Personal Branding

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Personal Branding (6)

What Buzz Are You Creating? Mastering Your Personal Brand

Picture yourself in a meeting with one other person you have never met before. You were each selected from different offices and departments to co-chair a committee at your company. After an hour of intense dialogue with this “new to you” colleague, you each return to your respective locations. Eager to share the experience of the meeting with you, your co-chair takes a moment to talk about you with two of your mutual colleagues. How do you think your new co-chair would describe you in three to five adjectives? Would the first thing that comes to your co-chair’s mind be your strategic thinking ability, your easy collaboration style, being knowledgeable about building high-performance teams, or…?

There is no right or wrong answer to this exercise, but ask yourself this: is the impression I am creating with my daily interactions the one I want to create? It’s important to think about this carefully since each day and with every interaction, you are either intentionally or inadvertently sowing the seeds for a trickle-down “buzz” about you that in essence becomes your personal brand. These conversations about you happen in all kinds of key forums that can influence your career success, from executive conversations and talent reviews to presentations, job interviews, speaking engagements, panels, emails, and social media. That’s a lot of potential influence, so you don’t want to leave it to chance.

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Lessons From a Leadership Journey Across the World

This past week, the SHAMBAUGH team and I had the good fortune of leading a global female leadership program. In this intensive three-day event, we covered 21st Century Leadership Trends as well as a vast array of timely and relevant topics from Leading Change, Communicating with Impact, Strategic Leadership, and Developing Strategic Relationships. Addressing these incredible, already successful female leaders was like speaking to a panel at the United Nations, as the women came from many countries including Asia, South Africa, Latin America, Europe, Canada, and the United States. While the women offered diverse perspectives, knowledge, and insights, they also had one notable similarity: all were experiencing significant change at both the company and local levels. These days, many organizations are experiencing significant changes worldwide, creating a situation that calls for leaders to avoid taking for granted their professional reputation and brand.

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Why You Need a Personal Brand

Last week I presented at a leadership forum for nearly a hundred talented and aspirational women leaders. At this venue, I rallied a call to action for women to have their voices heard and valued by creating a “personal brand.”

Even if you believe you don’t have a brand, you actually do have one. In fact, you may have several brands based on the impressions you leave with others. Unfortunately, these impressions may not be the ones you want people to have of you. Having a brand that defines your best elements and differentiates you from others in a positive way is key to achieving your career goals and aspirations.

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If Hillary Asked You…

If Hillary Clinton asked you if she should run for President in 2016, what would you say? This may seem like a straightforward question based on her many years of experience in public service and the variety of roles she has played. In fact, her vast experience has set her up to be a strong Presidential candidate. But it has also opened up other choices for her that could be just as personally fulfilling. I think the magic here is that whether or not Hillary decides to run, she has created a situation in her career where she is in a position of strength and she also has a choice. And that’s a winning formula for all of us!

Let me explain. In SHAMBAUGH’s coaching practice, we see a number of talented women who have worked hard for years and have a lot of good experience under their belt, which makes them excellent candidates for partnership roles or positions in the C-Suite. Yet these same women often have an internal narrative that defeats their ability to reach their full potential. These internal dialogues sound like, “I’m not sure that I’m qualified” or “If I take this position, I will lose my family life” or “I won’t fit in with the male-dominated leadership team” or “It would be awkward having my current peers working for me” and so on. This kind of dilemma can – be not only frustrating for women but can impact their confidence and professional growth. It can also lead to a potential loss for the leadership of the organization.

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What’s The Buzz About You?

I'm traveling a lot these days, meeting with SHAMBAUGH's clients across the country and around the globe. What keeps coming up in our conversations is how our business environment is rapidly changing and organizations are reinventing themselves in real time to ensure that their brand is aligned with both the changes and the opportunities.

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