Oct 18, 2008

ELC Managers Symposium: Building A Personal Brand

The mid-level Managers Symposium featured an opening address and 3 key sessions - all geared towards highlighting multi-dimensional approaches to career enhancement. The morning session revolved around one consistent theme - in order to be successful one must develop a strong Personal Brand. We all have our own ideas about what Personal Branding here's what I got out of the session.

There's no doubt that a strong Personal Brand is built on a number of principles, key competencies and reflected in specific behavioral tendencies.

In order to make any headway in Corporate America - it's important to be very strategic about how you shape your career. A strong personal brand is integral to one's success....

The process of strategic thinking begins with a series of key questions.
1. What impressions do you want others to have of you?
2. How are you preparing yourself for future challenges & opportunities?
3. What type of people do we surround ourselves with?
4. Are you being your own best advocate?
5. Do you understand what it means to add value or to provide a demonstrable business impact at your place of work?
6. What do you stand for and how do you differentiate yourself?

The term personal brand is believed to have first appeared in the August 1997 issue of Fast Company Magazine, in an article by management guru and author Tom Peters, who wrote, "We are CEOs of our own companies: Me Inc. To be in business today, our most important job is to be head marketer for the brand called You." If you haven't already done so, it's time to launch your own Personal Branding Campaign - here are some things to think about.

-> Learn the art of listening and asking questions for the purpose of assessing and navigating your corporate landscape.
-> When the opportunity comes to lead - do so with a human touch. If you treat people like human beings you'll get much better productivity & a higher quality of service
-> Look for mentors and for opportunities to mentor others. (My Observation about Strong Mentorship is that I look for people who excel in specific skills which I long to develop).
-> Make time for self-reflection - it's the key to personal and professional development
-> Be ambitious, but strive for self contentment. This one may be at odds with the "American Dream" and the notion of instant gratification, but it works for me. The idea is that one should not worship a job, a car, a house or any other material thing.
-> Be hopeful. Say what you will about Barack Obama - no one can deny that the man is an inspirational figure and he's nothing if not hopeful. Judging from the amount of success he's had, I'd say there's nothing wrong with being hopeful.


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