I am currently involved in a really enjoyable assignment in a company I know well, to support their newly hired employees as they get to grips with their first few days in the organisation. One of the sessions I conduct is an exercise around personal and company branding as an introduction to understanding, what is, a strongly embedded company culture. The session is focused on sharing the company’s brand and identifying personal values with the aim of understanding how vital values and purpose are to success (however it may be defined) and when they are aligned, contentment and fulfilment follow. I share my brand: my values, an example of how I live my values on purpose and my personal motto for living….
What is a personal brand and why do I need one? A personal brand is who you are at a values and purpose level. Your values define you, they tell you how to behave, and when you need to make decisions, they are your cornerstones. For example, when I was making the life decision to stay in paid employment or leave my excellent job with good salary and benefits for the uncertain world of self-employment, my values guided me to the decision. To the rescue came my value of ‘learning’ in the guise of a hunger for more knowledge in the field of behavioural change and the real need to continue to develop my skills with people. Also to my aid came my value of ‘independence’ and the need to follow my own destiny, set my own goals and work with clients directly. I took the bold step and opted for self-employment and life-work balance. It was not an easy decision to make, given all my financial responsibilities and the fact that Ireland was in recession at the time (we’re talking end of 2011) but it was the right one. And I am so glad I made the decision that supports me, my values and my brand. This life path has made all the difference to feeling happy and contented in my work and it fully supports my purpose in life which is to support other people in making real changes in their lives moving them forward to achieve their own goals, whatever they may be, through coaching and training.
How do I get a personal brand too? Thinking is what is needed to help you identify your personal brand, lots of thinking and then maybe exploring with a trusted friend or a coach, to help you hone your values down to a few key ones. Once identified you will begin to notice a change in how you live your life, you will start to see that a lot of the important decisions you make are values-related and perhaps, some of the decisions you have made in the past that did not work out well, were not. When your brand clashes with your decisions or with a situation in which you find yourself very often, you may become frustrated, even anxious or unhappy. You might not know why, but it is often because you are working against your values and your purpose. The opposite is also true, naturally!
So…..think, explore, hone down and develop your personal brand. Then live it on purose: promote it, use it to make decisions, bring it into your converstions and realise your destiny:
‘Your beliefs become your thoughts,
Your thoughts become your words,
Your words become your actions,
Your actions become your habits,
Your habits become your values,
Your values become your destiny…..’ Mahatma Gandhi
If you would like the help of a coach to develop your personal brand, get in contact with me and in two sessions you’ll get there too!