One of my LinkedIn contacts posted this image a few days ago.
If authenticity is as important a value to you as it is to me, the impression you leave with others needs to reflect your true self – your personal brand. In the business world, a ‘brand’ represents all the features – tangible and intangible – that distinguishes the organisation. Companies spend millions of dollars identifying what their brand stands for.
On an individual level, how does one establish their personal brand? Is it something done unconsciously only or can it be worked on?
I did an exercise a little while ago which can be helpful in confirming or identifying your personal brand, i.e. what you would like others to think of you – personal traits, behaviours, values you want to bring into this life.
First, list all the titles that apply to you or may apply to you in the future (husband, colleague, sister, etc.). Then write the question:
What kind of daughter, wife, boss, mother, friend, colleague… do I want to be recognised and remembered as?
List all the words or short expressions that come up as you think of each title – you might have 30 to 50 (I had 38).
You may wish to share your list with a couple of people you trust from different parts of your life – people who you know will tell you the truth about how close or far you are from some of your characteristics. Pick the two or three you feel might need a little more developing and focus on them for the next 30 days. Then tackle the next ones.
As human beings, we’re continuously developing, learning, un-learning, taking a step backwards to take a further three forward… And I suppose, that’s the beauty of it – our personal brand is built over our lifetime and we can enjoy the process of uncovering it.