Build Your Brand (Part 6)
Your Personal Brand Evaluation
by Anthony Kaul

At the risk of using a cliche... every journey begins with a single step. Your journey to establish your personal brand is no exception. This year the single most important thing you will do from a career perspective is realize the importance of your brand and set yourself on a plan to develop it. We have to evaluate where your brand is now in order to chart a course to improve it.

It is time to look at the main contributors to your personal Brand. These are the personality traits that contribute to your brand and ultimately determine your corporate future. This is a workbook article people, get a pen and ask yourself the following questions.

1. Loyalty; This is a big one. How is your loyalty perceived by your boss? Your team? Have you vocalized negative perceptions and thoughts about your team, colleagues, company in the past. Do you have the propensity to find fault and vocalize it? This is a leading indicator of an Iconoclast, and one of the most common downfalls for Canadian executives.

2. Absolute Honesty; How truthful are you... start with yourself right now! When asked about something that you should not speak about, do you respond, "I can't talk about that" or do you deny having any knowledge because it is easier. By honest I do not mean belligerent, but how often do you either tell it like it is or keep quiet...

3. Accountability; How does your company and your boss perceive your accountability? Do you take responsibility for your actions and decisions? How are you with conflict? Do you seek it? Avoid it? Or view it as just a part of the job.

4. Discretion; This is another big one. Are you discreet? How much do you gossip? Do you tolerate gossip? This is one that most of us need to work on.

5. Likeability; Do you help people? Do you smile and greet others in the morning at the office? Are you genuinely interested in others? Are you active in your community? Great leaders are liked. Their likeability does not erode when they have to do difficult things, great leaders genuinely care about people and are always polite.

6. Balance; How balanced are your views and the actions that are driven by them. Do you balance the needs of all the stakeholders in an organization? Are you seen as a "corporate pawn" or are you "too focused on your staff". How do you need to work on your balance to improve this vital input to your corporate brand.

7. Mobility; Are you moving? Is your career perceived to be static or advancing upwardly? Do you have a mentor within your network? Have you asked your boss for career planning meetings? Are you involved outside of work in your field? Do you volunteer your particular expertise?

These seven inputs are the foundation of your personal brand. This year what are you going to do to enhance these personality traits. If you have a network or a very close friend that knows you professionally as well as personally perhaps you should get them to evaluate you on the seven above. If you really want to get to the truth, print these out and ask your boss to review you on them.

Prior employment reviews are useful to evaluating what you have to work on, especially if they are the 360 degree type that have you reviewed by your boss, your peers/colleagues and your staff. If you are serious about rapidly advancing your career then plot a course to improve your evaluation on the above seven points.

(Part 1) (Part 2) (Part 3) (Part 4) (Part 5)

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