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Backstory: The Strategies Behind Successful Identities

Philip Marshall Durbrow

BackStory begins with a clarification of what identity is and a description of its existential impact on organizations. Part One: My Backstory, takes the reader through the shaping of Durbrow's identity living in the poorest family in wealthy Pebble Beach, working in a stable, becoming an accomplished horseman, an all-league tackle, and captain of an undefeated high school football team.

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Book Information

Publisher: Bookbaby.
Publish Date: 06/02/2021
Pages: 276
ISBN-13: 9781098375812
ISBN-10: 1098375815
Language: English

Full Description

BackStory begins with a clarification of what identity is and a description of its existential impact on organizations. Part One: My Backstory, takes the reader through the shaping of Durbrow's identity living in the poorest family in wealthy Pebble Beach, working in a stable, becoming an accomplished horseman, an all-league tackle, and captain of an undefeated high school football team. This led to a college football scholarship, rowing on a college crew, training as a dance instructor, assisting a concrete engineer to build a dam, and a few years as a Hollywood stunt performer. Eventually, he returned to college where he flunked out of UC Berkeley, was drafted as the Viet Nam war heated up, became an army officer, and rowed on the US Olympic team in Tokyo. Durbrow earned his Bachelor's degree from the University of Nebraska where he was taken in by the President of a Fortune 500 agribusiness who personally instructed him in strategic thinking, giving him responsibilities for projects in the Dominican Republic, Australia, and Alaska, and sponsoring his admission to the Harvard Business School. An insightful finance professor encouraged Durbrow to focus not on finance, but on his humanistic, intuitive and aesthetic approach to business issues. This sent Durbrow on a search for a place where his unique skills would be useful and valued. It led to a position at a small branding and design firm in San Francisco called Landor Associates. Durbrow thrived at the firm, for eighteen years, eventually becoming vice chairman and managing director of what became the world's largest identity practice at the time. For almost ten years, Durbrow served as vice chairman of Frankfurt Balkind, leading identity consultants to the entertainment industry, and for twenty years, he was chairman and CEO of Marshall Strategy focused on business-driven identity strategies. Part Two: Client Backstory: In this two-thirds of the book, Durbrow describes the people and provides a behind the scenes look at the decisions they made in developing their identity strategies. He provides dozens of backstories for clients such as: General Electric, Caterpillar, Boeing, Walt Disney, 20th Century Fox, MGM/UA, Dell Computers, Adobe Acrobat, Hilton Hotels, Westin Hotels, Royal Viking Line, Principal Financial, AmeriFirst, Wells Fargo, The Washinton Post, Times Mirror, Palmetto Bluff, Santa Lucia Preserve, Parker Ranch, Napa Valley Vintners, Harlan Estates, UC Berkeley, Stanford, Caltech, Harvard, The NAACP, the World Wildlife Fund, the Nobel Prize Committee, and others. The book concludes with some notes on building an identity practice, the importance of design as an international language, Durbrow's experiences with ad agencies, and his first marriage at fifty-nine to an extraordinary horsewoman, through which he inherited a young son who is now a coach of the UC Berkeley crew and a talented daughter, who with her mother, is running a highly successful horse training and riding facility. It was this marriage and these kids that finally fulfilled
Durbrow's sense of purpose and identity.

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