'Mindful Monday': Branding yourself and raising influence in your organization

Jun 08, 2016


Nancy Fredericks

Nancy Fredericks pens Women Lead Change's "Mindful Mondays" column, appearing the second Monday of every month. Fredericks is a preeminent Business Executive Strategist, Author and Thought Leader. Corporations like Johnson & Johnson, PepsiCo, Adobe, Allergan and Transamerica have retained her to optimize individual and organizational performance. You can find her at www.CareerStretchZone.com. The views of Nancy Frederick's blogs represent her own and not necessarily the views of Women Lead Change.

In your career, you’ve demonstrated competency, yet you feel as though you’re slogging through wet sand all day long. No recognition has come your way. No promotion. You’re still part of the large, often indistinguishable mid-level pack of producing executives. Yet deep in your heart-of-hearts you believe you have something to offer, and you know something has to shift. In the back of your mind, you think perhaps branding may just be the answer, and you just may be right!

It isn’t easy. It is not merely taking a selfie and then, loudly exclaiming “ta da!” It is a bit more complicated than that.

“Branding yourself” is a shortcut to distinguish your expertise, contribution and unique point-of-view from others in the organization. It is impactful, brief and yet compelling as it represents you. And underneath the elegant brand identity design is a real effort.

The unfortunate fact is when you don’t choose your brand, it will be chosen for you often by someone who doesn’t have the same skin in the game as you. Every day through your work you are creating your brand (which in part constitutes your reputation). The question is—does your brand reflect the powerful, positive side of your business persona or are you becoming better known by the unconscious insecurities you express with those around you? You are always generating a brand—even if it is without thinking. It just may not represent the entirety of all you stand for and all the possibilities you bring to your organization.

How do you create “branding yourself” content?

  • Check Out Your Organization’s Evaluation. Ask your boss: “If I’m performing my job 100%, what would you expect from me?” After the conversation, you now know what your boss and the organization consider critical. “How do you measure up against the list?” Do you need to shift or refocus some of your behaviors or actions?
  • Clarity is the Starting Point. Your brand should highlight your strengths, unique attributes, added-value abilities. So, spending a bit of time self-reflecting and asking trustworthy advisors to name your “sweet-spot” is the beginning of the process.
  • Try it on for Size. Construct your brand from these insights. Tape the final version to your bathroom mirror and every morning spend five minutes reading your statement. Envision yourself living it, see your brand impacting your daily work activities, those around you and then test it out at work.

It is important to keep in mind that your brand represents your career journey - past, present, and future, so it is never static. Revise it as often as new more powerful concepts are revealed to you.

As you leap into “branding yourself”, you will discover something magical occurring. Your career will gain momentum as your organization identifies you as a high-potential executive, you will have more information at your fingertips, you will be more sought after, and you will have more influence…. and much, much more.


Category: Mindful Monday