Take control of your personal brand.

Whether we want it or not, each of us has a personal brand --- a set of perceptions and expectations that people have of us.  That brand can help or hinder our ability to influence, negotiate and achieve our career aspirations.

Depending on how you behave, your brand can vary from audience to audience, which makes it even more complex to manage.

How do you know what your brand is – how you are perceived?  It takes a keenly self-aware person to grasp it on their own.  Usually an assessment such as a verbal 360 is used to clarify perceptions.  Are you branded a “doer” versus a leader?  Are you perceived as a great people person, but too soft to handle the tough stuff?  Are you branded the office gossip?  The pot-stirrer?  The visionary? The contrarian?

Armed with this invaluable information, you can decide which perceptions you wish to strengthen or change. Often, others’ perceptions are not a true reflection of who you are or how you operate. They can be based on a single interaction or moment in time, or even hearsay. But as the saying goes, perception is reality, and it impacts the way you are viewed and treated.
Taking control of your brand, you can make very intentional, strategic choices about how you show up every day and which behaviors you dial up or dial back.

Remember that knowledge is power.  Today, ask yourself: do I know what my brand is, and am I managing it proactively?