Having a strong and consistent personal brand is essential for gaining and maintaining a successful professional career. The same holds true for your board career. Actually, you will be scrutinised and looked-at more closely as a company director.
Where do you start when figuring out your personal brand?
Like Simon Sinek has taught us, start with WHY. Take some time to watch this TED talk and start to formulate your WHY.
I’ll share with you my WHY: I am passionate about developing strong, confident future leaders. I believe that confident, resilient leaders build strong businesses that have the power to create better communities and a better world.
I also back up my WHY with my values, and I never compromise on them. These include integrity, personal growth, excellence, trust, and loyalty, amongst others (around 20 in total).
I use all of this information to inform the decisions I make around my personal brand, and help set the impression that I want to leave people with.
As a new or aspiring director, what is your WHY and what are the core values you want to live by?
Once you develop these, consider the impact that they have on the following elements of your personal brand:
These include your social media profiles, your blog posts, pictures you are tagged in, articles or blog posts that you are featured in, pictures you like on social media, tweets, comments, shared articles, LinkedIn connections, podcasts, and any other online profile or account that you have created.
Organisations you align yourself to
By ‘liking’ organisations, people, or products on Facebook, following them on LinkedIn and Twitter, liking or sharing their content, listing your memberships, etc. you are demonstrating an alignment, link, or endorsement (even if you have a disclaimer saying that you don’t).
These involve any type of direct interaction with another person or organisation – emails, tweets, instant messages, blog posts, phone manner, your CV / resume, and business card. What are all of these ‘marketing pieces’ saying about you?
Consider how your physical appearance and the way you speak and conduct yourself influences people’s impression of you.
Ok, now what?
Spend some time doing an audit and tidying up your digital footprint and offline persona to make sure that everything that represents you aligns and tells the same message.
Why does this matter?
Like with any potential employer, you will be researched when you apply for a board vacancy. You will then continue to be judged on all of the things you do, say, and be – that’s just a fact of life.
Some simple advice to remember though: remain authentic and true to yourself, but be cognisant of the fact that you are being watched.
How do you manage your personal brand?