Build Your Brand So You Will Be Worthy of Recognition

Today is Tuesday, so this post is on positive personal impact.

Abraham Lincoln once said something that applies here.  “Don’t worry when you are not recognized, but strive to be worthy of recognition.”  The idea of constantly striving “to be worthy of recognition” captures the essence of creating positive personal impact.

As I point out in my book Straight Talk for Success, I have found in my executive coaching work that people who create positive personal impact have three things in common:

  • People with positive personal impact develop and nurture their unique personal brands.
  • People with positive personal impact are impeccable in their presentation of self.
  • People with positive personal impact know and follow the basic rules of etiquette.

If you develop and nurture your unique personal brand, present yourself well and use the basic rules of etiquette consistently, you will become recognized as a person with positive personal impact.  There are two keys here.  First, work constantly and continually at creating positive personal impact.  Second, realize that this won’t come overnight.  You have to work at it.  That’s the idea behind the first part of Mr. Linclon’s quote – “don’t worry when you are not recognized.”

I’ll use myself as an example.  I have been working on my personal brand, The Common Sense Guy, for over five years.  Yet, I never miss an opportunity to keep it in front of people.  My business card says, “Bud Bilanich, The Common Sense Guy.”  As I’m sure you’ve noticed, I tend to end most of my blog posts by saying something like, “The common sense point here is simple…”  When I speak to audiences, I always make sure that they know the advice I am dispensing is based in common sense.  When I complete on line forms, I always enter “The Common Sense Guy” for both my company and my title.

It’s the same when it comes to attire.  I am on a plane as I am writing this.  When I packed for the trip last night, I pulled out two pair of dark charcoal gray slacks, a black cashmere blazer, several white shirts and striped ties.  I always wear white shirts and striped ties when I visit my clients.  Often, they tell me that I don’t need to dress up as they are a business casual office.  I always reply by saying, “I put on my tie today, because I knew I would be seeing an important person – you.”  This comment always gets a smile – and from what I can tell, people are flattered by it. 

My white shirt and striped tie look has become so well known among people who I see regularly, that they are surprised when I deviate from it.  A couple of months ago, I was getting dressed and noticed a favorite foulard patterned tie on my tie rack.  I decided to be a little wild and crazy and wear it.  Sure enough, one of my clients asked if I were changing my look – from striped to patterned ties.  This little story illustrates the power of consistency.  I had never discussed my preference for striped ties with this woman.  However, at some level, she noticed my white shirt and striped tie presentation.  It must have registered, or she would not have mentioned it when I deviated from my normal tie selection.

When it comes to etiquette, I have one simple piece of advice – do whatever it takes to make the people around you comfortable.  I have an acquaintance who is an etiquette nut.  She can quote you chapter and verse from Emily Post.  Unfortunately, she is so correct in her behavior, and more importantly, her expectations of others, that dining with her is an unpleasant experience.  I am pretty well versed in dining etiquette.  Yet, when I dine with this woman, I spend way too much time worrying about the more esoteric dining etiquette rules; so much so, that I never enjoy my meal.  This is probably more my fault than hers, but she contributes to a general feeling of discomfort in these situations. 

The common sense point here is simple.  Heed Mr. Lincoln’s advice.  Strive to be worthy of recognition.  Do this by developing and nurturing your personal brand; being impeccable in your appearance; and helping the people around you to feel comfortable in social situations.  If you do just three things, you’ll create a powerful positive personal impact.

That’s it for today.  Thanks for reading.  Log on to my website for more common sense.  I am not posting regularly on my blog right now, as I want to concentrate on this one.  It is still up though.  Please don’t cancel your RSS feed as I will be posting there occasionally.  And, you can still get a free ebook version of my book 4 Secrets of High Performing Organizations by visiting

I’ll see you around the web and at Alex’s Lemonade Stand.


PS: Speaking of Alex’s Lemonade Stand, my fundraising page is still open.  Please go to to read Alex’s inspiring story and to donate if you can.

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