Another often misunderstood or under-applied concept in not just leadership development but also personal and professional growth holistically is the incredible value of a personal brand. To this day, I recall the cover story of FastCompany magazine on September 1997 with the lead article from Tom Peters: ‘‘The Brand Called You’’ and its tagline: ‘‘You Can’t Move Up If You Don’t Stand Out.’’ Both that article and much of the research I’ve done on the topic point to several fundamental attributes of a personal brand. It must be:
- Distinctive—uniquely YOU
- Memorable—only if you want it repeated to others
- Respected—people will deal with others they know, like, and trust; it’s time to add one more to this list: respected.
- Following—are you a best-kept secret?
- Resilient—strong brands overcome adversity; think about Tylenol, Toyota, or Michael Milken.
- Timeless—fads come and go and there is a reason it’s called ‘‘15 minutes of fame.’’
- Reliable—can others count on you consistently?
- Deliver—as mentioned previously, performance trumps all
Don’t stop at your personal brand with these eight attributes. Once you have successfully branded yourself (or while you are in the process), also work on branding the department your run or company you own. Everyone could benefit from a company that has the same traits above and word will undoubtedly spread about your products and services.
How well do a group of individuals work well together in a team-based environment? Take our Free Relationship DNA assessment to identify the team attributes in one of four quadrants with a high level profile and a set of recommendations.