Are you conscious of what you wear? What soap you use? What deodorant? Where you buy your groceries? Where you get your hair cut? Is it something you choose or did you find yourself following a friend there once and making it a home; or was it the closest to your house; or was it the cheapest you could find.
If you follow my blog (please do!) you will know I am a big believer in the power of choice. You should even choose the habits you want to create before leaving it on auto-pilot. The brands we wear and use actually reflect our choices as I have alluded to in another post and also indicates our power to influence and change the world.
Apple and Google are strong brands but what does that mean? Well it means there are certain words and feelings associated with their product and service.
As much as I would like, today’s piece is about our own personal brands. I read a career guide book from my professional organisation a while ago that asks you to perform a set of exercises to see what you value in work, what type of work environment you respond to, where your strengths are etc. I will only discuss one exercise where we had to ask colleagues (both senior and junior) to evaluate us on certain criteria such as:
- Stress Management
- Conflict Management
- People Management
- Process Management
- Technical Expertise
- Role Model (exemplary)
- Mentor (coaching)
- Ownership mentality
So this is a long list but it is the most comprehensive evaluation I have seen for the skills necessary to succeed in any work environment; these are the components of our brand- for what are we know.
I think you can include time management if you want to make it more distinct but that is reflected in process management in particular and how you tackle all the other components combined.
So I did the exercise and came out with flying colours: good team player, technical skills, communicate effectively etc.
However, it was there I noticed my negative brand image (and trust me the negative sticks out more than the positive). It was clear that I needed to improve my interpersonal skills, my conflict management skills, be a better role model and most important imbibe an owner’s mentality.
Guess what, this are the top skills for leadership roles and so my weaknesses in those areas at the time of my assessment were the reason that even though I was technically qualified I was not yet ready to lead.
Finally, remember that just like companies, individuals can rebrand and move from infamy and notoriety to become exceptional employees. It may take a while and a lot of action to transform those initial bad impressions but it is time well spent and should be strategically planned out and executed.
p.s. based on my writing please share the brand image you have of me in the comments section…Thank you 🙂