Published Apr 29, 2016 on American City Business Journals
Everyone in the workforce, irrespective of stature or level therein, must be mindful of one critical truth: Your brand goes wherever you go — because your “brand” is you!
When it comes to personal branding, I decided to talk with two experts in the field. The first is Ines Temple, president and CEO of Lee Hecht Harrison Peru and Chile, author of best seller Usted S.A. (now in its 13th edition in Spanish), and South America’s premier professional development expert.
I also spoke with Darnell Clarke, author of Employmentology and a Fortune 100 hiring manager, for his input and advice.
If you want to experience rapid advancement of your goals, here are four essential methods to help you design a positive personal brand.
- Leveling the playing field
Have you ever walked into a room and noticed the hierarchy present? The person everyone is gathered around at the center of the room is usually the CEO. All others intersperse along the edges, each with varying degrees of eye contact.If you authentically change your mindset from, “I must focus on the CEO and ignore all others,” to, “Everyone is important to the success of this company and will be treated equally,” those in charge will take notice. The key factor is authentic engagement with others regardless of their position in the workplace hierarchy.
- What you say does matter
One of the most important rules to live by is this: What you say about yourself does matter. When you radiate friendliness and a “team spirit,” others will be attracted to you. When you grumble or voice negativity, your attitude will repel others, including those in charge. Success or stagnation… the choice is yours. Sincerity is key. Anything less than authenticity turns people off.How we see ourselves is essential in how others see us. We need to first determine the image we want to portray, then make the changes necessary to reflect that to those around us. Everyone senses the employee working for the paycheck. Knowing your strengths is key in projecting your best to those in your environment.
- What you think becomes what you sayAttitude is everything… and we choose ours! The circumstances we find ourselves in are opportunities for our positive attitude to outshine those around us.Nothing attracts others and positions us for a better chance of success than having a genuine zest for life. People mistakenly believe they are born with either “half empty” or “half full” personalities, but that simply isn’t true. Anyone can change their perspective. It begins with consciously choosing to focus on the positive while viewing failures only as temporary setbacks. As Temple said in Usted S.A., “Be careful of what you say about yourself. And as soon as you find yourself saying something negative, stop it. It is very important to not only be good, but to seem good.”
- Authentic relationships grow networksIn today’s economy, building an authentic network of business relationships is essential to achieving lasting success. Reputation is everything. Patience is required with this type of networking because it needs time to grow organically.Being authentic when connecting with others is the first step in building the network described above. The benefits of this network cannot be emphasized enough when done genuinely and authentically. Then, when you are seeking an advancement or a new position, dip into the network you have built unashamedly, because, according to Clarke, “The job they interviewed for last week and didn’t get just might be your new job!”
Personal marketing is essential in 2016. According to one study, “Millennials will experience about 15 to 20 career changes in a lifetime.” With that kind of fluidity, personal marketing is not an option. Implementing even some of the techniques listed above could create the edge you need and make that next advancement attainable.
CEO of Ascendant Group Branding