Build Your Brand (Part 4)
Married to your boss...
by Anthony Kaul

You may not know it, but you are married to your boss. Your boss is the contributing editor to your brand and you can not hope to develop a winning brand with out their aid. This is terrific news for some, they have a great relationship with their boss. Their boss values their opinion and attempts to promote their career aspirations. Their boss does not hoard the glory and deflect blame but gives credit where credit is due. Of course there is the rest of us who are not so fortunate to bask in the glory of a benevolent boss. How do you build a winning brand when you have a boss that does not care about you?

The first step to directing your brand remotely through your boss is to realize just how much power they have over you. Your boss decides how much money you make, what projects you will get to work on, whether or not you get promoted, or banished. Most importantly your boss gets to decide how your brand will be displayed to their boss. Accepting the power that your boss has over you can be difficult, especially if you are an iconoclast and you feel superior to your boss. Accept it you must if you are to thrive. If you decide you can succeed without the support of your boss, and that you can build a healthy winning brand without their help then you have a very narrow chance for success.

Understand Your Boss...

Your boss is quite simple, they want simple things, and they are things that you can supply with a little forethought and a plan. Regardless of your title your job is to help build your bosses brand. To help your boss achieve their goals. In essence you boss wants the following:

  1. Your boss wants you to be loyal, this is a pre-requisite for success. You will not get to where you want to go by being disloyal to your boss. In fact the fastest way to see your personal brand ruined is to speak negatively about your boss to others within the organization. If your boss is an idiot, then don't work for them, use to get yourself a new job. What ever you do, do not ruin your brand by badmouthing them to your peers.

  2. Your boss wants you to produce. The best way to get your boss recognized within the organization is to be a top producer. This will ensure that you are a topic in the board room, and it is the greatest way to simultaniously build your brand and theirs. Whether you are in finance of sales, do your job well, manage your teams well and it is assured that you will be building a quality brand.

  3. Your boss wants you to give them good advice and to solve problems. The real valuable player on a team is the one who is good at suggesting and verbalizing solutions. Become a resource for you boss and they will help you build your brand.

  4. Do not be a sycophant... Your boss is not impressed by suck-ups. Bosses have to humour suck-ups because such a large portion of the company. Do not mistake this with respect or admiration. It is acceptable to disagree with your boss, as long as you do it in a respectful way. Your boss wants intelligent thought and well constructed debate. Leave your emotion out of it, and approach it as you would have someone dissagree with you.

If you can successfully produce for your boss, come up with some clever answers once and a while and remain loyal to them then they will support and assist you in building your brand. This strategy will also breed a level of trust between you and you boss that will give you greater autonomy and flexibility to stand out and get your brand noticed.

Link to the Fifth Part: Unforgivable Brand Killers...

(Part 1) (Part 2) (Part 3) (Part 6)


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