A Balanced Approach to Auditing Your brand

We all have a personal brand, and chances are, you’ve at least put some thought into what your personal brand is and what you want it to be. Your brand is simply how you are perceived by others, and it includes your values, your character and your capabilities. It is the first impression you make and the reputation that precedes you. If the way you see yourself doesn’t match the impressions others have of you, you’ll likely miss out on an opportunity to communicate the value you offer as a distinctive leader.

If you want to excel as a leader, conducting a personal brand audit is a good starting point. Self-awareness is key. Be very honest with yourself: do people listen when you talk? Are you being asked to regularly share your thoughts and ideas? Do you feel respected? If the answer is no, perhaps you need to make some changes if you desire different results. 

 

You can audit your personal brand with these three simple steps:

 

 Gather insight

Identify three colleagues you trust. Ask them what words they would use to describe you. Believe it or not, their perception is your insight into your personal leadership brand as they see it. Understanding this is an essential first step, and will help you define what gaps you want to close between how you are perceived and how you’d like to be perceived.

 

Assess your current brand

It’s not complicated, set goals and achieve success, right? It’s not about being perfect by any means, but more to do with thinking about who you want to become, and articulating that to those you work with in a way that is both intentional and authentic. A good start would be to take an objective look at how your colleagues describe you. Now ask yourself, are those words aligned with your goals? Are there words on that list that you would like to erase? What words would you want there instead?

Don’t forget. Write it down!

 

Make a plan to reinforce or define your brand

Once you have had the opportunity to assess your personal goals and expectations, commit to making a plan that will help you meet them.

Firstly, reach out to a manager or mentor to assist you with your plan. Talk about what changes you want to make to better align your brand with your intentions.

Ask yourself some vital questions and ask your manager or mentor for their input, too: 

-   How are your communication habits contributing to the brand you have now?

-   How can you adjust your communication habits to build the brand you want to have in future?

 

To help you on your way, write down 1 specific change you can implement right away. Try to make it as specific as possible so that you can adhere to it. Vague commitments are more difficult to hold yourself to!

Your leadership brand can endlessly be improved upon. As you reach your goals, there is no harm in reassessing, and choosing new areas to work on. You might also find that your goals change over time and that’s ok. 

 

Remember consistency is key when it comes to your personal brand. Conducting a simple audit regularly will help you identify potential obstacles early, so you can make adjustments. Developing your leadership brand requires an investment of time and effort but it’s an investment in yourself as a leader.

 

 

 

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