When we meet new people, the inevitable question is asked quickly: "What do you do for a living?"
I've often wondered if I'll need a business card and resume to accompany my entrance to heaven.
"Well, hello there, Angelic Host, I'm the executive vice president of Charisma Media. Here's my business card. Would you like to see my resume?"
When we pause to answer the "what we do" question, we shed light directly onto our platform. By definition, a platform is a place we keep showing up to do what we do best.
When we are doing what we do best, there is no need to spin plates, jump on a trampoline to slam-dunk basketballs or juggle chain saws while singing "Nessun Dorma." When we do what we do best, our platform will thrive.
The probability is that you have a lot of other things crowding your platform. Your core message is challenged by the taffy pull for your time and attention. And then, when the bell rings to do what you do best on your platform, only a faint resemblance of your gift shows up for work. Observers of your platform aren't in a hurry to return for more.
When we show up on any platform, our work must reveal our core message with peak delivery. Imagine a cellist for a fine symphony showing up on platform to "phone in" a few measures of stringed harmony. How should a surgeon show up on her platform? An airline pilot?
Poor work on the platform is often the result of a plate too full. Platform experts do not allow their plate to fill from a smorgasbord of options. Mission experts attack mission creep with atomic power.
For most of us, we would be considered highly favored to do one thing better than anyone else. Many leaders become known for their personal best only to have it thwarted by low-impact juggling activities. The platform is not a place for a factotum to put on a show.
A platform expert should be known for what he doesn't do as well as for his unique message. The platform gift is readily apparent and in use during every platform event. When the audience sees or hears a platform expert, there is no doubt about the gift and the message of the expert. The power of one envelopes the platform.
Try this review. Look at last week, month or year. Note every hour in which your unique gift was on display. Time spent hidden under a bushel, no, doesn't count in this review. As a percentage of total hours available, what percentage of time were you working on platform with your unique gift fully in play? When you were not on platform, how well did your message perform in silence?
What can you do to jettison stuff from your too-full plate? What is on your plate that is more important than your message? How can you develop more platform opportunities? Remember, a platform is more than the place from which you speak.
Your platform could also be a well-crafted email message to a targeted group of people. It isn't an ordinary email; it is a platform message. Your platform could be a blog, an article in this magazine, a tweet, a Periscope, a podcast, a book or many other opportunities available to you. The context of the message will change a little, but the core content will proclaim your unique expertise.
An important test of the significance of your message is to assess how it will impact others. Think of it as a message of hope to a generation of hurting people.
If your message falls to the floor of any platform without impacting your intended audience, you really do not have a platform. The impact of a message can be seen through change. The more impactful the message, the more radical the change that will occur. And the platform will enlarge. The larger your platform, the more people you will help.
A platform can never be the message, but every message needs a powerful platform. Don't focus on the tool. Focus on the impact of a well-used tool.
A platform can never change a life. Only a well-crafted, well-lived, well-executed message can provide a catalyst for change.
When you own your platform strategy, no one will ever need to ask you about what it is you do for a living.
Dr. Steve Greene is publisher and executive vice president of the Media Group at Charisma Media. Follow his daily, practical Greenelines blog at ministrytodaymag.com/blogs/greenelines. If you'd like to attend his seminar series on the development of your platform, please visit platform.ministrytodaymag.com for more information.
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