My client yesterday works for an investment bank. She goes to work everyday and attempts to be what she thinks that others expect of her. She masks some of her personal values as she thinks that it’s not necessary to reveal them, that they will be seen as a weakness.
What is actually happening is that she comes across as someone who is superficial and untrustworthy. She is attempting to lead and yet she is making it difficult for those around her to follow.
We all have a Personal Brand, whether we actively cultivate it or not. It is a collection of ideas and perceptions that others hold about us. Strong, effective Personal Brands are built on compelling, authentic, consistent values. When our Personal Brand is working in the way it should, leadership means that others are inspired to follow, and the opportunities find us.
So back to basics… what do you stand for, what are your values, who are you really? Does this match the perception that others have of you? The only way to find out is to ask – subtly, directly. Just ask. The results may be surprising.