Often, as we head toward to end of one calendar year and launch into the next, we become a little self-reflective. And that’s good news because being introspective is essential for unearthing your authentic personal brand. It also helps you become an exceptional, modern leader—this article suggests that self-awareness is the most important skill for leaders to master.
Because branding is based in authenticity, you need to understand who you are, what’s important to you, what helps you stand out from others who do what you do, and what makes you relevant and compelling to your target audience (that’s the group of people you want to impress, impact and influence).
Your brand must be built on a solid foundation of authenticity or it will topple. And you’ll be exhausted too. That’s because focusing your energy on being someone you’re not takes a lot of effort—effort you could be applying to achieve genuine career success.
So, in honor of 2023, take some time for brand discovery to think about your responses to these 23 questions. They will help reveal the core elements of your personal brand.
- What do you do better than anyone else?
- What would you do if you knew you could not fail?
- What’s your secret sauce?
- In what situations are you most naturally yourself?
- What are your operating principles or non-negotiables?
- What quality in other people annoys you most?
- What do people come to you for?
- What brings you joy?
- If you were to receive an award, what would it be for?
- What’s the weirdest or quirkiest thing about you?
- What would not be like it is if you had not been a part of it?
- What’s your favorite thing to do in your free time?
- What’s the most important thing you learned from your parents and how does it help you professionally?
- Is your public persona different from the real you? If so, how?
- What are you most proud of?
- What do you need to do differently to use your time more effectively?
- What makes you feel most confident?
- If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
- What do you like best about yourself?
- What separates you from others who do what you do?
- What are the top 5 items on your bucket list?
- If you had to focus the rest of your life on one thing, what would it be?
- What is unique about the way you do what you do (the way you achieve results or deliver value)?
Make note of the questions you find challenging to answer and return to them. And if you’re someone who prefers to do this type of exercise with someone else rather than doing it solo, team up with a friend, partner or colleague. Sometimes hearing the question from someone else and having to say your responses out loud adds meaning to this exercise.
Of course, effective personal branding requires activities that go beyond being self-aware. You need to be visible to the community you seek to influence and you need to deliver value—consistently and visibly. But without taking the first critical step in the personal branding process to become clear about your authentic brand, your efforts to expand your success will have trouble taking root. Unearth your true self for true growth in your career in 2023 and beyond.
William Arruda is a keynote speaker, co-founder of CareerBlast.TV and co-creator of the Personal Brand Power Audit – a complimentary quiz that helps you measure the strength of personal brand.
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