Have you ever played “The Voting Game”? It’s a party game where you anonymously vote on which player is described by each card drawn. Lots of laughs ensue when the results of each vote are revealed. Playing that game is the quickest way to learn the personal brand you’ve created. Game cards include topics like Most Likely to Show Up to Your High School Reunion in a Rented Lamborghini or Most Likely to be Called When a Friend Gets Thrown in Jail or Most Likely to Positively Change the World. So, you quickly learn the thoughts and impressions the other players have about you. I’m still trying to understand why I got voted Most Likely to Lead a Cult. I mean, is that a good thing or a bad thing? I digress.

Business leaders generally understand the importance of building a brand for their business and spend considerable time and money on it. Often, though, they don’t understand the importance of creating a personal brand. Spending the time and possibly money to develop your personal brand (and manage it) is equally important and has numerous benefits.

To define your personal brand, you need to really think about what’s important to you both personally and professionally. And, what’s the value you can and will consistently deliver? Better said, if acquaintances or colleagues were talking about you at a dinner party, what would they say?

Are you someone who always keeps your word? For some people, that statement is true to their core and they would never think about defaulting on a commitment. For others, that statement conveys someone who is boring, inflexible, and never spontaneous. Are you a rule breaker? For some, that title is a compliment because they don’t accept the status quo. For others, being a rule breaker implies disrespect. Where do you fall? What do you want people to say about you?

You might be thinking, “Who cares what people say about me?” But it is important because your brand sets people’s expectations and it affects the projects or opportunities you’re given. Do you want to do more public speaking but you never seem to get the opportunity? Do you want to go on that annual guys’ golf trip but so far it hasn’t happened? Do you feel like your employees are on a different page than you are? By defining and managing your personal brand, you can affect all of these situations by helping others know what’s important to you. Your personal brand also helps you define your priorities. Where should you focus your time? What projects truly make you happy? Are there things you’re doing today that aren’t a good use of your time? In the future, what projects should you say ‘no’ to?

And finally, by developing and managing a personal brand, you convey a certain amount of professionalism and competency. By being intentional and organized in how you present yourself and your beliefs, you instill confidence in others.

Homework time: Think about the personal brand you’ve created. If you were to play “The Voting Game,” what would you be voted? Is it the brand you want or not? In the coming weeks, check back on our ACAP Recap blog for a follow-up on creating the brand you really want.

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