Everyone has a brand that precedes them. Before we engage others, they have already assigned certain qualities to us i.e. attributes and characteristics that they associate with you when they think about you. You yourself are a brand and what is out there and what you display on a day-to-day basis either builds or taints that brand.
You are a brand
Viewing yourself as a brand is immensely personal and is strongly linked to your identity. It is your reputation, how you communicate and express yourself, and it reflects your values.
Your personal brand must support your reason for waking up in the morning since harmony between your brand and your purpose is what gives meaning to your existence. Simply put, your brand is how you show up and your purpose is why you get up. Therefore, you get up to show up. Ultimately, this is what defines you as a person and as a leader.
Reputation is a fragile thing
Believability and trust in people have become critical considerations for leaders in this day and age. Today’s consumers want to associate themselves with believable, authentic brands that can be trusted. A leader who has a believable personal brand reinforces the organisation’s brand as also being trustworthy and credible. As an executive leader, what you do and what you say affects both your personal brand and your organisation’s brand.
A believable brand is developed through trust and consistency
Leaders must put weight behind their voice to actively inspire. Believability breeds faith and impacts both your personal brand and that of the organisation.
We consider believability as being a combination of Conviction, Action, Authenticity and Consistency. To be believable, you need to display and communicate true Conviction supported by purposeful Action. However, if you don’t do this with Authenticity and Consistency, it will be diluted.
Central to building a believable and consistent personal brand is enhancing the congruence between the qualities that precede you and what you leave people with. Bear in mind that building a believable personal brand is a marathon and not a sprint – it is an ongoing journey that takes time and develops with you as you develop and develop as a person.