Become a control freak
There was an article this week in Fast Company around how to establish a personal brand at work and why it's vital. I don't disagree. In fact, articles like these are popping up everywhere and I. am. here. for. it!
It's something I've been saying for a while now and it's about damn time that employees were celebrated for their own individuality. You can't be recognized if you're blending in. And frankly, you're only hurting yourself by trying. You want to be mentioned in rooms you aren't in — so you can get into those rooms. Being generic or just keeping your head down isn't going to deliver you those results.
But where I take issue with this article is the length the author wants you to go to establish your personal brand. It's a very long list and includes things that I don't think are necessary for everyone, or comfortable for everyone. Things like creating your signature look and color palette (I LOVE all my stylist friends, but this just isn't on the table for everyone), becoming a speaker and presenter and even delving into PR and reputation management.
All of these things are valid. But they just aren't something that most employees need. And worse, they seem overwhelming and daunting. The exact opposite of how owning who you are and how you show up should feel.
You take the wheel
When I talk about Personality Brand, that's the distinction from personal brand. Control. You get to decide what you share. How you show up. How much of a brand presence you want. Personality Brand gives you all the power to tell your story. To highlight your successes. To showcase what you're good at and how you help. You're in the driver's seat — and you can even design the car. (Mine's a Porsche 911 convertible. What's yours?) This isn't a one-way street for you to simply get noticed, it's about you deciding who you want noticing you as well (so a two-way street). So often we forget that we control our narrative. We get to position ourselves and our expertise how we want. We get to take all of our experience and make it into what we want people to know about us and what's going to help us land the right projects and get into the right rooms. It's not an all or nothing game. It's a little bit of all the best parts.
Peek under the hood
So how can you approach your brand with control? How do you ensure you're just giving people enough of a look to feel comfortable, build trust and report and get noticed for the right reasons? It starts with getting clear on who you are and who you serve. Then it's establishing those important connection points. The hobbies or passions that help someone get to know the real you, not just the work you. This is the key to not only advancement but engagement. It's hard to be engaged with your work if you don't feel like you're doing the work you want to be doing (or should). And for organizations, if your people are happy, engaged and thriving, they're the best ambassadors for your business. They're the champions you want out there helping to bring in other talent and sharing how great it is to work at your company. This is the two-way street of performance and attraction. Want to know how you can create a culture of engaged and productive employees?