Sometimes the writing is on the wall and there are no if’s and buts. It’s time for change and there is nothing you can do about it. So how do you maintain grace in a time when you’ve made that call, and more importantly demonstrate integrity with your personal brand?
This week, a number of people have come in and out of my ‘’örbit’’ closing the door on old chapters and opening opportunities for new. Working in corporate life sees a range of influencers and influences – some good, some not so good. The ability to deal with a fast changing world and expectations raised and then not always met is one of the trademarks of survival and being a successful leader. But it is your responses to such situations that reflects truly who you are. You can try your hardest and it still doesn’t work out quite the way you thought. Resilience and tenacity are a good thing.
On a positive note, the universe is constantly looking to introduce you to new influences. Watch out and be ready – you never know who is round the corner.
As someone close reminded me last night, there are always plenty of doors open for you ready with new challenges. What is important is to maintain Grace and stick to who you really are, your true core values, no matter what changes or challenges life brings. The beauty of having a defined personal brand and knowing who you are.
We’ve seen a few examples of this over the last few days. Anna Bligh chose to ‘’call enough’’, when she quit politics last weekend in Queensland saying that the Bligh brand is so tarnished that Labour has no hope of re-building if she remains in the Queensland parliament. In her eyes, there was nothing more she could do. Time to move on.
Julia Gillard may also face decisions to ‘’call enough, enough’’ shortly – or that decision will be made for her. That is in spite of her claiming she focuses on running the country rather than what is being said in the polls each day. A dangerous attitude perhaps to not listen to feedback on your personal brand perception. Having risen (or perhaps hovered!) over the ashes of her predecessor Kevin Rudd, her colleagues can’t help be tarnished with sceptism. The Gillard brand permanently stigmatised with back stabbing and back-handedness. Not a great look for a Politician let alone the Prime Minister.
This all taking place in a world where at the next election, there will be close to 1 million newly eligible 18-20 year olds eager to vote with highly tuned, but short term memories to aid their decision. Their influences will be predominantly those left on social media sites – your online personal brand is more important than ever.
Yesterday, I had the pleasure of sitting with 80 senior gentlemen in both experience and success, as a newly elected member of the Cook Society founded by Captain Cook in the 1700’s. One gentleman pointed me to “Who’s who’ when I asked him about his career. A lovely example of how things have changed. Open a long respected reference book or google someone? How references and research on one’s personal brand have changed.
In spite of calling it a day, and in total contrast, Oprah Winfrey seems to go from strength to strength. The influence of her personal brand with 40 million viewers across 145 countries and some 4 million followers on twitter is a phenomemon. From humble beginnings to multimedia tycoon, she has adapted to the new challenges of calling enough, and is putting her personal brand to new projects.
So what are the rules when you call it quits?
- Surely the most important things is to stay true to self
- Negativity is poisonous, negative or pointed comments always reflect back on oneself, not others
- Focus on what you are good at – you can’t be all things to all people and never will be
- Honesty – don’t make promises you can’t keep or claim to know more than you do – dishonesty destroys
- Be patient, building a strong brand takes time, months and years
- Loyalty is cheap in today’s world and not valued as it once was – there are few things as precious as loyalty
- Don’t procrastinate and put things off. There is no time like the present
Personal branding is about building a long term, genuine perception of yourself and your company. Stay true and stay strong whatever changes or unexpected circumstances come your way