You are a police officer.
Or maybe more specifically you identify as a Detective or you identify as a Senior Sergeant.
So why is personal branding something you should think about? Isn’t this something just for entrepreneurs or consultants or business owners?
The term personal brand is just new language for what used to be known as your reputation. Your reputation was probably not developed intentionally but rather through mishap, accident or through you consistently behaving in a certain way. Sometimes it was negative and sometimes it was positive and often, as is the way in policing, it came with a funny story.
Your personal brand is what you are known for based on your behaviour, attitude and the way you consistently perform your role and relate to colleagues or clients. It is not something that should be left to chance or that only needs to be considered once you are in a senior position.
“If you don’t take charge of developing your personal brand,
someone else will do it for you.”
We all know that your reputation sticks and follows you throughout your career. A personal brand that markets you as ‘the social guy’ or ‘the disappearing act’ can be fun and may even be of value in your early career days as it gets you noticed. A personal brand that defines you as the ‘slow and steady, attention to detail team member’ or the ‘supportive mother hen’ can mean you are valued and your natural talents are utilised.
Yet these perceptions can become a weight when you get serious about moving from non-commissioned officer up to commissioned officer. An unfortunate reputation can haunt you long after it was initially created.
Your personal brand should be developed intentionally and aligned with your values and your goals. It should be authentic and true to your character whilst consciously representing the qualities that have you stand out as leadership material.
Become more self-aware of your internal drivers, the values and goals that you truly aspire to. Decide what you want to be known for and consistently act in ways that are consistent with that.
Take time to observe and understand what leadership attributes are required to be a great leader in your organisation. Identify a mentor or role model and take note of what makes them stand out and get respect.
Take an honest assessment of your strengths and set about leveraging and developing them so that you become exceptional at those skills. Seek feedback and be willing to have a growth mind-set that allows you to try different things and step outside your comfort zone. Don’t simply accept that ‘oh that’s just my personality’ so I can’t change. I believe that most characteristics we call personality are simply habits of behaviour. You can make conscious choices to grow and change so you become known for the right things.
Doing good work is not enough, you must be seen by those that matter and you must be viewed as leadership material.
Stand out and be known for the right things. Things that matter to you and your organisation.
“Be Yourself, With Intention”
Kim Adams works with emerging leaders to find their voice so they lead with confidence, influence and success.