Tag Archives: Accountability

What is Your Personal and Professional Brand?

CoachStation: Personal BrandingThe leader and employee in today’s environment must possess a credible and trusted brand, much like a company does.

 

The benefits of modern technology and Social Media make this easier than in the past. However it takes time and effort to develop a reputation that is built on genuine results, behaviours, skills and qualities that others identify as strengths and positive attributes.

 

Personal branding, much like social media, is about making a full-time commitment to the journey of defining yourself as a leader and how this will shape the manner in which you will serve others. (1)
Many leaders are already performing well in their roles and have much to offer. How many others know this is another question. Having the knowledge and tools to promote yourself effectively without appearing to be ‘big-noting’ is a challenge for some. I look at this differently. It is not about being a self-promoter. It is more about being comfortable enough in who you are and your achievements so that you can comfortably talk about it. Being overlooked for promotion; receiving little recognition; difficulty in explaining beliefs, passions or roles, amongst other skills can be difficult challenges. But they can be overcome. Creating a strong brand can only be achieved through consistent practice and application. This takes effort and accountability. In a blog I wrote previously titled ‘Ownership of Your Employment Status‘ I mentioned the importance of ownership and taking accountability. Perceptions about self and what we think others believe about us influences much of who we are and what we do.

 

Each person has their own beliefs and needs and are at various stages of acceptance of their situation, financial requirements and employability. Being clear about what you want from life, including as an employee, helps an individual make appropriate decisions based on want, values and need and not simply situation and opportunity. Even when current roles appear stable, understanding of yourself and focusing energies on the next step or options is a worthwhile exercise.

A brand in itself is not the end game. It is a mistake to think that a hollow set of tricks and/or being a good marketer without having the substance to support the brand will work. This is the same when promoting products, services or people. People see through this kind of facade very quickly, even when we think they haven’t.

A solid social media presence is one aspect, but not the only point. It is widely written that what is presented to the world via your web presence is becoming more and more critical to your brand. It is a wonder to me how many people still struggle with this concept. As important as this is, what is being highlighted here has greater depth, meaning and substance than merely presenting yourself professionally online. It is how you communicate, manage perceptions, behave, respond, learn about and apply emotional intelligence, develop your relationships, foster an ability to connect with others and many other core skills that makes a real difference.

 

Developing your personal brand is essential for the advancement of your career and development as a leader.  Unfortunately, personal branding has become a “commoditized” term that has lost its intention as people have irresponsibly used social media as a platform to build their personal brand and increase their relevancy.   They believe social media can immediately increase their market value for their personal brand rather than recognizing that the process of developing their personal brand is a much bigger responsibility; a never-ending journey that extends well beyond social media.
Your personal brand should represent the value you are able to consistently deliver to those whom you are serving.  This doesn’t mean self-promotion – that you should be creating awareness for your brand by showcasing your achievements and success stories.  Managing your personal brand requires you to be a great role model, mentor, and / or a voice that others can depend upon. (1)

Personal branding is a topic  that has been of interest to me for some years. I previously designed a 1-day workshop that focuses on developing a personal brand that means something in the workplace and the real world. This is not only relevant and important when you are looking for a new role. Essentially, having a strong brand always matters. I work with people in various industries at all levels of management, yet the branding elements remain surprisingly consistent. The issues that exist and skills required in modern workplaces are as applicable for entry-level employees as they are for supervisors and executive level leaders.

Within the workshop I focus on the core elements that can assist any individual to develop a reputation that is based on a solid foundation, leading to improved credibility and future success. These topics may be of use to you as you continue to develop your own brand:

  1. Understand why personal branding is important in the business environment.
  2. Learn the key elements of branding and how to build them.
  3. Confidence and being genuine – don’t feel you need to act the part.
  4. Understand the relevance of Social Media in developing a brand and how to use these tools to greatest effect.
  5. Develop a strong brand that matters to you and those who matter most to you.
  6. Be introduced to and learn how to use the most relevant tools and technology to develop your brand.
  7. Understand why a personal and professional brand is a non-negotiable for leaders and employees in today’s environment.

