Have you played the Voting Game yet? Are you not sure what I’m talking about? In my last post, I mentioned how playing that game is the quickest way to determine the personal brand you’ve created. But what if the personal brand you’ve created doesn’t match up with the personal brand you want to have? Do you even know what the personal brand is you want to have? It’s important to know and create the brand you want because it impacts the projects and opportunities you’re given.
Your brand is total accumulation of what people think or expect when they hear your name. It’s probably easy to decide some of the qualities you want to be part of your personal brand. Is it important to you to be thought of as dependable or funny? Do you live out those qualities? If so, then those qualities are part of your personal brand. But how do you decide the other qualities that should be part of your brand and possibly aren’t?
For this, you should think about the opportunities you want you aren’t currently being given. Are you ready for a promotion? Are you interested in being on the board of a charity you’re involved in? Do you want to be part of a group or committee you aren’t currently part of? Once you determine the opportunities you want, it’s time to think about others.
Who’s the audience that’s going to give you that opportunity — and what does that person or people need? How can you help fill that need? Before we go any further, though, let’s be clear. I’m not talking about brown-nosing. If you’re looking for a promotion and your boss happens to need his or her car washed, that’s not the type of “need” I’m talking about. I’m talking about a need related to the opportunity you want. Is your boss overwhelmed so he or she needs people who are eager to take on new, unfamiliar projects? Is this you? Are you sure you’re conveying that? Maybe you’re really eager but you’re overwhelmed yourself. Is it possible you aren’t conveying you’re eager? Is your boss new in his or her role so they need someone knowledgeable to lead and guide others? Do you come off as super-knowledgeable but don’t appear to want to mentor others? Do you like mentoring others? If so, maybe you could find ways to illustrate that skill as opposed to just showing you’re really smart.
I know…a LOT of questions. The point here is to think about others as you decide what qualities should be part of your personal brand. Remember, though, these qualities can’t be fake. Just because your boss needs someone to mentor others, if you don’t like mentoring and that isn’t part of your skill set, don’t try to make it part of your brand. Instead, use that understanding to change your expectations about the opportunities you want. Maybe that promotion isn’t really what you’re aiming for. Maybe what you really want is recognition for your knowledge which could be shown through the opportunity for more public-speaking.
Creating your personal brand isn’t an exercise in creating a fictitious persona. It’s an opportunity to think about what you want people to say about you versus what you don’t care if they say about you.