Wells Fargo’s diversity and culture manager Millette Granville says that your brand is your reputation, and you already have one.
“Your brand is either good, bad, or something in between,” she explains. “Whether you’re investing in the brand or not, it exists.” (Note: If you dutifully toil away at the tasks assigned to you, and yet you never seem to get ahead in your career, it may be time to retool you brand.)
Granville led a session on developing, nurturing and protecting the personal brand during the recent weeklong Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. centennial festivities held in Chicago.
During her presentation, emblazoned on the projector’s screen was the statement: “In the new world of work, your reputation is your only currency. How do you stand out from the crowd?,” leaving no one to doubt the your brand’s impact on your future, business and overall professional growth and development.
“Your brand, your visibility, your exposure, is what’s going to move you in your career,” Granville says. “If nobody knows your name, they can’t call it; it’s really about who you know, who they know, and who they know.”
Right now, you should take charge of your brand, Granville adds. “If you don’t write your own story someone will write it for you. Personal brand is all about you taking responsibility to determine what your brand is, and not letting other people define who you are. Insure that that brand is who you are at the core.”
Develop Your Personal Brand Statement
Now more than ever, you must be the person you’ve told the world you are, because with just a few keystrokes, your real-life and your online life will merge, crash and burn if you’re not authentic.
Authenticity is easier said than achieved, however, as some people may have a blind spot when it comes to the image they think they’re projecting and their image as received by others.
It helps to ask a trusted friend to write down three adjectives to describe you, and for you to check that against what you’ve written about yourself. Granville says if there are inconsistencies, you should ask your friend why, and consider adjusting your image accordingly.
Crafting a personal brand statement is key to effective brand management. During the brand session, Granville instructed the audience to meditate before developing their personal brand statements.
“Roll your shoulders back one time, that’s the natural state the shoulders should be in. The real trick is self-reflection is being able to clear your mind. Your mind will scatter; it’s natural. The best way to keep it from doing that is to focus on your breathing.
Sit upright, shoulders rolled back and close your eyes. Take a deep breath in, take another deep breath out. Breathe in and exhale, as you continue to breathe in, think about who you are, what you’re passionate about, what it is that you want most for other people to know about you, and your personal brand.”
Begin in silence and write your personal brand statement.”
Your brand statement must be sincere, Granville advised. “When I wrote my personal brand statement, I wanted it to be as true today as it will be 40 years from now. I personally believe that the legacy you leave should be the legacy you live.”
Wells Fargo’s Millette Granville adds, “protect your brand because you’re he only person who can build it.”
Photos: Zondra Hughes