An Interview with David V. Lorenzo, Author of Career Intensity

davidlorenzo180x270David V. Lorenzo has accumulated over 20 years of experience as a successful corporate executive and entrepreneur. He is the Founder and President of DLorenzo Business Advisors, a group that coaches entrepreneurs and independent professionals on business strategy, sales, marketing, and work-life balance.

David has been working with the Gallup Organization’s Consulting Group since 2002. In this role, David consults with the leadership of Fortune 500 companies on executive performance management, succession planning, learning and development, and integrated marketing communications, working with clients such as Pfizer, MetLife, Saks Fifth Avenue, Marriott, and ADP.

David’s book, Career Intensity: Business Strategy for Workplace Warriors and Entrepreneurs, shares techniques that seasoned professionals have developed and refined over the course of their careers. Career Intensity makes the rules of career management and business success accessible to newer workers. If you have not achieved the success you were hoping for, it is the perfect resource to jump start your career.

The Smart Lemming recently interviewed David about avoiding big career mistakes, using marketing tools to generate buzz in job searches and managing personal brands.

SMART LEMMING: What is the single biggest career management mistake a person can make?
The biggest mistake anyone can make in their career is to take a job they do not feel good about just because it pays a lot of money. The most important thing I have learned about success and work is that money can follow passion, but passion rarely follows money. It is far easier to make money than it is to find something you love.

SL: What is the single biggest mistake a person can make as they go about a normal day at work?
Well, that is a tough question. Certainly punching your boss in the mouth would be a bad mistake. Also, taking home the office petty cash is never a good idea.

Seriously, the mistakes that most people make that hurt their career are the LITTLE mistakes. Things like:

  • Failure to give 100% effort to every task – no matter how small.
  • Not following up on requests from coworkers or customers.
  • Participating in office gossip.

These three things (and there are probably a dozen more just like them) will slowly kill your reputation in your company.

SL: You spent significant energy in the book on teaching tools and frameworks so the reader can learn to overcome issues that may be holding them back in achieving career goals. Why did you choose specific frameworks like the Five Irrational Fears, the Five Factors that Influence Strategic Thinking, the Eight Steps to Manage Your Emotions, or the 3-9-27 Pyramid for this book?
I view Career Intensity as a reference book. I wanted each of the areas I discussed in the book to be able to “stand alone.” My hope is that all people will return to specific parts of the book when they need some guidance in a specific area.

SL: Do careerists have enough self-awareness? Are careerists hoping their current approach will make them successful in their business and career goals?
Most people don’t plan. Let’s face it; most people have a difficult time following a map to help them get from point “A” to point “B.” Why should we expect them to put a plan in place for their career? In reality, people can’t plan their career because they don’t have a solid understanding of what they want. This primarily stems from not seeing how they can turn their interests—their passion—into a career. In most cases, it takes a traumatic event—like getting fired—to shake people up enough to be introspective.

SL: David, you’re the expert on personal branding. How can someone adapt the funnel (advertising, tradeshows, networking, public relations, seminars, web presence, direct mail, email, and word of mouth) to a job search?
Wow. That’s another question that requires a long and detailed answer. Rather than provide you with a detailed dissertation, let me give you a small example that demonstrates my thinking in this area: every job seeker should have a website with a simple two to three page website. In addition, every job seeker should have personalized email address at that domain name. For example: This is part of personal branding. This differentiates you from everyone else. It also makes you memorable.

Next, get a toll-free number. Again—not expensive. Make sure the letters spell something that differentiates you (like your name). You can have the toll-free number ring to your cell phone or to your home number. My toll-free number is 1-888-D-Lorenzo (I know there is an extra letter on the end, but if you dial it, you will still get me). These two ideas (web and toll-free number) will cost you less than $20 per month.

As far as the other aspects of the funnel: we all need to view a job search as a direct marketing campaign. Everything we do should be measurable and each piece of the campaign should evoke action on the part of the target. Marketing is war and we should adopt a “take no prisoners” approach toward a job search because it is the ultimate marketing campaign.

SL: In your book, you explain why workers must realize they are living and breathing their personal brand with every interaction they have with coworkers or their boss. What are the common mistakes people can make as they manage or mismanage their personal brand?
I’d have to have to go back to self-promotion—like the website, email, and phone number. You have to help yourself become known. If you don’t do it, nobody else will.

SL: I like the chapter on generating buzz, especially how you applied it to work situations. Any suggestions on how someone could generate buzz if they are job searching?
Get famous! Write articles in an area where you have expertise. You can use a graduate student (English major) from a local university to help you edit your work if you are not comfortable writing. Once you have the articles written, start pitching them to local publications and trade journals. Use email to pitch the editors/publishers.

At a minimum, set up a blog and post your articles on it. Link the blog to your website. Give talks in your area of expertise in front of any group who will listen. This will help you build your reputation in your community.

SL: What career management advice would you give someone who is in the first or second year of their career?
Let’s get back to passion. In the first couple of years of your career, you need to build experience. Get experience in an area that you love—or at least enjoy. Don’t become an engineer just because you dad was an engineer. Or worse: don’t become an engineer because your dad told you to become an engineer. Become an engineer because you love the detail involved in engineering.

SL: What has the response been to your book? Anything about the response that has surprised you? DL: Career Intensity has done well. Sales continue to be strong with over 1,000 flying out of the bookstores each month.

SL: What are you working on now?
DL: I still work with The Gallup Organization—helping large companies with Human Capital issues. I also started my own coaching program for Entrepreneurs and Small Businesses—based in Miami, Florida. We started this project just recently and the demand has been phenomenal. Finally, I’m in final editing my next book – Sale Intensity: The Rainmaker’s Guide to Winning the Heart and Mind of Every Client.

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