Building the Brand “You” – Part 1
“We all know distinction is key, and yet in the last 20 years, we have created a plethora of ho-hum products and services”
Barry Gibbons, Former CEO, Burger King
With the recessionary clouds falling back, opportunities have started opening up in the market.
So, have you started getting calls from various head-hunters?
And have you noticed that a few in your company seem to get the “cream jobs” and are the ones that make the most of any opportunity that are coming up.
People who get off the blocks first are those who are well-known in the market. They have a “Brand” that is powerful & calls out for attention. In most cases, it is because of one reason- they nurture their Brand effectively and position it for the plum positions to the people who matter.
The follow matrix gives a good sense of the 4 quadrants most employees fall into. This is based on the value they add to their customers and organizations as well as the visibility of what they do, to the people who matter. (customers, headhunters, Management etc.). Find out where you fall into.
Your sustained success in your organization is the ability to offer “value” to your customers. It is the skills you have picked up on the way & are able to offer it in a professional way to your customers.
In any organization, (and most of you can relate to this:)) there are numerous “shooting stars” – people who come & shine very brightly. They talk glibly, present fancy slides, are able to articulate so effectively that Management invariably believes in them- and they tend to grow rapidly. And in most cases, these Shooting stars disappear within a span of 2-3 years (or lesser if it is a demanding organization).
The backbone of any company – the faces that the customers see, rely on and trust, are typically those, who are unsung heroes in their own organization. Why? Because they lack the ability to highlight what they do effectively to the people who matter. And these are the people who are the indispensable lot- and whose movement invariably affects the organizational ability in some way. Leaders do their best to keep such people with promises of growth & continue supporting the “shooting stars”.
And there are those who neither add value to the customers or the organization and are also invisible within the organization. These are the employees who typically get the “pink slip” when the going gets tough! If you are one of these, or know people like these, it is a good time to start ramping up on skill sets very quickly. It will set you up well for a better career and a possibility of becoming a star down the line if you do the right things.
So, why is this relevant for the Brand “You” discussion?
This is the first step to building your Brand. It is important to know where you stand! If you are one of those who offer no skills- and are all on hype, you should be prepared to put a strategy that helps you to create a short term impact and then eject as quickly and move on to other organizations. It is not a sustainable model,and I strong recommend, you spend time to build your skills sets and add significant value from TODAY to your organization, the teams & the customers- failing which you should have your eject button on all the time.
Things to do- Sit down and take some time to do a detailed self-analysis. Answer these questions to get an idea of where you fit in-
- What am I known for? List out all the items that you think people look at you for.
- What Projects am I working on? How challenging is this? How do people perceive it? How important or critical is it for the organization?
- What are the new stuff that I have learnt and used over the last few months?
- What is the impact that I have created for my organization or my customers?
- Have I presented, written or published anything in the recent past that helps me get “visibility” in the market.
- Have I got awards either within or outside the organization? Have I been able to get jobs within the company based on what image I have created internally?
Ask others for feedback to make it even more detailed. Where do you position yourself.
More inputs on how to build the “Brand You” in the coming days.
What do you think are areas that are important to build your brand? Write to me at email@example.com or write your comments below.