The Why and How of Personal Branding
AI Content Chat (Beta) logo

There are many facets in the developmental process of your personal brand. How you choose to manage your personal brand will influence your daily leadership decisions and career management plans. Most leaders are not mindful of how to manage their personal brands - thus they lose career momentum, focus and impact along the way. Managing your personal brand means knowing how to make the right decisions that strengthen your leadership skills, capabilities and influence. Ultimately, it allows you to more effectively lead others, build your career path and shape the legacy you will be leaving behind.

Leaders are faced with a multitude of unforeseen situations at work and throughout their careers. If you are leading in ways that come most naturally to you, and making decisions before circumstances force your hand - you're allowing your personal brand to organically evolve, grow and flourish. This means that you are proactively managing your brand, rather than allowing those around you to define who you are and what you stand for as a leader.

Yet too many leaders lose focus and find themselves juggling problems rather than delivering solutions. Why? According to my organization's research, 65% of leaders (director level and below) are unqualified to be effective leaders. They lack the required people skills (78%), self-awareness (81%), teambuilding skills (69%), coaching aptitude (72%), trustworthiness (77%) critical thinking (66%), problem solving acumen (62%), patience (70%), communication skills (59%) and overall executive presence that employees expect from their leaders. This research was conducted based on a survey of the 15 things that the most successful leaders must do automatically, every day.

Those who are unqualified to lead often create an environment of confusion to make themselves look relevant. Because they don't trust themselves enough to share their momentum with others, they complicate things for everybody and keep the organization and its people from growing. These types of leaders eventually get exposed and find themselves faced with a difficult career path. They have chosen not to develop and manage a personal brand that inspires others. In fact, their career path is littered with inherent risks created by their own identity crisis and negative reputation.

You know that you are managing your personal brand rightly when your executive presence begins to reverberate; its sphere of influence magnifies.

Leaders that have developed and are managing their personal brand are focused on simplification, creating a workplace culture where every employee is given the opportunity to advance; where teamwork is valued and the goal is to strengthen the organization and its position in the marketplace and the industry they serve. They are able to simplify because they know themselves (their personal brand) so well. These are leaders that are extremely in tune with their behavior and its impact on others, and they are focused on how to share this ability with others. Leaders that manage their personal brands are those who continually cultivate innovation and initiative. They know how to earn serendipity - their own good fortune. They are able to see, sow, grow and share opportunity in their work and throughout their careers. You can measure your own proficiency by taking this quiz.

Innovation is only possible when people are empowered and encouraged to be themselves (live their personal brand). It thrives in an environment that celebrates differences, where everyone works together for the betterment of a healthier whole.

Managing your personal brand is a never-ending journey of trial and error. Committing to managing your personal brand is a leap of faith. You must begin to think like an entrepreneur who is constantly in search of their leadership impact and influence. By remaining honest and true to yourself about who you are and what you represent as a leader, you will eventually discover your leadership style, the workplace culture that "best fits" your style, and the type of people that allows your leadership to flourish.

When you stop managing your personal brand, you begin to lose touch with your leadership formula for workplace and career success. You quickly become irresponsible to those whom you currently lead and serve.

To most effectively and efficiently manage your personal brand, here are the ultimate five steps you must take to assure you stay focused and maximize the results of your leadership and career journey.

1. Value Your Distinction; Trust Yourself

Most leaders are not aware of what makes them unique; the natural qualities that give their personal brand (leadership) distinction. Discovering your leadership impact and influence is being able to know your unique qualities, characteristics and skill-sets. Managing your personal brand requires you to put your ideas and ideals to the test; learning to know what works and what doesn't work. Pay close attention to how others react to you and how you can refine and build upon your thinking and approach. This requires focus and tremendous patience.

Others will not value your leadership distinction until you can trust yourself to enough to put it into practice each and every day. Trusting yourself is about sharing your knowledge, your wisdom, and your secrets. It's about allowing those around you to experience the real you, not your title. When you trust yourself, you do not hesitate to share the harvest of the momentum that you are building with others.

Managing your personal brand is like being a scientist that fails 85% of the time in their quest to discover the right formula and breakthrough. This is why less than 15% of leaders have a personal brand. Perhaps this explains why great leadership is so rare.

2. Be Responsible; Hold Yourself Accountable

Personal brand management is about continually elevating the valuation of your leadership talent to align with the marketplace. If they are out of alignment, you have work to do.

The Why and How of Personal Branding - Page 8 The Why and How of Personal Branding Page 7 Page 9