reason for being. That is your purpose. And there’s a place in Japan where this all started, Okinawa, where they talked about people who live to more of than a hundred years old because they are living their purpose.

Anthony Denman:
Yeah. I watched that documentary, Blue Zones.

Deanna Lane:
Blue Zones. That’s exactly right. There are blue zones around the world where people live to more than a hundred and they’ve decided and determined, identified. It’s not the thing that you do. It’s the thing that happens in others when you do what you do.

Anthony Denman:
I love that.

Deanna Lane:
That is totally my-

Anthony Denman:
I love that.

Deanna Lane:
It’s a hundred percent. It’s not about me.

Anthony Denman:
I love that. I love that.

Deanna Lane:
It’s what happens to people getting the job that they dream about, not believing in themselves, changing their mindset about how valuable they are in the world. That’s my purpose in life. That’s why I exist.

Anthony Denman:
That is the best, Deanna. That’s the best one I’ve heard. That’s awesome.

Deanna Lane:
Love it.

Anthony Denman:
Personal branding. I did a bit of research on this and the rules, inverted commas, the rules because there’s a lot of rules out there. Let me tell you. There’s five C’s, P’s and E’s. There’s an A, B, C, D. There’s six pillars. There’s a framework. There’s a golden rule apparently. There’s three brand rules. Is there a simpler way to explain how to present the very best version of yourself in the marketplace?

Deanna Lane:
Yes. And I think it’s a little bit… Especially online branding, which I know we’re going to talk about, but the branding, personal brand is how you arrive, how you dress, and the consistency of how you express yourself is your personal brand. What do you want to be known for? Again, what is your purpose in life? What do you want to be known for? What I see is people who want to elevate and progress in their career, and then you look on their LinkedIn profile and they’re in some swimsuit doing something, having a cocktail, falling on the ground with their friends. And that’s inconsistent branding.
If you want to be taken seriously, you’ve got to be on professional online platforms. You’ve got to be consistent how people refer to you. It’s part of your personal brand, how you refer to yourself, how you introduce yourself and how you conduct yourself. That is your personal brand. People need to rely on you if they’ve chosen you for a career or a partner or whatever. They’ve got to rely on you being that person that you presented yourself as. If you are inconsistent and you present yourself in one way, and look, I totally understand they’re environments where you can be a little bit funny and crazy, and unruly and all of those things.
But if you are trying to put forward a personal brand for a career, and most of what we’re talking about is career and schooling and things like that, then you need to be consistent about how you be. If you drop F-bombs all the time, that is your personal brand now. If you speak about others in a gossipy kind of way, that becomes your personal brand. You may not wish it to be, but it is.
It’s how you conduct yourself in public. It becomes your personal brand. You may not want it. People think personal brand is about TikTok now. They think it’s about the Kardashians and how they built their personal brand out of nothing. And that’s what they think being an influencer is and what your personal brand is. They think they assign personal brand with how many followers they have, but people are following them for different reasons.
It all depends on how you want to be perceived. Your personal brand is how you want to be perceived. It’s like a brand like Chanel. How does Chanel present itself consistently, quality? How does someone else present themselves? They never change that quality, that level of the brand message. But if you are inconsistent with your brand, it’s very difficult for anybody to be able to refer you, describe you or introduce you. So you’ve got be consistent in the way that you present yourself.
Again, there are all of the rules. You can talk about all of the rules. There are different environments. If you’re with your family and friends, you can be funny and kooky, and do whatever you like, and quirky. But if you are presenting yourself as a particular type of person that you want to be recognised for, that’s your brand.

Anthony Denman:
Yeah. It seems like I’ve got a lot of work to do, being authentic, right, but who you really are and knowing thyself.

Deanna Lane:
Yes. Anthony, it’s about values as well. Your values drive your behaviour as well. If you are an honest person with integrity or kindness is one of my strongest values. So kindness plays out everywhere. It’s how you behave, how you treat people, how you speak about yourself. If you align yourself with your values or even know what they are, that becomes your brand as well. And people can identify that and then they honour that about you. They know it about you.

Anthony Denman:
Yeah. That brand value exercise, that’s been around for a long time, right? I mean, I think the first I learned that, and this is now a corporate and personal, right? we’ll get into maybe corporate a bit more later on. Annie Harque. Do you know that name, Annie Harq?

Deanna Lane:
Dear. Distant memory, yes.

Anthony Denman:
I mean, I just pulled that out of God knows where because I worked with her. She was my first business coach and I worked with her, Bel Giovanni. Belg?

