You should, says St. Luke's Center For Leadership’s recent Lunch & Lead visitor, Nancy DeViney. It was a particularly valuable message coming from someone who is a 37-year veteran of IBM, which at $69 billion is the second most valuable brand in the world. So what constitutes your own personal brand, and how do you go about consciously developing it?
Nancy told St. Luke’s students there are four components to a brand:
What people perceive about you from the outside determines your Image, which means that contrary to popular opinion it pays to “sweat the small stuff”.
Tip: Work at improving your self-awareness and communication skills.
Your Experience consists of what you have done, what you can point to as accomplishments, what has informed your outlook and worldview. Consequently, the more things you have done, the more varied your breadth of experience becomes.
Tip: Follow your passions wherever they call to you. Try new things, lots of them, and keep learning.
Trust is earned over time, and therefore ties into your experiences. A crucial requirement to earn trust is to “go deep” in some areas, become what she called a “T-shaped person,” or someone with depth of expertise in at least one area. When you intentionally build your capabilities in a given area, people learn to trust your judgment and/or work output.
Tip: Connect with others to accomplish your goals, they’ll make you better and help build your reputation for trustworthiness.
We hear repeatedly that Relationships are what matter most, and that’s as true for creating your brand as for anything else in life. Working to truly understand people, to show empathy and interest in them as individuals, pays dividends in the long run.
Tip: Find a mentor. Try hard to broaden your network and circle of friends.
Nancy shared with the students that her personal brand at IBM consists of superior teamwork – she is known for helping groups of people work well together, which is one reason why she’s now the VP for Organizational Change Management. St. Luke’s Center for Leadership Director Jim Foley asked her what one thing a person could remind themselves every day in order to consciously develop their brand, and he loved her reply: ”Think about how to bring value to every interaction you have with every person, every day.” Advice well worth following!
Find Your Voice. Make A Difference.