Authenticity, Aspiration and Your Personal Brand

Successful people create positive personal impact.  As I point out in “Straight Talk for Success,” you create positive personal impact by building and nurturing your unique personal brand, dressing for success, and knowing and following the basic rules of etiquette.

Last week, I was conducting a workshop on the ideas in “Straight Talk.”  I mentioned that you create a personal brand by deciding how you want people to think about you, and then doing whatever it takes to get them to think this way.

Make sense to you?

Lesley Everett, a personal branding expert, suggests that your personal brand must “imbue authenticity” and that “your outward packaging must reflect your inner self.”  She goes on to say, “Your core authenticity is a unique combination of your values, strengths and drivers that can be packaged and projected effectively and consistently.”

I agree with this.  However, I also think that in the early stages of your personal brand development, it is fine if some of the strengths you want to present as part of your brand are aspirational.  You can work on developing them to make them part of your repertoire.

One of my coaching clients wants to brand himself as a well rounded business person.  He and I have decided that he will begin working with leaders in his organization in areas outside of his IT responsibilities.  He is working with them to show how IT can have a positive impact on improving their part of the business. 

And, it’s working.  He is building a brand as a well rounded business person, not just an IT techno geek.

What’s your brand?  How do you want people to think and speak about you?  What have you done to build and nurture it?

The common sense point here is simple.  Successful people develop and nurture their unique personal brand.  Your personal brand needs to be an authentic representation of who you are.  It’s OK if parts of it are aspirational.  But you need to work hard to turn these aspirations into reality.

That’s my take on creating your personal brand.  What’s yours?  As always, I’m interested in your perspective on these thoughts.  I welcome and appreciate your comments.  Thanks for reading.


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