Deanna Lane:
Yes. Bel Giovanni.

Anthony Denman:
She was his coach. That’s how I got on to her. I remember her. The first thing she taught me was brand values. That was a long time ago, 20 odd years ago. We still use that same or very similar process in terms of creating brand for projects. And really it hasn’t changed much. It’s just about being really clear about how the brand behaves and then making sure that you deliver on that in your storytelling.

Deanna Lane:
And in your behaviour. You can always say, “Our staff are our greatest asset,” and then you fire them all before Christmas. Or our customers are our greatest value, and then you up the prices until they can’t afford your products. So it’s about consistency again. Knowing who you want to be known for and then being that person and being that company.

Anthony Denman:
Yes, agree. Now, I want to talk about, if you don’t mind, this is, like I said, it’s probably a bit late to me now. Are you going down to the UDIA awards in Melbourne for the national…

Deanna Lane:
Mm-hmm.

Anthony Denman:
Oh good. Well, I’ll see you there and I probably won’t achieve anything like what we’re going to talk about now, and that is how to behave, of course, in social settings. So yes. Don’t think that I wasn’t listening to you.

Deanna Lane:
No, no.

Anthony Denman:
Yes. Social settings. Drinking alcohol.

Deanna Lane:
Oh, yes. My goodness me. Let me give you some examples of what not to do. In a work environment, super important that you’re going to have a of any kind. The second drink that you have is water.

Anthony Denman:
Yes. And I agree with that.

Deanna Lane:
Alternate your drinks with water because it hydrates you.

Anthony Denman:
It really works? Oh, well.

Deanna Lane:
It really does. It does.

Anthony Denman:
Water, yeah.

Deanna Lane:
Some people also think that going to an event like the Congress, and I will be there because I’m director of media in comms for UDIA nationally as well.

Anthony Denman:
Oh, you are?

Deanna Lane:
Yeah.

Anthony Denman:
Okay.

Deanna Lane:
So I’ll be there in a work capacity, and when I’m in a work capacity, I tend not to drink. I’ll have a drink if I have a moment, but generally if I’m working, I don’t. But some people think, it’s a free for all. Free alcohol, let’s just drink as much as we can. I’ve seen people go to a work conference that’s over two days, and on the first night, the cocktail party, they get so wasted that they’re lying half dead in some corner and miss the entire conference the next day because they’re absolutely shattered. And that is about, there goes their personal brand straight away.
Are they partner material? Are they director material? Would we want them on a board? Generally not. So it’s about behaviour and consistency. So with that, with going to a conference or a Congress, the key is to know why you’re there and what you would like to come away with and plan it. Who’s there? Who you would like to meet? And where we’d like to sit? What would you like to do? What do you want to be known for? How would you like to be introduced? All of those things about prep.
And then drinking alcohol is entirely up to you, your level alcohol tolerance and enjoy it. But it doesn’t mean that you’ve got to waste yourself so that you miss the really vital part of why you you’re there. It’s expensive.

Anthony Denman:
Thank you. If you look at my situation in that context, so 7-year-old and 3-year-old, and really haven’t had any… I don’t think we’ve spent, me and my wife, we haven’t had a sleepover night alone in a hotel for a long time. So it’s as much for us a weekend away. You know what I mean? And an opportunity to have a free-feed without any kids around.

Anthony Denman:
How do you handle the olive oil and salt thing with the… Because I like the olive oil and salt on my bread rolls.

Deanna Lane:
Yeah. So the physics, the law of physics will dictate that if you take your bread and dip it into the olive oil bowl, by the time it’s reached two thirds of the way to your mouth, it will drop on your shirt or your tie. The oil will drop. What you’re meant to do is dip it into the oil, use your bread plate as a transit lounge, dab it onto there, and then put it into your mouth. It will stop that drip of oil landing on your shirt because it always does. And secondly-

Anthony Denman:
Could you actually get the olive oil and pour it onto your plate?

Deanna Lane:
No, you can do that with butter, but not with oil. But the other thing is any kind of communal, any kind of communal bowl of soy, oil, salad, I don’t care what it is, you never take it directly from that to your mouth. You must take it to your plate. And then from your plate, you eat it. You don’t put your fork into a bowl and eat it straight into your mouth. You don’t put the bread into the oil and put it straight to your mouth. You take it to your plate.

Anthony Denman:
Right. So the double dipping thing.

