A lot of people have been talking about Personal Brand recently. I have seen more mention of this on social media, LinkedIn, and in traditional media. There have been a number of talks by colleagues on personal brand at work. But what is Personal Brand?
As with a number of these things it can mean different things to different people. For some people it means themselves and careers as one. To others it is their career, to yet more it is their persona that they bring to work. What does it mean to me?
Pete’s view of personal brand
To me, personal brand is myself, my actions, my interactions, how I show myself, how I remain true to myself and the impression I leave of myself with others.
The main element of my brand is being true to myself and my personal values. So this includes compassion, support, assisting and developing others. A core part of my brand is following through on promises. If I say I will do something, trying my best to, and if I can’t do what I say informing others.
How I act and deal with people, being welcoming, treating people with respect and helping understand what makes them successful, confident, feel valued and respected. The most important part is recognising their achievements and helping them to see what they have achieved.
Helping people to come together in a supportive environment where they feel they can discuss their career, and brand. How to gain confidence, share their experiences and helping them to see the value in networking, but also how to start to grow their network organically.
What don’t I think personal brand is?
My opinion is that personal brand is not based upon how you look or dress. I know this is not an opinion shared by many.
For a lot of people their brand and look are the same. Sharp suited, well dressed, well coiffed, nicely made up. Power dressed, dressed for the role they want, mimicking others who they see as successful.
I can see why they think that, and I am sure it brings them a boost in confidence and self worth. But for me, how I dress is not as important as how I act and how true I am to myself.
Do I follow through when I take actions?
Do I say something with the intent of doing it? Offers of support, introductions, sharing useful documentation and information?
When given an objective or deliverable to I put my all into it?
These things are, to me, by far more important. Integrity over appearance. I would rather be the man who does, than the man who looks good.
I have distributed images of myself through this article. All are of me at work, in varying different styles of dress. Usually I will wear a shirt and chinos, sometimes a jumper or polo shirt, on a Friday a T Shirt. Occasionally a full on suit, shirt and tie.
But I would like to think that how I look has no bearing on the level of trust people have in my ability. My results and reputation should be enough to build trust in people.
Would you trust me more to carry out an action you assign me because I’m wearing a shirt and tie, or because someone has told you of a good experience working with me?
If I had to summarise my brand it would be as follows:
A slightly quirky, authentic, reliable, supportive, proactive, principled, hard working colleague. Strives to deliver to the best of his ability, is pragmatic, tenacious and looks for out of the box solutions.
My colleagues can read this, and leave comments if they feel that this doesn’t represent me.
My ask of you would be – build your brand around what you want to be, what you would like others to say about you. Match your brand to your core values and your ambition. Don’t build your brand based on what you think others would like to see.
What would you like your brand to say about you?