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Career Lessons from Barney Stinson

I just dug this one out… The originating blog post is no longer available online, as well the blog this was posted in, so i can't give you a link back to it. But this article is too valuable to just discard it… So for the good of mankind, here you go: An analysis of HIMYMs fictional character Barney Stinson, and how true awesome his statements about the business world and succeeding behaviour in the biz are.

Love him or hate him, he is arguably one of the most popular fictional characters of recent times; fans swear by his ‘awesomeness’ and go hysterical about the ‘legendary’ tricks he pulls off on the show (no wonder – Neil Patrick Harris is a magician by profession!). Barney Stinson from How I Met Your Mother is a character with an extremely sharp wit coupled with shades of sarcasm thrown in for good measure. Alright, let’s not get too carried away now, for those who have seen the show know what we are talking about!

So you might wonder why a Human Resource organization would post a video from a popular TV show and talk about it, well the video in question is called “Barney Stinson’s Video Resume”.  And if nothing else – it is an extremely good example of personal brand management, the video has over 55,000 views on YouTube, and some other similar videos from the same show have over 600,000 views! This is digital marketing at its best…

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And if that wasn’t all, there are takeaways, here’s what Barney has to say about success:

  • First thing that you need to know about success is that is doesn’t just come to you.
  • Most people associate success with money and power, but really it’s a state of mind.
  • When it comes to success, the only limit is that there are no limits.

Now, who wouldn’t hire a candidate like that?

  1. Trustworthy – If you cannot make someone trust you, you can be sure that when the time comes, they will make their own path instead of following the one that you laid. As a manager, you just cannot afford that; trust building is necessary not just for managing people, but also while dealing with suppliers, clients and even your own superiors. Trust makes the business world go round.
  2. Punctual – What is the best way to show someone that you value their time? The only effective way is to start valuing your own, being five minutes late in a job interview can cost a candidate a potentially good job, in the business context – a five minute delay could be interpreted into any number of things – a loss of opportunity, lack of credibility, lack of commitment, a lopsided attitude. If you’re punctual, you send out a clear message that you are on top of things and not overwhelmed by them.
  3. Detail oriented – It is good if you can see the ‘big picture’, but if you don’t have the details, it is just that, a really big picture of nothing in particular, pictures cannot run a business but you can. You might be a Manager who thinks that it is just impossible to be focused on details when you have so many things to manage – but ask yourself in all honesty, is it because you are proud of meeting deadlines and are always in a rush to just get work done and pass it on somehow? People in some industries have to work for years at the worker level before being made a supervisor or manager… why? Because when they are promoted, they know exactly what they are talking about.
  4. Awesome – The importance of having a positive self image is often overlooked, auto suggestions have been scientifically proven to work.  If you feel good about yourself, it will show in the way you carry yourself and also the way you communicate with others… so go ahead – be awesome, work awesomely and expect awesome results!
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