Monthly Archive for: ‘July, 2012’
As the world watches the 2012 Summer Olympics in London this year, many inspiring moments pop out for me. There’s nothing quite like watching athletes compete who have dedicated years, if not their entire lifetime, to their art and sport. Not only is it inspiring, but it shows the true character and brand of a person.
What I found most interesting is the post-event TV interviews with the athletes. In my opinion, if you want to see a person’s true personal brand, and how they approach life, just focus on what the athlete’s commentary is (verbal and nonverbal) during the post-event interviews. How do they reference their competition in their dialogue? How gracious are they under pressure and post-pressure? Do they see the entire picture or are they just in their own little world? Is their visual brand (posture, stance, gaze) defensive or open and inviting?
You may think I’m only referring to when an athlete loses, but I’m also referring to when they win the gold (silver, bronze), too. A good example of this is when Ryan Lochte won the gold medal in the 400IM race over his rival, Michael Phelps. Now, I’m a lap swimmer, but I don’t profess to know the rigors that go along with being a world-class swimmer. However, I will say that while Lochte’s win was wonderful, his post-win interview left much to be desired. When asked about beating out his rival, all Lochte referred to was how this was “his” time. He never once acknowledged Phelps for being the fabulous athlete that he is. That’s called a lack of grace and sportsmanship, if you ask me. When we don’t acknowledge our competitors, we look weak and jealous and hence, we lower our own personal brands.
In sharp contrast, Lochte could be said to have been the reason the US men’s team lost the 400-meter freestyle relay race. Phelps help put the team in the lead with his swim and Lochte couldn’t bring the win home at the end. Phelps’ post-race interview was incredibly gracious and professional- he acknowledged that Lochte did his best and is a great athlete. Phelps may have had his issues with Marijuana usage, etc in the past. But nowhere did any of us recall anything but a gracious athlete and a fabulous personal brand from Phelps during that interview.
The same gracious and honorable personal brand appeared in the form of Jordyn Wieber, US World Champion gymnast, who failed to qualify to compete in the all-around competition. Her post-interview words of respect and pride for her fellow teammates, left us all with the impression that she is a class act and thus, has a strong personal brand. Who wouldn’t want her on a box of Wheaties?
So, stop and think for yourself- does your personal brand and thus, business brand, represent:
- grace under pressure
- acceptance of your competition and their strengths
- acceptance of your weaknesses and strengths
We are often preaching the personal branding concept that “perception is reality”. What we mean is that someone else’s perception of you is their reality and thus, correct- you can’t expect them to perceive you otherwise, at least not at first.
But the real inquiry is how do you perceive yourself. This is the starting point for our personal brand analysis because if you don’t know how you see yourself, then how can we alter your personal brand to serve you well.
It seems the entertainment industry is on board with this simple, yet powerful premise, too. I heard an interesting statement the other day on Anderson Cooper’s show. Actor Blair Underwood (remember him from LA Law?) was speaking of appearing on the new show, “Who Do You Think You Are?”. He said the entire premise for him is, “How you perceive yourself impacts how you present yourself.”
We, here at Puris Image, tend to agree with our actor friends. Your self perception plays 100% into how you present yourself and thus, how your personal brand is perceived by society. So stop and ask yourself a few of the following questions in order to identify how you perceive yourself:
- Would you hire yourself given the way you show up today- based on what you wear, what you say, the kind of service you give clients/customers?
- Do you perceive yourself as:
- knowledgeable/an expert
- truly about your clients’ best interest
- a “winner” or someone on the sidelines of life/your profession
Be honest with yourself when answering these questions- the truth does hurt, but leads to great places for us all. Let us know if you have any questions or need help with your answers.
After years of running a business and working with business owners/professionals on their personal brand development, we’ve come up with a set up attributes that are always powerful personal brand developers for a successful business owner.
The first attribute is organized. A successful business owner is organized with his/her time, money, staff and clientele. If you are organized, then you come across as organized and someone who can take care of my needs as a client. This same organization is necessary at home, too. We’ve had many occasions to go into client’s homes/closets. We’ve found a definite correlation between how organized a business owner’s closet is and how well they run their business.
The next attribute is fearlessness. Or rather, maybe we should say a successful business owner feels the fear, acknowledges it exists and marches right through this powerful emotion to do great things with their business, regardless. If you know you are out to do great things for us via your business, then you’ve got to let that passion be your guide and not your fears.
The third attribute is leading with ease and grace, even in the face of pressure and fear. There is no other personal brand attribute that is more attractive to a prospect or client than having a provider who leads easily, gracefully and with what looks like minimal effort and maximum creativity and creation. This is how a successful business puts others at ease.
The last personal brand attribute is passion. A successful business leader leads his/her employees, vendors and clientele with passion and purpose that is contagious and uplifting. If you have passion and a belief that you are doing what you are meant to do in life via your business, then in our book you are bound to have the first three attributes.
So stop and think: 1) do you have the four personal brand attributes listed above? 2) If not, how can you cultivate these attributes and really own them so your personal brand strengthens and your business thrives?
I was listening to a Sunday service yesterday where the lecturer was talking about how nice it is that our thoughts are not projected out loud. Then she asked a question that made me laugh, but also made me think about the personal branding work we do. She asked us if we often show our thoughts externally to others.
So I started thinking. How often do you walk down the street and see people reflecting their thoughts to us all? Some people mumble their thoughts out loud for us to hear. Others literally show up in life visually reflecting their thoughts- for good or for bad.
You may ask, “How do they do this?” There are so many ways, but let’s just take one- our eyes. The eyes are the gateway to the soul, they say. So how often do your eyes tell us exactly what you are thinking?
I was in a meeting a few weeks ago. It was boring and the people were acting in a way with which I completely disagreed. Apparently, I was “thinking” out loud through my eyes. One of my colleagues was gracious enough to lean over and tell me she was reading my discontent through my eyes. I was so grateful for the feedback. I immediately fixed the problem: not only did I change my gaze, but I changed my thoughts regarding the meeting. That’s the only way it would work.
Because I had changed my perception and thoughts about the meeting, I was able to change my gaze, posture and entire outlook regarding the meeting and the participants. After that, any thoughts that you read via my eyes and “being” were fabulous for my personal brand because I was happy, engaged and a willing participant.
So next time you believe you are keeping your thoughts and opinions to yourself, look again. Are you really keeping your thoughts private or are you reflecting your thoughts externally to us all? In order to resonate joyfully with your audience (ie, the world) and have a fabulous personal brand, watch your:
-thoughts, above all else
-intonation (vocal, email, text)