Deanna Lane:
It just shows just a lack of hygiene and etiquette.

Anthony Denman:
A hundred percent. Do you still have business cards?

Deanna Lane:
I do.

Anthony Denman:
Do you?

Deanna Lane:
Mm-hmm.

Anthony Denman:
Do You know you can actually tap phones now?

Deanna Lane:
I know. You can. You can share a V card if you want to in the old way, by attaching it, sharing it through your iPhone messages. You can share all kinds of information.

Anthony Denman:
Do you reckon the days of business cards are numbered?

Deanna Lane:
People still want to know who you are, but now people just say, “Are you on LinkedIn?” And then you’ve got to stand with them and show them which Deanne Lane you are.

Anthony Denman:
We are going to apologise to everyone. I’m sure there’s a few people out there listening. I’ve just got my invitation to connect recently. I’m very late to the LinkedIn party, but I’m in there now. Cracking on. How valuable is LinkedIn and other forms of social media for the personal brand?

Deanna Lane:
So LinkedIn was invented if you wanted to do business with someone. So you’re asking them for a favour to connect them, you with somebody or you are offering to do them a favour. So either asking for or doing, but it’s a business connection. Recruiters will go through your LinkedIn if they’re interested in you. Sadly, the algorithm is not a hundred percent. So if you don’t use the correct word, their algorithm won’t pick it up that you’ve got a particular skill.
If I say press release and they’re looking for someone who’s got media release expertise, they won’t pick up my skill. So it has its issues, but it is a valuable form of getting to know someone. But please, listeners, be careful about what you put out there. A lot of people put their school and university because they want to stay in touch with their alumni. That’s fine, not a problem. But if you are more of a private person, then don’t add every single thing into your LinkedIn where you went to school, the year.
The other thing I want to say is on LinkedIn, it’s not Facebook, it’s not TikTok, it’s not Instagram, it’s not Twitter. This is a business platform and it’s meant to show your business career to someone looking to connect with you. If you’re inviting people to connect, tell them why you’re inviting. “I saw on your LinkedIn that you and I have got very similar issues of a… Very similar background. We’ve worked in the same industry together. We really like to connect and have a chat.”
If you get a lot of invitations, which you might, I like to go back to them and say, “Yeah, I’d love to know why you want to connect. What is the reason you want to meet with me?” I don’t accept every invitation, but I’ll accept those who have made it personal.

Anthony Denman:
Or if it’s really obvious that you’re in the same game.

Deanna Lane:
Yes, absolutely, yeah. We can’t be too prescriptive about these things if they work. If they don’t, try something different, but yeah.

Anthony Denman:
When you’re commenting on LinkedIn, so the etiquette is you use other person’s full name, right, so that they-

Deanna Lane:
Yeah, you tag them. So you do an at symbol before their name and it’ll pick up who they are, but you’ve got to make sure it’s the right person. So hopefully it’ll take you to their LinkedIn, you can see their photograph and you go, “Yeah, that is the Jeff Smith that I was looking for.” Otherwise, you’re tagging somebody else completely.

Anthony Denman:
Yeah. Okay. And we talked before about Annie Harq and creating brand values for corporate brands, I guess you’d call it, project brands, whatever. What’s the difference between building a brand for a corporation versus building a personal brand?

Deanna Lane:
Yeah. You mean the mechanism or do you mean the carrying through of the messaging as a role, as an ambassador for that brand?

Anthony Denman:
Well, both, I guess.

Deanna Lane:
Okay. So the same thing that you were talking about with Annie Harq. You identify what your values are. You remember why you got into business the first place. What was your purpose? How has that business evolved? And then what do you want to be recognised for? Reputational risk is the number one issue in business today is reputational risk. We know that, and we know that from a couple of examples. We were talking about the power of how one word can change everything.

Anthony Denman:
This is your quote. Again, I love your quotes. I love what I do. I always have, whether writing a speech, a winning tender, a business plan, a marketing campaign, or a fundraising strategy, it all comes down to communication. I have always loved the power of words, how one word can change everything. Can you give me an example of one word that changes everything?

Deanna Lane:
Yes. This is an example where a new CEO was trying to bring his colleagues together. They weren’t very communicative, very busy, and felt that there’d been a loss of connection, relationship, camaraderie. And I suggested that he have a lunch, a once a month lunch to bring them together and they can just chat, get to know each other. And as a result of getting to know each other, refer business to each other, and just be really good ambassadors for the brand.
So he wrote the invitation to these people to come along to the lunch, and he said, “Attendance will be noted. Not welcomed, encouraged, valued, noted.” And the word noted meant it was the principal asked you to attend. Didn’t work.

