Monday we suggested we were very possibly the brand – A number of years ago I worked for a man who always came to work in a suit and tie. It was the norm back then, you never saw a jacket without a tie. In fact, as I was thinking about this post, I realized that I have never seen him without a tie! That being said, what I remember more than the suit and tie were the shirts. They were his brand! Every shirt he wore was monogrammed. On the left cuff were the first letters of his first and last name. Meeting after meeting, having taken his jacket off, I remember seeing those initials. When I think of him, I always remember his monogram – the two just went together.
You might be saying to yourself, wow! I sure hope I am remembered for more than my shirts! I’m with you – that monogram was just the mark of the whole package – of who he was. It was if you will – his personal brand – his brand logo – and he wore it on his sleeve. You see, he had allot of time for me early in my career, and played a large part in influencing who I am today. Every time I would sit across from him in a meeting room or in his office, I would see that monogram, and more than anything, I knew what I was getting. He was always true to himself and who he was – he was steady.
I learned allot from him about being steady. Our organization faced some real trials, and I always knew he would be steady, calm and lead. It was who he was – and he wore it on his sleeve. Much of what I learned from him I internalized and use today when I face trying situations.
So – when people think back about you, and the impact you’ve had on their personal and professional careers, what are they going to remember? Let me suggest two things to think about if you want to solidify your personal brand.
Find Your Authentic Voice
One of the things that set people apart is authenticity. Your real voice is your authentic voice. If you are to be memorable, you need to find yours. The way you express your thoughts. The way you articulate direction – people remember that. Remember my friend with the monogram – he knew his voice – he was his authentic self – and he used it. He communicated direction, even in trying times, in a way that instilled confidence. It was who he was – his brand.
Find Someone Who’s Brand You Admire
While imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery, when we are selective about its application, we model the things we admire. As I mentioned above, I learned a great deal from the man with the monogram – I’ve never forgotten. I apply much of it today, adapted to my own style. Find someone you admire and watch, listen and learn.
So the question remains, when people think back about you, and the impact you’ve had on their personal and professional careers, what are they going to remember?
Do you wear your brand on your sleeve?