Personal brand – how it affects your career! What T10p’s do differently (Part 4)

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T10p_Part 4(Part 4 in the T10P's series) How personal brand can affect your career – an Executive Head-hunters view. 

It’s all well and good for your division to know who you are but if you don’t get out of your division, you are invisible to the rest of the organisation and the industry at large. T10p’s (Top 10 percenters) know how too effectively stakeholder manage. They take time to identify who they should be meeting and make the effort to reach out.

As you climb the corporate ladder do you think you get the top jobs just on your skills?

Wishful thinking.  In a perfect world appointments and promotions would be based on just your skills.  If you haven’t realised by now, stakeholder management and building good relationships is also a skill, a very important one and one that is instrumental in building your personal brand.

Most of you might not think of it that way. You might believe that someone got the job just because of who they knew.

I personally believe that it is incorrect to think that people only get the role because of who they know.  That helps them seal the deal, but they would also have the skills for the role, or most of them.

I advise people all the time that as you climb the corporate ladder, there is less competition but that competition is tougher.

 What do T10p’s do differently?

T10p’s make the effort as part of their career planning to build their personal brand internally and externally.  It’s really not that hard and it comes with having the right frame of mind about yourself and the people around you. As an example, when dealing with senior management, if you put people on a pedestal and think that they are unreachable then you will find it hard to approach them or will interact with awe or fear.

A T10p will see all people on the same level – no better, no worse. 

When T10p’s build their career they don’t  put blockers in front of them about whether or not they should speak to the boss’s boss at a networking function or if they should speak to major stakeholders who they don’t know.

They see people as equal and think “why can’t I speak to them?”

Another key in building your personal brand internally and externally is consistency; basically being consistent in your behaviour.

A T10p returns everyone’s calls and emails within a reasonable timeframe, usually 24 to 48 hours. This builds their personal brand as someone who is on the ball, accessible and gets back to people.

Rather than the opposite which is hard to reach and inaccessible.

Never make the mistake that it’s ok not to return a call, you will damage your personal brand and this is a bad habit to get in to. If you can’t call back, get your PA to do so in the interim. It is better than just ignoring it.

T10p’s deliver what they promise and on time. If there is a hiccup in the process they inform others well before the deadline, so there are no surprises. They deliver quality and take credit for their work and also give credit where credit is due. This builds their personal brand as someone who will get the job done, a leader and someone who others admire and want to work for.

They see everyone as a stakeholder in what they do and understand that by not having good relationships with stakeholders it will impact on them and the business. This builds their personal brand as someone who is strategic and who sees the value of good relationships.  Their personal brand is important to them, how others perceive them is important and having a positive personal brand in the eyes of those they do business with is a skill, for you never know when you will cross paths with them again.

Do you really know why you didn’t get the last promotion?

Do you have a personal brand and have you nurtured it internally and externally?Are you actively building your personal brand to be a T10p?

Finally, I have one further point to make here; not everyone in top jobs are T10p’s.

We have all either said or heard the phrase – “they are successful in spite of themselves”.

Imagine how successful they would be if they were T10p’s!


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