Anthony Denman:
No, you got to get that-

Deanna Lane:
One word, one word can change absolutely everything.

Anthony Denman:
Everything, yeah. It was indifference.

Deanna Lane:
Indifference.

Anthony Denman:
So crisis communication. So it’s about containment strategy. It’s very different. It’s about containment strategy as opposed to promotional strategy. Is that as simple as… And I’m dating myself here, but is that as simple as less ink for containment and moor ink for promotional?

Deanna Lane:
Yes. I’ve worked on some big crises and sadly people don’t have a crisis management strategy until there’s a crisis and then it’s too late. The crisis is about containing the message. The only way you can contain the message is if you have honesty. You are willing to show remorse for a situation if it was your fault, or to be able to clearly explain a situation and how that crisis came about. And what you are doing next is the key. Being visible is a hundred percent important. You disappear, you don’t speak. You’re not there during the crisis.
I mean, even the queen suffered from a lack of visibility when Princess Diana was killed. Companies who have had a major disaster, an airline disaster, not being visible, not being human, not showing remorse, not explaining what they’re going to do next. So crisis communication is less ink, and it’s about honoring and owning the situation. And even when it’s not… You haven’t caused the situation. The key is to be able to let people understand how that could be assigned to you, that fault could be assigned to you.
What caused that to be, have the spotlight focused on you. But always it’s about presenting factual information about the situation and then showing humanity, human side to you. People want to see the person in charge. When Alan Joyce left the country, that’s the story now. When Scott Morrison was in Hawaii, that’s the story. So they become the headline and the headline is that they weren’t there when we needed them the most.
When we needed this leader to show us that they were sorry for something or there to help out, every time there’s a disaster or a tornado overseas, first thing that you see is the president walking amongst the people showing humanity. So that’s crisis communication. It’s important to have a strategy available. A CEO leaves. There’s been some kind of change in the board’s left. Someone’s passed away, something like that. You’ve got to be ready with what happens next. And succession plans are part of crisis communication as well.

Anthony Denman:
Okay. Charity work, people tend to care about themselves. They care about their world, their lives. This is, again, words from you and the people closest to them. The more we understand their world and consider their needs, the easier it will be to connect and communicate with them, and the more likely they will both value and support us. But today, sadly, people have donor fatigue and a bored with the same old way of asking for money. But by having an inspirational story, people want to come along for the journey. What’s a good example of an inspirational story?

Deanna Lane:
The reason I joined nabu.org as a global board member is because of the story that the CEO told at a reception that Lucy Turnbull held at Kirribilli House some years ago, about four years ago. And the CEO, young woman, CEO stood up and she said, “Our mission is to help 250 million children become literate in their mother tongue. And we do this because if they aren’t literate, they can’t go to school. They fall into trafficking, they fall into poverty in developing countries. This is where they work.” And the story is that NABU commissions local storytellers and illustrators to create books in the mother tongue. So we don’t lose connection with that heritage in those countries around the world and we help children because our books are leveled to the curriculum of the school.
So they can learn with their mother and we’ve been worked up this tech enabled platform that enables them to download 150 of our books and then learn through a guided literacy program, how that can become literate in their mother tongue. And I’ve been on the board for coming up for four years now, probably longer, and to see how we’ve gone from just a small organisation to something that major corporates are now funding and supporting and really understanding because when you can tell a story… I met a woman who’s on a fundraising committee. She’s on a board for juvenile diabetes.
Why? Because her daughter has it. When you have a connection, you’re more inclined to support it. You talk about homelessness or youth being rehabilitated in aid care facilities. You want to support them having their own environment to heal in an environment with people who are of their aid. So you connect with things that are meaningful to you, which means they’re asking for money. We have to give them a different way of doing that. We’ve got to inspire them. We’ve got to find out what they’re looking for.
When you understand what a person’s purpose is and what their interests are, it’s so much easier to connect with them and inspire them to give you money. And also you can make money while you’re sleeping. You don’t have to just ask for money. There was an environment where I could have asked a company for $10,000, but I engaged their young people to participate in a fundraising exercise that was fun for them. And we raised a hundred thousand. So it’s how you go about it. It’s how and why they want to give. So understanding their why and understanding your why.

Anthony Denman:
NABU was it?

