We all know the importance of building a strong business brand and the benefits that will bring, but many people do not understand the value of their own personal brand.
Here is a quick test. If you asked 10 people in your organisation to anonymously write three words to describe you and your management style what do you think would be the most common words you would get back?
We all like to think we are hard working, committed, tenacious, smart, professional and so on - but is this how your peers and subordinates actually see you and your brand?
I first did this test a number of years ago and got feedback from my peers involving replies such as: gets results, strong negotiator, strong willed and professional. But I also got some replies I wasn’t expecting: prickly, stubborn and cold.
This really sunk in and ever since I have put a real strong focus on building my brand. And when I last completed this exercise I was pleased all of the old negatives had gone and had been replaced by replies I had worked hard on improving. Friendly, helpful, down-to-earth, as well as the core aptitudes I need for my profession.
Another key way to build your brand is to get your successes to stick to you. Getting people to recognise “Jim, he is the guy that improved efficiencies within his team by 20 per cent” or “ask Jane to join the project team, she brought the last project in early and within budget”.
You will need to work on some self-marketing – which some people may find uncomfortable as you may see yourself as the unsung hero - but the unsung hero rarely gets promotions and pay rises.
You can also utilise your brand outside of work. It is a great way of making new friends and improving your relationships. The benefits of developing a strong personal brand include:
- Becoming ‘known’ within the business for the right reasons.
- It’s easier to gain recognition with the business. You are already half-way there.
- Career progression.
- Building better relationships in and out of work.
☛ James Williams is procurement team leader at ActewAGL
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