Release Your Brilliance, Vuja De

Release Your Inner Brilliance

This One Time at BrandCamp . . .

Last week, I took a few days off and went to camp – People’s Report Summer Brand Camp and Conference, in Dallas, TX.  Traditionally, summer camps are thought of for children- a woody place with hiking, music, campfires and some type of development. “BandCamp?  Oh, Brand Camp? What type of “adult camp are you going to?”

My friends chuckled. It’s difficult for me to capture the experience in words- it was energizing, reaffirming, fun (!) and delivered beyond my expectations! I met so many talented, amazing people who are driving change in the workplace and marketplace, including Michael Long, Head of Culture Branding at Rack Space Hosting, Amanda Hite, CEO Talent Revolution, Jim Knight, CEO Knight Speaker, Alan Schaefer, Founder, Banding People Together, … the list goes on and on.

Definition of Vuja De and Dja Vu

One of the keynote speakers, Simon T. Bailey, was truly inspirational. He shared his personal journey and described the Vuja de Moment-, by saying, “You’ve never seen it but you intend to flip the status quo and create it.”

Vuja de is the shift from Average to Brilliant. Vuja de is defined as a “feeling of confidence about what lies ahead.  It is about envisioning and believing in the possibilities- believing in the future so strongly that those possibilities become probably.”

Release Your Brilliance with Simon T. Bailey

I felt my jaw drop to the floor, almost like a cartoon character. I felt like he, was talking directly to me; but I looked around the audience, and realized that everyone else had that same feeling.  Simon T. Bailey was telling us to release our brilliance.

His words punched me in the gut. I realized that my true passion is leveraging social media to engage employees, drive workplace branding and business performance. I work for a conservative insurance company, and driving change is, well, challenging is an understatement. Simon’s talk helped me realize that I need to embrace my gifts, sharpen my focus, and drive forward. As Simon said, “Its time to harness the power of You, Inc.”

Some are blessed, and joined the Vuja de Movement ahead of the curve; like my friend Jessica Miller-Merrell.  Jessica exited corporate HR three years ago, leveraged her passion for recruiting, training and social media to create a super successful company, Xceptional HR.  Jessica saw the future- had the guts to self publish “Tweet This! Twitter for Business” and is now a highly respected and sought after speaker on the national circuit. (BTW- Jessica and I have been collaborating for three years but never met face-to-face until Brand Camp!)

This week, I’m presenting at Enterprise 2.0 in Boston on “Organizational and Operational Readiness” and “Reverse Mentoring.”  I’m energized to help companies understand the shift to “social business”. The “IT part” of implementing social technology is fairly straightforward; it’s the shift in behaviors, culture, incentives, leadership and processes that will define your success.

In a blinding flash, the future is obvious. Are you ready to take your life, your career, and your company to the next level? I challenge you to wake up (!), dig deep, find the confidence to release your inner brilliance and, create your tomorrow.

PS- Thank you Jessica Miller-Merrell and Simon T. Bailey for the inspiration!

Lisa Bonner is the Assistant Vice President of Contemporary Work Practices at The Hartford.  She is the proud mother of very active 14 year-old twin boys and resides in Suffield, Connecticut. Connect with her on LinkedIn.  The opinions expressed are personal and not related to The Hartford.

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Lisa Bonner

Lisa Bonner is an experienced change agent and Senior Vice President with Roberts Golden Consulting. She helps global Fortune 500 companies solve organizational issues and manage major changes to drive achievement of bold business objectives. Lisa is passionate about football, fitness, decorating and raising twin boys. Connect with Lisa.

Reader Interactions


  1. Simon T. Bailey says

    Lisa, thank you so much for your incredible comments. WOW…it’s amazing that you were deeply impacted by what I shared. This is awesome. I am so proud of you. Stay the course and continue to Release Your Brilliance.


  2. Joni Thomas Doolin says

    Lisa this is a terrific post, what a wonderful job of recapping the power of Simon’s presentation. Honestly, just as you described, I was in a somewhat out of body state listening to his challenge to fulfill our greater purpose; this refresher is immensely useful and again inspirational. We were honored to have you join us ( thank you Jessica!) . Please be sure to stay connected to the #PRSCamp tribe as you work your magic at The Hartford. I have no doubt you will be successful! Joni

    • Lisa Bonner says

      Thanks for posting Joni! I am “Brand Camp Groupie” and promise to stay connected. I truly appreciate your work in producing such an amazing line up of speakers… Best, Lisa

  3. Karen Senteio says

    LOVED this blog and the concept of Vuja De, shifting to brilliant! It is a concept that any life coach can relate to for themselves and thier clients. Simon is brilliant and thank you Lisa for sharing this.

  4. John Jorgensen says

    I’ve heard Simon speak and he is awesome (and brilliant). If he can’t inspire and motivate you, check your pulse.

    He is the opening keynote for the Illinois SHRM Conference this year and can’t think of a better way to start.

  5. Sharon Eisenberger says

    Lisa, your so brilliant and just beautiful inside and out! Keep up the great job you do! Best Wishes


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