Must-Know Top Three Personal Brand Myths
Personal branding has been a hot topic ever since management guru Tom Peters popularized the idea that people – like companies – can have brands, in his blockbuster article “The Brand Called You” (Fast Company, August 1997).
Even with all the media attention on the personal brands of celebrities and CEOs, some leaders still remain confused by the idea of a personal brand for themselves. A few think it’s not necessary for them. Others are concerned that they have to be “fake” or inauthentic to have a powerful personal brand.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
Personal brands are a unique expression of who you are as a person and as a leader.
To dispel some misunderstandings, let’s examine the top three myths that I encounter about personal brands:
Personal Brand Myth #1Your brand is your title or status.
The essence of you is not ‘Vice President of Marketing.’ You are not how much money you make, the car you drive, where you live or the size of your house. These are external labels that become part of your story, but they are not what defines you.
Don’t lose yourself in the labels. Your personal brand is who you are at your core. You may have to dig deep to master that. (Don’t worry, that’s something I can help you with.)
Personal Brand Myth #2Your brand is a character you play at work.
Let’s face it, some people can “look the part.” They present a polished exterior or talk a good game about what they are able to deliver.
But there’s a danger. If you are desperately hiding who you really are, cracks start to form. The brand veneer falls apart and the truth is eventually exposed. Being fake or dishonest undermines your power and people feel it!
Think of Lance Armstrong. He went from being the most admired athlete in the world to being reviled. Not because he wasn’t a talented and successful person who created tremendous good in the world. Armstrong was those things – he was driven, he started a foundation that does tremendous good in the world. However, his years of vehement denials of drug use and his bullying of his accusers reveals him as a liar and a hypocrite. And now, few think of Live Strong first when they think of Armstrong. They think of a liar and cheater.
Don’t fake it. You’ll gain the respect of others by owning who you are and what you’re capable of delivering. You’re better than you give yourself credit for.
Personal brand myth #3My brand is whatever I tell you it is.
Dictating your brand just doesn’t work. Statements like “I’m such a great boss and my team loves me,” or “I’m the most trustworthy person here,” raise subconscious warning signals to the people around you.
They think to themselves, “If that’s true, why do you have to tell me about it?”
Dictators lack confidence.
There is a way to be your own PR agent with subtlety and class. Let others know you are a great boss or that you are trustworthy by sharing a story that is related. People love hearing stories!
Align yourself with what matters most to you. Live your brand fully expressed with intention and purpose to play bigger!
Are you interested in having a conversation to explore how you can define your personal brand and accelerate your growth as a leader, individually or as a team? Send an e-mail to me to book a complimentary 30-minute consultation.