Do you wonder if you are setting the right path? Is the balance of ‘what you do’ versus ‘how you are perceived’ correct?
A personal brand is critical for anyone in leadership. We all have one. It’s a combination of our ambition and our values, and how they are expressed in our communication – our behaviours and our words. However, few people can describe how they want to be seen, and fewer of us know what others think. So improving it starts as a mental exercise; simply thinking about it.
Owning your brand
- Integrity and loyalty are, for me, the two critical values. Hard work and persistence come a close second. Having fun is up there. But for many people that famous 5 are a given. How about excellence and strong, honest relationships? What about creativity and nimbleness? What distinguishes you?
- Shy? Don’t we all start out with uncertainties? Consider brand building a journey of a thousand steps, and simply take a first, semi-comfortable one.
- The true-ism is that a personal brand is built over a life-time, but can be destroyed in one incident (photos).
- Mistakes in life are allowed, although less so if they are repeated, and as long as there is evidence of improvement. The public is forgiving of a person with good values.
- Use social media; it’s a gift for this. That’s where the fun starts.
You can ‘pretend’ a personal value for a while, but it’s better to ‘learn’ one, and work at it. For instance, some people learn a lot about loyalty after a stressful incident where true friends stick close; others learn it watching how another person leaves one job for another.
Communicating a personal brand:
And if you don’t articulate your brand, others will do it for you.
You display your brand by what you do and what you say, day in day out. Check out others’ Facebook profiles, or the behind-their-back chatter.
- Repetition = penetration = impact
- Effective use of social media makes it quicker and easier.
Retain a mentor for 6 months, specifying clearly your desired outcome. Mentoring leaders is part of our work.
What’s it worth?
People with less talent than you, but with a higher profile, earn more, are better known, and will be remembered longer.