What Stories Will People Tell About You?

I’m in Louisville this week staying at the Seelbach Hotel – a 4-diamond luxury hotel built in 1905 – for a conference.  From the time I was picked up at the airport, I’ve been hearing about the rich history and legacy of the hotel from hotel staff.

From the shuttle driver, I learned the hotel was the setting for F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. He selected this because, while in the military, Fitzgerald enjoyed getting a drink at the Old Seelbach Bar- one of “The 50 Best Bars in the World”.  From the concierge, I learned that the Rathskeller is decorated with rare Rookwood Pottery – one of only two rooms like it in the world (the other is in Germany).

From the front desk staff, I learned that The Oakroom is the only 5 Diamond Restaurant within a 7 hour drive, and it includes the Al Capone room, complete with a mirror that Capone donated to the hotel (as gesture to court favor during prohibition) and a secret passage way, unknown until 1971, that a waiter pointed out to me when he had some time to give me a brief tour and a history lesson.

The stories and grandeur of the hotel are deeply understood and broadly shared by its staff.  I’m sure they have been trained on the history of the hotel, but the delivery of their stories comes across as if they are telling me stories about an old friend in their own lives– they are sincere, passionate and they pull you in. I’d stay at the Seelbach again, only I’d bring friends and family so I can share the cool stories with them, too.

Isn’t that what good brand management is all about?  Done well, brand management is about sharing your authentic experiences, and enamoring people so much that they want to tell your stories for you. Over time, those stories become your legacy.  Right now, you are creating the stories that you will tell your children, family, friends, colleagues, and clients in the years to come.  Are the events you’re living and the actions you are taking lending themselves to the stories that will create a lasting legacy?

What’s your story?  What will be your legacy?

Make it a good day.


Mike Severy is the Director of Student Life at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke. He views his work through the lens of student leadership development believing that students are developed over time through a series of meaningful experiences and that his role is to help students create and find the meaningful experiences in their lives. You can connect with Mike on Twitter (@MikeSevery).

Related posts:

  1. Show Your Skills and Experience Through Stories
  2. Personal Branding Tips for ‘John Smith’ (…and Other People With Common Names)

One Response to “What Stories Will People Tell About You?”

  1. Mike, very true. Stories are powerful because they are much more memorable than a name or a statement; however, stories are usually easy to remember and fun to re-tell. Stories most definitely shape our brands.


Leave a Reply

You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

  • Dan Schawbel

    Dan Schawbel, the founder of the Student Branding Blog, is a world renowned personal branding expert, the international bestselling author of Me 2.0, as well as the publisher of the Personal Branding Blog.

  • Connect With Dan

  • Chelsea Rice

    Chelsea Rice is the editor-in-chief of the Student Branding Blog. She began her work for just before graduating from Boston University, where she studied journalism and minored in international relations.

  • Connect With Chelsea

  • Recognition

    • Recommended resource - The Washington Post
    • "A terrific way for students to learn about branding" - Lindsey Pollak
    • "Worth checking out" - Psychology Today
    • HR World's top 100 management blogs