I believe that the oft overlooked company bio is an integral part of anyone’s rise to the top of business.
DO IT WRONG, and risk looking like the weakest link in the company.
DO IT RIGHT, and everyone will wonder why yours is so much better than the CEO’s (and wonder why you’re not the CEO!)
Trust me, you can’t afford to get this one wrong.
I remember when I was first asked to write a company bio. Outwardly I was proud. I felt like I had just been asked to join a exclusive Harvard fraternity known for a bunch of rich kids who “accidentally” murder a townie because they found out he wasn’t rich.
IT FELT INCREDIBLE!
But inwardly, I had questions. I didn’t know the first thing to do! I didn’t even know what ‘bio’ was short for. (I learned much later that it means biography)
Fortunately, my mentor and friend Manfred Dunforth had recently moved into my bonus room while he “got his shit together”. I needed his advice, and luckily for me, he obliged.
It was a rambling conversation that took some surprising interesting twists and turns, but once I got him to focus up, I was able to take two powerful things from our meeting of the minds.
One, older men, no matter how successful, shouldn’t wear jazz shoes no matter where the trends seem to be going.
Secondly, make sure and include a story from childhood where you did some sort of related thing and how that meant you were destined to become what you are today.
And there it was: All I (AND YOU) needed to know about how to write a bio! I was so excited about getting this information, I cried for a solid fifteen minutes. (OK, THIRTY!)
Once the crying spell slowed, I quickly sprinted to my Words Typer 5000 and crafted a tale about how I used to “borrow” all the neighborhood kids’ toys, paint them a new color, and sell them back to them at a hefty markup–WHEN I WAS THREE.
For you, it may be that you loved eating the paint off of HotWheels back when it was all lead based, and that set you on course for your inevitable rise to head designer at HotWheelies, the Chinese rival of HotWheels known for making the same cars at a fourth of the quality at an eighth of the price.
Or maybe you might have had a weight problem as a child and that’s why you do so well in the diabetes industry. Whatever the case, if this story isn’t a part of your new bio, YOU HAVE FAILED AT BIOS.
People need only to think one thing after reading your bio: This guy is not just good, but he’s been training (at his own expense!) for his role at the company since he was a three-year-old in a business suit.