There is no doubt that the world is changing at an incredible pace. One of those changes is the proliferation of information about who we are, what we do, what we like …and just about everything else us. This explosion of information brings about the normalization of leaders.
When A Leader Blends In
An example of this normalization is that companies used to rely on resumes and interviews to learn about candidates. A potential candidate could look great on paper and in interviews; but now companies have thousands of potential candidates at their finger-tips, with similar qualities, making it harder and harder to stand-out from this normalized crowd. This normalization also puts existing leaders under extreme scrutiny; as we are constantly flooded with information on people around us; our achievements become less and less extraordinary.
The answer to overcome this normalization and to separate oneself from the crowd comes down to personal branding …authentic personal branding. I want share a few mistakes that leaders and individuals often make that can inhibit them from standing out.
4 Mistakes That Weaken a Leader’s Brand Image
- Not Having a Plan
I’ll admit that up until recently I did not have a personal branding plan. I have extremely aggressive goals for my personal and professional success, and up until now, that has been enough to carry me forward. But I now realize that having a strategic and tactical plan for one’s personal branding is vital to separating oneself from the crowd. A good start is to sign-up for Kimberly’s Personal Brand Foundations Training Course, or to seek the counsel and coaching of a personal branding consultant. On this note, not having a personal success plan and generally being a poor planner, will not do wonders for you branding yourself as a success.
- Lack of Consistency
We are who we are, 24 hours a day. Don’t ever forget that. I remember talking last year to a CEO that fired his channel manager because of the channel managers inability to control his drinking and behavior while out entertaining clients. Because of that behavior, it didn’t really matter how good he spoke in conferences and networked with others, because the Internet was full of pictures of his alter-ego. Consistency does not just have to do with behavior, but also with how you present yourself across various corners of the Internet and in social gatherings.
- Sloppy Appearance
No one says you have to dress in formal wear 24 hours a day. There has forever been leaders of all types that have dressed in all manner of clothing. I have always felt that one must present themselves according to how they want others to think of themselves. If you appear sloppy and disheveled, people will think you are generally a sloppy and disheveled leader. On this note, it is wise for one to consider what the world believes is sloppy. I have seen leaders wear things that I imagine they thought was dressing professionally, but in reality was sloppy. Just because you see someone else dress in holy jeans, a bright t-shirt, a sport coat and flip-flops, does not mean that is a respectable look.
A few adjectives for authenticity, include: genuine, trustworthy, and reliable. Leadership is fascinating and full of surprises and variables. Yet people can see through personal branding that tries to present you as someone better than you are. How you treat others, judge others and follow through with your word, will affect your personal brand more than anything else. If you want to present yourself as a good leader, start by being one.