Do you have those moments where you think to yourself, "I did such a great job, I worked so hard, how come I didn’t get promoted, or even recognized?"
Often, clients will bring up the old phrase that "actions speak louder than words". Of course, your actions are very important, but getting results is only half the battle -- I might even offer that results are exactly 1/4 of the battle. In any environment, there are four things that make up your impact: your message, results, visibility, and amplitude.
The Four Components To A Strong Personal Brand
1. Your Message
To be an effective performer, you have to have a clear message and purpose. People with whom you work should know what your vision is, what your values and strengths are, and how you operate.
A recent article published in Forbes comments that the top 50 leaders all have clear messages. When you share your message, are you using words that resonate and are clear with your audience? If you are a process manager competing against analysts, do you call your work “analysis” or “process improvements”? You may want to consider using “process analysis” -- this helps create clarity for others about how to measure you against others when it comes time for the performance review cycle.
2. Deliver (and Communicate!) Results
You do need to deliver results consistently to have credibility in your space. Unfortunately, just having great results does not always ensure that you are going to succeed in your career. Too many people who may not always be able to compete with you when it comes to results may outsmart you when it comes to being visible. Delivering results AND being able to communicate them equal success.
Here are some questions to ask yourself:
· Do you share results in a timely manner?
· Do the results create sustainable value?
· Did you celebrate milestones along the way?
· Are you delivering results through other people?
· What did you de-prioritize to deliver those results?Once you can answer the questions, above, you are on your way to being able to communicate the value of your results to leaders who may be in a position to promote you and/or give you additional responsibility.
Are you networking? Are you meeting the people may be able to impact your career path? The next time you present at a meeting or have lunch with someone, try to understand their role as an influencer and how they could help you. Let's face it – we operate with an “out of sight, out of mind” mentality, so being able to stay “in sight” may just be your differentiator. For virtual teams, this strategy is particularly tricky. To stay in the loop with potential influencers, drop them a note to keep them informed of your latest successes or invite them out for coffee. Investing in your visibility is a branding opportunity you don’t want to miss.
When you share results, are you sharing them at larger meetings like an “All Hands” meeting? Do you recognize others and create visibility for others? Implementing this strategy can help amplifying the results of your work and showing that you are a team player.
Do you engage in work that naturally supports being shared? Are you working on initiatives that are important to the CEO and leadership team? If not, how can you present your work as valuable to the organization? Do you have a change management team to help amplify your message and good work?
Knowing the key stakeholders invested in your success and the outcomes of your work is a critical component to your personal branding journey. Motivating those individuals to share your progress and success is not as hard as you might think. You just need to enable those people to talk about what you’ve done by finding an easy way to connect the dots from what you’re doing to what the company is now able to do. Write down some key messages about what you’re doing and send them to important individuals, making it easy for them to share.
The next time you find yourself wondering why you were passed over for a promotion or why you didn’t get the recognition you deserved, take a look at these four components of a successful personal brand and try to apply them to your work in the future. I bet you’ll see a big difference in no time!
Jen Dalton has over 15 years of experience in strategy, marketing and coaching. In 2012, she made a gutsy move and became an entrepreneur, launching her branding business, BrandMirror, and became a certified brand strategist. She enables individuals and companies to define their brand and differentiate themselves in authentic, credible, and relevant ways to their target audience and market. Jen is a Reach Certified Personal Branding Strategist, helping individuals define their unique brand to achieve career and life success. She has worked with organizations like C-Lever, Capital One, Emerging Women Leaders from Conspire, Georgetown University, and more.