#BeX: Your Personal Brand - Revisited

Be Extraordinary!Your personal brand consists of many things: knowledge, experiences, personality, friends, family, accomplishments, failures, attire, verbal and non-verbal communication, attitude, values, faith, and much more. The equity or value of your personal brand increases or decreases over time, based on actions taken and decisions made in both personal and professional situations. Think of your personal brand as a bank account: you make deposits when you invest in yourself and others, and you make withdrawals when you make poor decisions, take actions that intentionally hurt others, or fail to serve as a role model in your position as a leader. Personal branding is who you are, what's inside, and how that translates to everyday actions, behaviors, and decisions. Studies show that more than 50% of others' perception of you upon first meeting you is based on visual image. After visual image, 40% is based on your presentation, posture, and non-verbal actions. 10% or less is based on your actual words. We are going to cover a number of topics in the area of personal branding.

The bottom line is that you are your own brand and the value of your brand equity directly translates to the value of the team, organization, company, culture, and environment in which you work and live.

BRINGING IT TO LIFE

◙◙ Other's Perception Of Me: Ask yourself these questions: What words would my business colleagues use to describe me? What words would my family and friends use to describe me? In fact, instead of you answering for yourself, how about asking others to answer these about you? Try it. Know the book on you ... and the story you want to tell.

◙◙ Brand Investment: Think of what steps you take to regularly invest in yourself as you answer these questions. What do I do that increases the value of my personal brand over time? What do I do that decreases the value of my personal brand over time? Leaders are continually investing in their brand by engaging in training, learning, developing, coaching, and mentoring others.

◙◙ My "Work" Brand: As you think about your current professional role, answer these questions: How is my current position, role, or project challenging me? Which activities or initiatives am I participating in that are growing my career? Extraordinary leaders are not satisfied with the status quo and always desire to make a positive difference.

◙◙ Speaking Opportunities: As you prepare to present to a group, you are naturally forced to validate your knowledge of facts and figures, big ideas, and bottom lines. You are also forced to consider not only what is interesting about your content, but also what others will find interesting about your content. More importantly, your ability to communicate effectively helps elevate your personal brand. The only way to strengthen this aspect of your brand is through practice. Are you taking advantage of every possible opportunity to speak in front of others? Does your public speaking "brand" conveyknowledge and confidence?

◙◙ Personal Advisory Board: Create and maintain a list of individuals that you refer to as your personal advisory board. These are individuals that provide extraordinary insight, advice, and recommendations, and who span your personal, business, community, and philanthropic interests. You do not need to hold formal board meetings but instead, engage each individual with regular check-ins. They know the book on you and will always provide transparent and constructive feedback, coaching, and advice. They serve as a grounded reference point. Who would you say serves on your personal board of advisors?

Bottom Line:  Personal brand value translates into organizational value.