Do You Know Your Personal Brand?
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One of the challenges when promoting people into a management position, is they often don’t take the time to reflect on what this means for their personal brand. They are either completely unaware, or they fail to grasp the impact that they as a leader can have on their new team, and fail to maximise this opportunity by pausing and taking the time to reflect on who they want to be as a leader, what they want to be known for, and what lasting impact they want to generate in the lives of the people they now lead.
Whether you know it or not, we all have a personal brand at work. It is how others see you and what you are known for, and it will impact the way your team, your colleagues and your other stakeholders interact with you. Taking control of your personal brand can lead to increases in engagement, productivity and the performance of your team, while at the other extreme it can also damage your reputation, lead to disconnection and missed targets, higher turnover and missed opportunities for advancement within your career.
By understanding and reflecting on your personal brand, you gain the ability to influence your leadership style and the impact you can have at work.
Take a minute to think about the best and then the worst manager you’ve ever head. What were the qualities that made him or her so good? How did they make you feel? What was your performance like while working with the best manager you’ve ever had? What about the worst one? What qualities made them so hard to work for? How did you feel about your role and the company while working under them? What was your performance and attitude like?
This kind of exercise can help you gain awareness of the type of manager you want to be. How do you want your team to think about you? What feelings do you want them to have about their role? And what do you want the rest of the business to think about you and your team’s performance? If one of your team was asked the above questions about their best and worst leader in 10years time, which bucket would they put you in? how would they remember you and the impact you had on their career, their memories of their time in their current role, and their life in general?
The words ‘leadership’ and ‘management’ are often used interchangeably, however there is an important distinction.
I see ‘Leadership’ as the art and science of steering the ship, of directing the course and defining the strategy and plans to get us to where we want to go. Of generating the excitement and loyalty of your people to want to follow you and want to give of their gifts and talent to help bring the dream of the company alive.
In contrast, I see ‘Management’ as the talent and skill of taking someone else’s vision and translating it for your team. Ensuring they know what they need to focus on and achieve on a daily or weekly basis for the good of the team, the company and your clients. ‘Management’ is about aligning individual motivation with team and company goals, and ensuring each team member is set up for success with clear targets, clear measures of success and the right materials and equipment to do their job well.
‘Management’ is often a difficult and highly under-rated skill. Yet it is what will drive positive results and sustainable business growth for your business. Research suggests that 70% of your people’s engagement is directly attributable to their direct manager, so supporting and educating your people leaders could be the best investment you make to develop and grow your business or professional career.
The best Leaders I have worked with are the people that can do both. They can disrupt the status quo, challenge entrenched ideas and ways of doing things, and inspire others with a positive vision of the future. They can also build loyalty and commitment within their teams by tapping into the intrinsic motivation of their people to align personal and team goals. These are the Leaders and Managers who have a clear understanding of who they are, their natural strengths and weaknesses, and how they can productively apply them within their role.
Their understanding of their personal brand directs them to build empowered teams, igniting and aligning cognitive diversity to cover collective blindspots and ensure team success. They have taken the time to reflect on who they want to be for their people, and what behaviours they need to demonstrate to generate that specific reputation. They have invested their time in personal reflection and coaching conversations to get to the heart of who they are and how they can naturally play to their strengths to generate strong, cohesive, and collaborative teams.
The names of these Managers will be remembered and revered by their people in future as having had the most positive impact on their own career, confidence and performance.
Will you be one of them?
Will you take the time out to reflect on who you want to be? What your personal brand is and how you can generate the best of yourself for your team, your colleagues and other stakeholders?
If this excites you, some questions to help you get started are:
- What impact did your best manager have on you?
- What do you want to be known for?
- What can others depend on you for?
- How will you make others feel?
- What behaviours do you need to be demonstrating so others feel that?
- What do you naturally do well?
- How can you apply your natural talents in your role to generate those feelings in others?
- What are you committed to for your team?
- How will others know that you are committed to that?
- What benefit do you personally create for your company?
If you are drawn to know more and to find ways to bring out your best as a Manager and as a Leader, then our Master Management Course could be just the thing you are looking for. In partnership with the UDIA, we run our highly impactful course twice a year. Enrolments for our August cohort have just opened.
You can find out more about it here: https://myudiavic.force.com/s/lt-event?id=a1h9s000000FKiFAAW, or PM us to set up a call to see if it is right for you or your people leaders.