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Snap, Crackle, STOP– What’s Your Brand? post image

Have you ever thought of yourself as a brand?

Most people associate brands with companies, services or products– but don’t always stop to think about their personal brand let alone how to build it.

This is a guest post from Jonathan Green.

“Jonathan is a culture evangelist who focuses on leadership development behaviors and communications strategies. His expertise is service models that provide world-class experience. He has worked in a variety of verticals including Finance, Utilities, Tech, and Telecom. Green has spent the last seven years working for a large Telecom provider and thoroughly enjoys the fast paced and ever-changing environment. Check out his blog at monsterleaders.com

As individuals, we actually have much more at stake as our brand is being observed, assessed and judged on a regular basis. In my work with young leaders, I carve out time out to help them consider their brand and to be deliberate about enhancing promoting it. The key is simplicity. Break it down into manageable parts.

1 – Image

2 – Behaviors

3 – Attitude

I usually start by relating the personal branding process to one of two topics that most of us have dealt with at one time or another: dating and cereal.

Dating

Consider the following:

When you go on a first date, what are you looking to teach your date about you?

… that your baggage is not as severe as that of her last boyfriend/girlfriend?

… that your brain functions at a normal capacity?

… that your hygiene practices are in line with conventional societal norms?

… that you are the kind of person they would want to live with until the end of time?

Your BRAND is on the line, and you are selling it. Your image is a mix of who you actually are and who you want the other person to believe you are. You don’t start a conversation with the worst decisions you have made in your life as you do not want to be defined by those. However, those are part of who you are, they are the scars and stripes that you carry with you all the time. So is your image true to yourself? Do your behaviors match your desired outcome? And most important, you have a choice in what attitudes you bring to the table is your attitude one that others want to subject themselves to?

Now, Mix in Cereal

Another way to look at it is to think of yourself as a brand of cereal.

Is it good for you? (do others want to be around you?)

Do you like the taste (do others enjoy talking to you, learning from you, sharing experiences with you?)

Is it made by a company that is safe and reputable (can you be trusted, do your behaviors build relationships?)

Some Easy Steps to get started

1. Ask yourself some questions
- How do I want to be viewed?
- What words do I want others to use to describe me?
- What words best describe the ideal me: reliable? intelligent? upbeat?…?

2. Reverse engineer your brand
- what behaviors must I exhibit to be viewed in this way?
- with whom should I be involved?
- where should I hang out?

3. Check it
- Do my behaviors reinforce my desired brand?
- What words are being used to describe me?

4. Who is promoting your brand?
- who is selling your brand, to whom and where?
- recruit some “sales people”

Encouraging young leaders to consider these questions can help set the stage for important inner dialogue and external changes. I have found that this work leads to amazing development, growth and a future driven by behaviors that matter.

How have you helped leaders to define their brand?
Filed Under:   Authenticity & Transparency
 
 
Karin Hurt
Karin Hurt
Karin Hurt is an experienced executive, speaker, and writer with a diverse background in sales, marketing, customer service, merger integration, training and organizational leadership. Her company, Let’s Grow Leaders, helps companies gain a competitive edge by building extraordinary front-line teams. She was recently named to the Top 100 Thought Leaders in Trusted Business Behavior by Trust Across America. Karin knows the stillness of a yogi, the reflective road of the marathon runner, and the joy of being a mom raising emerging leaders.
 

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What People Are Saying

Mary Lynn   |   11 September 2012   |   Reply

This is a fantastic article that is very true in its essence. Branding is very powerful. I will share this with my friends and family as we can all use this wisdom.

letsgrowleaders   |   11 September 2012   |   Reply

Thanks so much for your comment, Mary Lynn. Thanks for sharing with others!

Sara Parrish   |   11 September 2012   |   Reply

Great post. Self-branding is one of the most important and often overlooked advantages we have both personally and professionally. Our branding is our advertising campaign, we are in control of the quality and the output 100%. When you are investing in yourself you are making one of the wisest investments in your life. This is one place where you are guaranteed a positive return.

letsgrowleaders   |   11 September 2012   |   Reply

Sara, Thanks so much for your comments. Yes, investing in yourself is so important.

Cindy Kramer   |   12 September 2012   |   Reply

Wow Karin What a great article. I struggle at times with making sure that I am true to myself and values. But I also want to be seen as someone that is straightforward, kind, fair and someone with a strong work ethic which is how I was raised and what motivates me. You have given me some great ideas on how to make sure that my perception or others of me is reality. Thanks

Jonathan   |   12 September 2012   |   Reply

Wonderful dialogue! This subject can be the lynchpin to a number of important conversations. At the root of this is your relationship with the “self” Adapting to different environments can occassionaly cause one to feel they are losing themselves and at the same time being rigid can prevent relationships from propering. Thus, it is about striking a balance that keeps authenticy and flexibilty in harmony!

letsgrowleaders   |   12 September 2012   |   Reply

Cindy, I am delighted with all the work you are doing….