So much is written about Personal Brand, and the importance of Personal Brand. Do you know what your brand is? Are you clear on the top three attributes people identify with you? Are those the attributes you want?
Here’s a quick three-step exercise to get a sense of your brand:
1: Identify – and articulate – what matters most to you.
What’s really important to you? At the end of your career, what will your legacy be? How do you want to be remembered? These questions can inform how you interact now. Your work and your life are a living statement of your values. It’s true that where we spend our time is a reflection of our values. Are you spending time on the things that REALLY matter? If you value education or innovation, do you build that time into your day? If family is a core value, are you prioritizing your spouse / partner / kids over work commitments? A quick calendar review can be a real gut-check on values alignment.
Know what matters to you. Be clear. Crisp. And keep it in front of you as you make decisions.
2: Consider the people and brands you admire.
Think about the people or companies that you admire. If you were to describe them in 3-5 words, what would those words be?
Are you a Richard Branson fan (smart, creative, risk-taking) or maybe more like Ben Bernanke (who former President Obama referred to as “the epitome of calm”)?
Are you a Maytag (solid and reliable) or a Tesla (sporty and innovative)?
Take a few minutes to identify people and brands you admire. Think across disciplines, and across product lines. Think local, and think global. After you’ve identified what you consider to be the “top” brands, list 3-5 adjectives to describe each. You’ll be surprised to find similarities on that list, and I bet money that these are the words that you wish described YOU. Take action now to identify ways to start living these descriptors.
3 – Do your own market research.
The best way to understand how you’re perceived? Ask!! You certainly have a perception of your brand, and the image you project. How accurate is this perception? Ask people who know you – both in business and personally – to give you three adjectives that describe you. As in step #2 above, you’re likely to find some similarities – and some surprises.
Knowing who you are and how you are perceived are important skills in the business world. Humorist and columnist Ann Landers nailed it: Know yourself. Don’t accept your dog’s admiration as conclusive evidence that you are wonderful.
Personal Brand and Executive Presence are two of the topics we address in Nova Leadership Immersions. Take a look at our website to learn more about Executive Presence, and how to make this ambiguous phrase more meaningful.