Did you know that the way people perceive you is largely driven by how you act and communicate? The way you speak about yourself, introduce yourself, form relationships, and behave – online and in-person – shape your reputation. And your reputation is managed by how you promote your personal brand.
If you think about your personal brand as the way you communicate who you are, what you stand for, and why others should find you relevant and valuable, then you can see the importance of being intentional about your branding. Let’s face it, we all have a brand, by design or by default, and often times our brand isn’t sending the right message about who we are and what we stand for.
Your Personal Brand Is Rooted in Your Values
At the root of your personal brand should be a clear understanding of what you represent, believe in, and what you’d fight for. These are your values. They are the non-negotiables by which you live. They are your moral operating system, your anchors of truth, and what, to you, is worth defending.
At the root of your personal brand should be a clear understanding of what you represent, believe in, and what you’d fight for. These are your values.
Often, our personal values get mixed up in what we hear from the outside world: Your parents emphasize their values, your boss, spouse, friends, politician and social media influencers tell you what they think you should value. But your values are YOUR values. They are personal, unique, and meaningful to you and they are the foundation of how your brand and reputation grow.
To get clear on your values, consider these questions:
· When you have to make important decisions, what personal criteria do you use?
· What do you consider immoral?
· What values do you want to be known for and remembered by?
· When you’ve had to make bold choices in the past, what filtering system did you use that you’re most proud of?
· Which decisions did you regret making?
The answers to these questions will reveal your values. Getting to your values is not a straight line, it’s more of an iterative process because, in the end, you must be crystal clear on what you stand for, what you’d defend, and the criteria you’ll use to evaluate opportunities. Then, you’ll need to ensure you confidently act in ways consistent with those values in order to earn credibility for them. This is how others will find you valuable for the beliefs and contributions you offer.
Clear Values Can Keep You Protected
With strong and clear values, you can safeguard your reputation against missteps and potential challenges. Since reputation repair can be painful and costly, taking preventative measures to ensure you’re known for the right qualities and values makes sense.
In my new book, Control the Narrative: The Executive’s Guide to Building, Pivoting and Repairing Your Reputation, I share this reasoning:
“Personal branding is all about trust. Your brand will be grounded in a common and clearly articulated set of values and passions which others can rely upon, and on which you can be trusted to live and act. When someone has established a strong and consistent brand, and we see them suddenly act ‘out of character,’ we attribute it to an off day and not a fracture in the brand. If there are no clearly established credibility and trust in place, every misstep or misbehavior is attributed to who we believe that person is and not to a mistake.
… Our values and actions reinforce perception by driving others to see—and believe—who we are and what we hold dear. People are looking for evidence of your values and consistency in your actions to live them.”
For others to find you valuable, then, you must first be clear on what you value. While skills, certifications, credentials, and experience are helpful to growing your career, who you are and what you stand for matter greatly to the people looking for someone just like you!
WRITTEN BYLida Citroën