Article, Appointing the VP's Of Your Life by Paul Coppcutt :

Making Your Most Important Hiring Decision
Step 1 – Personal - appointing the VP’s of your life
by Paul Copcutt,CPBS

It is critical to approach the personal branding process with the mind to start with a strong foundation, this is an area that you should not cover lightly or try to miss out all together. It is also usually the most difficult part of the process because it requires an amount of introspection that many people feel uncomfortable with.

As an executive you understand the importance of having a vision and mission for the company and it is certainly no different in approaching your own career – its just a lot harder when the focus has to be you.

As Yogi Berra has said “If you don’t know where you are going, you will end up someplace else” – so setting some direction for your career is a fundamental step.

Your first step is to appoint the first VP and decide both what you would like to see for the world (your vision) and then also your personal role in that world (purpose – or mission).

Your vision can be a big picture – the 50,000 foot view – something that you alone cannot achieve. Bill Gates, while the richest man in the world and probably the top influencer in terms of computers, still has a vision that is bigger than him – ‘to see a computer in the hands of every human’ – much of what he does personally both in business and philanthropically move him toward that vision – for example he is one of the major backers who have realized the development of a laptop for under $100 – making it affordable to a much wider market than ever before.

Your purpose needs to be something much more tangible that is a realistic but stretching expectation of yourself – what can you do to effect that vision? What would you like people to say about you? How would you like to be remembered?

Once you have clarity on your vision and purpose you can put yourself through a goals exercise that looks at where you want to be over the next 10 years. How many times have you asked or been asked in interviews – Where do you want to be in 5 years time?” – many interviewees struggle with this and it is sometimes thought to be a question that should be dropped from the process.

But think about it for a moment, it is a key question to ask someone in light of today’s work environment. The average tenure in one position is now 4 years and with one employer only a year more – so starting in your new position you should already be planning what your next move is in terms of functionality and company – and that should be just the start of the goal making process.

With some goals you will have a clearer picture of where you want to be, by when. But distractions will arise that will cause you to stop and question your direction or make you reconsider a decision. That is why the second VP – Values & Passions - are an equally important appointment that you make early in the personal branding process.

Your Values and Passions are your guiding lights that ensure you keep on track for the long term but more importantly become the beacons that you will not compromise. These are you true underlying motivators that get you fired up when its all heading in the right direction and upset or angry when you have to compromise them or they are challenged.

Appointing the VP’s of your life is the first step in the 7 P’s of Personal Branding.

Paul Copcutt is founder of Square Peg Solutions, and excels as a personal brand consultant for professional service providers and business owners who are missing out on great business opportunities because they are not clear on who what they have to offer, who they should be talking to or how to get their message out there.


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