What do people say about you when you leave the room? Generally speaking, if it was a professional situation, they would mention your title and responsibilities. If it was a more relaxed environment, they might talk about your character, how easy or difficult you are to work with, your values and how they impact the way you deal with others, your aspirations, and even your family situation.
Your personal brand is more than just your title and responsibilities. It includes the actions you take that directly reflect your values, your passions, and your aspirations. Your personal brand, your reputation, is constantly changing as your actions reflect your experiences, your challenges, and the influence of others. But no one action can define your personal brand.
The big buzz over the past couple of weeks has been the very public way in which Greg Smith resigned from Goldman Sachs. He has definitely altered the way people think of him – those who know him and even more to the point, those who never heard of him before but now have a strong opinion of him.
I have heard people say that he has really branded himself. But as what? There are many different points of view as to the motive behind his actions. He has been labeled moral, vindictive, whistleblower, spoiler, spoiled, hypocrite, honest, dishonest, and I could go on.
One act does not constitute your personal brand. Personal branding is all about who you are in your entirety. Not a reflection of one action – but – that action is incorporated in your brand. Whatever Mr. Smith decides his next step will be, it will define and strengthen the direction his reputation, his brand, will take. It will provide added insight into who he is and why he did it.
Your personal brand is always a work in progress. A few years ago I’m sure Mr. Smith didn’t have a clue that he would make this public declaration nor be the focus of so much discussion and conjecture in the news and on the airways. His action was a result of some experience – one that affected how he viewed the world – his values and sense of purpose. By taking this strong a stand Mr. Smith has impacted his reputation, his personal brand, but the direction is still anyone’s guess.
How about you?
- Do you know what others are saying about you?
- Have you defined your personal brand in a way that accurately reflects who you are today and hints at what you want to accomplish in the future?
- Do your actions strengthen your positioning of how you want to be known?
You are in control of how others view you. So don’t be surprised by what they are saying about you and take control of your personal brand.
For tips for entrepreneurs and small business owners these articles on FoxBusiness should be helpful.
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