Deanna Lane:
nabu.org, NABU, God of literacy, I believe, nabu.org.

Anthony Denman:
God of literacy.

Deanna Lane:
Yes. I mean, Queen Camilla opened our creative lab in Rwanda with the First Lady. So it’s really getting a little bit of exposure. No traction.

Anthony Denman:
Sounds like a really good cause.

Deanna Lane:
It is. It’s lovely.

Anthony Denman:
nabu.org.

Deanna Lane:
Correct. Yeah.

Anthony Denman:
Okay. We’re almost there. Thank you so much. So this has been such a great chat. Love this discussion. I really do. I hope everyone enjoys it as much as I do. I’m sure they will. Okay. So who are your biggest mentors and what are some of the life lessons you’ve learned from them?

Deanna Lane:
Oh, interesting. I have a few. And they’re very kind. There’s one person who’s been so wonderful that not only is she a mentor, but she also introduces me to people. My greatest achievement, Anthony, is not what I’ve done, but having worked with CEO and had their trust to the extent that they refer me to their colleagues. That is amazing. In my business, that’s gold. The fact that they trust you sufficiently that they will introduce you to their colleagues. And this person, this mentor has done that for me on a number of times.
I’ve got another mentor where it’s more about my business, so it’s down in the weeds. It’s in the ground floor, making sure that everything is working properly. I have a couple of brothers who are amazing mentors because of who they are and what they know and how they work with other people as mentors. It’s very fortunate to have good people in your life that you trust, who know you well, who know your quirks, who know your strengths and your development areas, and who guide you around those things here. So I think a mentor can be incredibly valuable to the extent of how they enable you to do your best work and to be the best version of yourself.

Anthony Denman:
Are they all business books behind you?

Deanna Lane:
They are.

Anthony Denman:
It’s quite a few.

Deanna Lane:
I know.

Anthony Denman:
What are some of those if you had to maybe just give me one of those?

Deanna Lane:
This is my top one. I met actually Simon Sinek when he was in Australia. We bonded over the fact we both wore orange watch straps. But start with why is the best thing that you can do is understand your purpose? Why are you here? Why do you do what you do? Not what you do, but why do you do it? Why should people be interested in you? Why should they buy from you? It’s Start With Why, Simon Sinek. His TED Talk is one of the most viewed TED Talks in history of TED Talks. And it’s the simplest little presentation with a whiteboard, with a butcher’s paper, and he draws the golden circle of understanding your why. He talks about Apple. He talks about others. And his teachings, his suggestions, his tips are literally gold.

Anthony Denman:
What’s your why then? Why are you here? What do you do what you do?

Deanna Lane:
It is to help people on their journey, whatever that journey is. And like I said to you, that wonderful card that I received from a young gentleman I was coaching who said, “Thank you for believing in me until I could believe in myself.” And that is belief about skills, purpose, existence, all of those things. And that to me… I think I should tattoo that on my heart because it’s what lights me up, and it’s why I do what I do. And it’s across everything. Even what I do at UDIA where I’m writing speeches or interviewing people for our magazine or sending out a media release, it’s really, it’s about helping to communicate who people are and why they’re valuable.

Anthony Denman:
Fantastic. This has been such an awesome discussion. Thank you so much. We’ve been going at it for quite some time now. Really appreciate you being a part of this. I think if we can just help one person make a difference to their life and it’s been a positive impact on the planet, then I think it’s been a really worthwhile exercise. So thank you. What’s the best way for, if somebody wants to get in touch with you, what’s the best way for them to do that?

Deanna Lane:
I think with my email address, Laneway. I use my name Lane in many many ways, laneway@fastlaneconsulting.com.au

Anthony Denman:
Yeah, fantastic. All right. Well, I mean, we’ve really just scratched the surface here. So if you want Deanna to understand what you are doing, or if you want Deanne to understand what your organisation is doing and you think you can benefit from that, then get in touch. Thank you very much.

Deanna Lane:
My pleasure. Thank you, Anthony. I’ve enjoyed it. Amazing.

Anthony Denman:
I look forward to seeing you at the Congress.

Deanna Lane:
I’ll look out for you.

Anthony Denman:
Okay, see you.

Deanna Lane:
Okay, bye.

About Us

The Property Marketing Podcast is an original podcast hosted by Anthony Denman, co-founder of Our Agency. In each episode Anthony talks to Australia’s most experienced property professionals, exploring their personal & professional stories whilst unearthing insights on how to create the most successful property brands possible.

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