Do you ever wonder what people think when they hear your name? It crosses my mind often.
The board world is a small one. Most people know each other, particularly as you go along in your board career and move to larger, more sophisticated boards.
Since most board approaches and appointments are still largely made via personal networks, it pays to be intentional about what people think about you, your behaviours, and how you operate. In a nutshell, your personal brand.
What are some ways that you can become more intentional about your personal brand, particularly as a new or aspiring board member?
- This post I did a couple of years ago is a great place to start. It will help you figure out a foundation to build your personal brand from and how you can do a little self-audit to bring everything into alignment.
- Consider starting a blog or guest blogging on a website in your, or a complementary, industry website. You can demonstrate your expertise, personality, and value in a meaningful way. This can help your professional career, as well as your board career.
- Take opportunities to speak; whether at events, in small groups, or on podcasts. Again, this is another way to demonstrate your expertise, how you think on your feet, and show the value you can deliver an organisation.
- Network. People can’t know about you if they don’t know who you are. These posts here and here are good places to start a networking and engagement strategy for your board ambitions.
- Be conscious and cautious with the board(s) you do join. Guilt – or prestige – by association comes as part of the director job. Be constantly considering the effect your fellow board members are having on you. Good people and boards can go bad, and bad boards can turn good. I left a board recently because the risk to my personal reputation was becoming too great.
- Remember to always:
- · Be consistent in what you say and do.
- · Have a standard and operate at or above it all the time.
- · Do what you say you’re going to do.
Your personal brand and reputation do the talking for you when you’re not there. It’s never too late for you to start working on your brand; even if it requires a re-birth and start-from-scratch approach.
What story is your personal brand telling about you?
Want to go deeper? Here are some other articles to check out.
- The Complete Guide to Building Your Personal Brand (Quick Sprout)
- Eight Steps to Building a Powerful Personal Brand (Inc.)
- Reinventing Your Personal Brand (HBR)
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