Mark had been a Cub master for many years in the Boy Scouts. Under his leadership, the group had become one of the largest and most active in his community; however, when Mark, a chemical engineer, began branding himself, guess what? He left his leadership style and success in scouting by the wayside and never mentioned it. He didn’t realize that although it wasn’t connected to his professional achievements, anyone seeking him as a consultant, manager, or team member would have been impressed.
Claire, a volunteer with the local hospital’s clown corps, never mentioned she had spent two Saturdays each month bringing cheer to patients of all ages. She didn’t see it as an important part of her personal brand, but if you asked anyone about the value of getting before groups, dealing with unwilling audiences or the difficulty in bringing sunshine into the gloom that often accompanies serious or chronic illness – they’d tell you Claire possessed not just a special talent but a true gift!
Do these stories sound familiar? It’s important to craft yourself into a marketable brand and exude it in everything you do. Don’t make light of things that are memorable about you. Make your brand known so your boss or client will keep you top of mind on their speed dial. There’s nothing wrong with expressing your uniqueness and positioning yourself in the hearts and minds of people who can help you be successful. When you’re clear on what you’re known for, you will have the self-confidence to tell others. A little self-promoting goes a long way.
Self-promoting is about sharing your value with the people who are going to make a difference in reaching your goals— no matter if you “just” volunteered as a scout or won a million dollar deal on your sales team. What matters is the role you play and the difference you make while applying your unique leadership competencies. Your people skills (soft skills) are just as important as your professional achievements.
When was the last time you accomplished something meaningful outside of your professional work? Did you help meet a goal for a school fundraiser? Or maybe you helped organize a community event. It takes a special set of skills to be able to successfully accomplish those things. You may recognize that one of your leadership competencies is decision making, resourcing, or inspiring. Now that’s something to brag about. You may also realize that your brand personas include being a motivator, an expert, or a visionary.
Be proud of everything you do that makes you, YOU—whether it directly or indirectly relates to your professional day job. Demonstrate those elements and leave your thumb print on everything you do.
You don’t have to brag, but you can raise their awareness of your unique value that is relevant to fulfilling a marketplace need.
That’s My Voice: What’s yours? Let me hear your wisdom and I’ll send you a free article I wrote for SW Spirit Magazine
“Do it right in the presence you exude. Do it right in how you communicate. Do it right in how you demonstrate a strong personal brand. Do it right in how you look, act, walk, talk and ARE from the inside out. Valerie’s tips will build your self-confidence knowing you can Do It Right.”
“Business leaders refer to communications, teamwork, and etiquette as “the soft skills.” They are not the soft skills if they can get you fired. They are the foundation of business relationships, and nothing happens in business until there is a relationship. This book fills an important gap in the education of new and seasoned professionals.”
~Tom Trotter-IBM Executive & Community Leader
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~ Candace O’Keefe -Executive Director, Leadership America, Inc.