View your personal brand as a trademark; an asset that you must protect while continuously molding and shaping it.  Your personal brand is an asset that must be managed with the intention of helping others benefit from having a relationship with you and / or by being associated with your work and the industry you serve. (1)

Have you defined your own brand? If so, do you live and  breathe it consistently every day? The need to develop strength in reputation is more relevant today than ever. If you don’t take control of your brand it will continue to evolve but not in a way that will add value to yourself and those you care about. Think about what your brand looks like from the perspective of others and take action to be accountable in moulding it to greatest effect. The opportunity is yours.

 

(1)  Personal Branding is a Leadership Requirement, Not a Self-Promotion Campaign: Forbes

 

Some of my other blogs aligned to this topic:

Leadership Benefits: Self-Awareness and ROI

Turning Connections Into Relationships

 

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Are You An Accountable Person…and Leader?

Over the past 12 months I have noticed a trend within my circles of influence about the importance of accountability. Particularly in reference to leadership.

As a result when asked earlier this year to contribute to the e.Mile People Development Magazine by owner, Christina Lattimer, I jumped at the chance to write an article about this topic. I recently wrote a separate, yet related blog on accountability however wanted to bring to attention the importance of accountability and where it is ‘falling down’ in some quarters. By the responses received to the blogs, it is definitely striking a chord with many.

In my 25 plus years of working as an employee, consultant and leadership coach there have been several themes that continue to recur when working with senior leaders, many linked to being an accountable leader.

Earlier in my career it was initially surprising to me how many senior leaders were genuinely stressed and deeply concerned about their capability to lead others, regularly questioning whether they have earned the right to lead. In some cases they were losing sleep and living unhealthy lifestyles due to the real or perceived pressure of their roles.

I now recognise that much of this angst and lack of self-belief has been developed over time based on habitual, intrinsic and external influences, both perceived and real. Excitingly, for the same reasons, these skills and attributes can be grown to turn the negative aspects into positives.

Read More here…Be Accountable To Be A Leader

 

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Filed under Accountability, Leadership, People Development

Leadership and Courage

I recently wrote, “One of the key elements of accountability is the comfort to have the ‘right’ conversations. Being accountable is addressing all issues and providing feedback for positive behaviours also. This is not something that we pick and choose depending on our own levels of comfort or fear. You are either all in or you are out! Strong relationships with high trust allow us to have the right conversations. In all of our relationships, both inside and outside of the workplace, we earn the right to hold others accountable. A surface level conversation once every few months will never cut it. I believe there is no conversation that cannot be had – with the caveat that it is what happens in between the formal discussions that enables us to ‘go there’.”

Gwyn Teatro often writes blogs of substance and relevance, with her most recent revisited offering spot on in terms of the reality of organisational culture and the various challenges that exist in most businesses.

The real decision is whether you are the sort of leader who is willing to develop deep relationships, be accountable and be brave enough to challenge the norms, not because it is easy, but because to not do so does not sit comfortably with your own values and beliefs. I share this blog as another great example of Gwyn’s thoughts and the extension of my own.

You're Not the Boss of Me

courageCourage has many faces. It doesn’t always show up complete with epaulets and a shiny sword yelling “Charge!!” In fact, I would suggest it more often demands a much subtler approach. Either way, courage is not something we can buy or fake. It lives in the heart of our character. And, it is something we hope to have enough of when we need it most.

Brave leaders go first and inspire others to find their own courage. They defy convention. They admit their mistakes, apologize and make amends when they are wrong. Brave leaders explore unknown territory in service of something greater than themselves. They deliver bad news with clarity, determination and compassion. And, they stay the course when the going gets tough

Brave leaders, too, frequently look in their personal, and organizational mirrors to find something in themselves or in the systems they create that works against their potential…

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