Branding is an important concept in the business world. A brand communicates what others can expect to receive from a company, product, or service; it differentiates one organization from another based upon its unique purpose and values. An organization’s brand is good, but only as good as the people and their ability to deliver what is advertised. Before I hire a company to do work for me I look to the leaders to determine if I can trust their character as well as their competencies. Many times it is the little things that make the biggest difference.
I began to ponder, “What would my personal branding look like?” What can people receive from me? Can they trust me? Do others know my purpose and values? Is there a market for what I carry? Can others trust my character as well as my abilities to deliver?
No one wants to be sold a product that does not produce what was advertised. The goal of our personal branding is not selling ourselves; it is authentically and genuinely representing who we are and what we carry that another (individual or organization) needs. When I can brand myself accurately then I remove the pressure to perform or try to be something that I am not.
Let’s look at some components for personal branding in order to deliver what you advertise.
What makes you different than others in your field?
I am a leadership consultant, personal and executive coach, and behavioral analyst—but not like any I have met. I’m not saying I am better or worse, I am just different. I focus on the person as well as the purpose. I desire to provide principles that transcend the workplace to touch every area of a person’s life. If the people in an organization are whole it will affect every area of the organizational structure, team relationships, and client base. I love to see the right people in the right place working for shared vision and values.
What is your voice, message, and passionate purpose?
Everyone has a unique message. Likewise, everyone has skills that align with their purpose and carry the ability to impact their world for good. We don’t want to echo another in order to compete but to be comfortable in our own skin. I don’t act differently in a billion-dollar company’s boardroom as I do in a group of up-and-coming leaders. I give my 100 percent whether it is a high paying client or a pro bono service. Wherever I go and whatever I do, I am me. The moment I try to be what I am not I will experience fear and I will sabotage my efforts and frustrate others.
What are my values—invisible motivators?
Personality is visible but values are hidden below the surface. When I allow my internal motivators to become transparent, then I will be drawn to those with whom I can partner. What I own I can be and what I can be I can do. When my outward actions align with my inner motivations I am fulfilled. My life becomes an open book drawing others to connect in heart as well as skills. I’ve learned that when my values align with my client we work together successfully.
What are my character traits?
This is not personality but the moral qualities which direct my actions—positively or negatively. Our true character is revealed when we are under pressure. What will we allow or not allow in our life, privately and publicly? Abraham Lincoln said, “Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.”
Can we trust ourselves to be honest, empathetic, and integral? Without this solid foundation our personal branding would be false advertising no matter how talented or skilled we are. If usury, cheating, cutting corners, apathy for the client’s needs, etc. is a part of our moral compass we will never find our true north and will miss many amazing opportunities to be truly successful.
“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” Martin Luther King, Jr.
In a world of economic pressure, an epidemic of mistrust, and the screams of negativism all around us, we can evaluate where we are and where we want to be as a human being and as a leader. Our lifestyle will be our brand and provide a reputation of authenticity that others will trust.
From one leader to another,
Dr. Melodye Hilton