Monday, October 5, 2009

My brand

The 'get my next job plan' is about to get changed (probably tomorrow.)  I found out today that I had skipped a step or two, and had a few steps in the wrong order.  The big step that I skipped is "developing my personal brand."

What do you think of when you think of BMW, Coke, Mercedes, Nike, or Marlboro?  Whatever you come up with in 1-3 words is that company's brand (maybe an old brand, or maybe an unintended brand, but their brand none-the-less.)  Before I decide what I want to do next (oops) or write a resume, I need to have a brand.  That brand needs to shine through in all of my written and verbal communication, presenting a unifying theme that will let prospective employers get a quick sense that they understand what I'm all about.

Tom Peters said this about managing "brand You" in an article on Fast Company (the whole article is worth a read, but this bit is particularly important):
"No matter what you're doing today, there are four things you've got to measure yourself against. First, you've got to be a great teammate and a supportive colleague. Second, you've got to be an exceptional expert at something that has real value. Third, you've got to be a broad-gauged visionary -- a leader, a teacher, a farsighted "imagineer." Fourth, you've got to be a businessperson -- you've got to be obsessed with pragmatic outcomes."

I need to have 1 core message, summed up in 1 word or phrase.  That's the main brand.  That's the brand that I use in talking about myself or the job search.  I can have a few (2-3) supporting brands that only come up in writing--like in my resume or on this blog.  The supporting brands have to support the idea of the core brand.

I don't know what my core brand is.  I have a few idea of how I would like to present myself, but I'm not sure if these are congruent with how others see me.  So I need your input.  Please tell me the main 1 or 2 words of phrases that you think of when you think of me.  Email me or comment (below.)

Here's a list of several words that I thought of that might be in there somewhere.  Feel free to come up with words that are not on this list.  Just be honest, please.

Rational mastermind (INTJ)
Elegant solutions
Concerned about justice and poverty
Digester of complicated information

What say you?

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