I don’t know if it’s selective retention or the algorithm at work, but in the last few weeks personal branding has been popping up everywhere I look. What is the purpose of building a personal brand? This is what I have been thinking about of late.
A new book by Ambi Parameswaran ‘All the world’s a stage’ caught my attention on my LinkedIn feed. A class I taught with IIM Calcutta about the Power of building your personal brand brought this subject into my focus. A few weeks later I found myself addressing a group of LadiesWhoLead on the same topic. Through this journey of exploration, what have I found?
My personal brand has to reflect my essence. What do I do that is useful? What do I stand for? Answer these two questions and you have the building blocks of your personal brand. A clear focus that emerges for me is the alignment between the “Human Being” and the “Human Doing”.
I believe I help others tell their story. This is what I do that is useful. For brands, corporations, and more recently individuals. As a communicator and a coach, I am helping connect the dots that build the bigger picture. As a crisis expert I am helping those in difficulty, find their inner strength and voice to emerge stronger.
I believe in creating a psychologically safe space for people. A culture of inclusion and creativity where every voice matters, is the kind of world I want to live in. I have always believed that fear is a poor motivator when it comes to getting the best out of people. It induces a fight-or-flight response. The creativity and curiosity of people come out to play when there is psychological safety. This is the space of innovation and wonderful discoveries. This is what brings out the best in humanity.
The third question to answer is – How does my story fit into the context of my time? In a world trying to find its way out of a pandemic. Carrying the scars and wounds of the past few brutal years. How do communication, coaching, and psychological safety fit into this world? Finding the right words to allow this combination of things to breathe is what takes a person and makes them into a personality. One that others relate to and one that has the opportunity to make an impact.
As if by magic my Sunday afternoon viewing brought me to the doorstep of “Sidney” on Apple TV. This a brilliant example of personal branding on the big screen. It answered for me the all-important question. What is the purpose of building your personal brand?
Be a beacon. Be a lighthouse. Break the mould. Be yourself so others can find themselves in your light. Sidney Poitier’s driving purpose was “to make himself a better person” and in doing so he made so many other better. “I try to be better today than I was yesterday… a better human being”.
When a person hears something open or move inside themselves because of something you have said or done, a personal brand is at work. This is the power of personal branding, it can transform you and the world around you. When the person becomes a personality, most often it’s because the person has finally found themselves.
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