Growth Insights for CEOs

What is Your Personal Brand?

Posted by The Chief Outsider

CEO Personal Brand: Who you are and what you want to be known for.I have no room to be persnickety when it comes to grammar. But I never can understand what is so difficult about distinguishing among (among, not between) there, their and they’re. Most of the time, however, I will probably understand what you are writing with no real harm done to my sensibilities. And I have the utmost admiration for those who have English as a second or third language. I’ve not mastered a second one yet.  But, this is not about being “grammar fascists.” It is about the impression you create: as a CEO, if you are careless with something as important as a written communication, the first impression you create is that you will not care enough about the work you send out representing your company — and your personal brand suffers.

Your Personal Brand: Who You are and What You Want to be Known For

These days there is a great deal of talk — both pro and con — around creating a personal brand. What a personal brand boils down to is this: whenever you interact with people, they build up an image of you. That image can either help you or hinder you in achieving success.

You are constantly creating impressions — sometimes purposefully, but more often unintentionally. What can you do to manage those impressions so that what people see about you is what you want them to see?

Be genuine.

  • Know yourself, and be yourself. Judy Garland once said, “Always be a first-rate version of yourself instead of a second-rate version of someone else.” Branding is not about creating a false persona. It is based on what is authentic in you. Authenticity is the reason we put our trust in certain brands and not in others. Being yourself as CEO ensures that you are seen as genuine and trustworthy. Being yourself also means that you will be able to deliver on what you say about yourself.

Be clear.

  • Know the impression you want to make. Personal branding is successful when you are clear on the message you want to send about yourself and what you have to offer as CEO. You want people to know what sets you apart from everyone else. If you are not clear about that yourself, then you will send mixed messages.

Be consistent.

  • Rolex would destroy its brand by selling watches in drug stores for $19.95. If you are trying to establish yourself as a capable and visionary CEO in the mind of your hard-working employees, don’t contradict yourself by not being able to clearly and consistently communicate that vision and those plans. And, if you want to establish yourself as a good communicator or as someone who has an eye for details, do not undermine that message with spelling and grammatical errors. Once you are clear about the impression you want to make, you need to deliver that message with consistency — regardless of how you are communicating, with whom you are communicating or where you are communicating.

As the CEO of a company — or as any executive — we all have a personal brand, whether we realize it or not. Our brand at its best helps us achieve our goals; at its worst, it sabotages our efforts and limits our chances for success. But your personal brand is ultimately in the eye of the beholder; it is the impression that people have of you. And sometimes spelling counts.

We all have a personal brand. Is yours intentional?  And by the way, maybe it's time to brush up your image on LinkedIn as well.  Read our blog on that here.

Organizational Health is Your Company's Single Greatest Advantage

Topics: CEO Marketing Strategy, CEO Perspectives, Brand Management, CEO Choices

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