Back in October of 2011, I wrote a post called Reputation Capital: Key to Hiring in the Future. I repeated the post in September of 2013. Both these posts were based on a comment made in the book The 2020 Workplace by Jeanne C. Meister and Karie Willyerd. In the book they said:
“Reputation capital will be the top currency in the 2020 workplace. This is the sum total of your personal brand, your expertise, and the breadth, depth, and quality of your social networks….. This means looking for employees who have not only wide, deep and high-quality social networks but also demonstrate a track record of turning those networks into increased business value for the organization and a stronger personal brand for themselves.”
Today I read an article in Entrepreneur written by Lida Citroën called A Resilient Personal Brand Ensures Your Competitive Edge. Her premise is to become competitive and stay competitive, in this rapidly evolving world of work, you have to have a strong personal brand. Citroën says a brand “…is what you put forth as an expectation of the experience people will have with you.” It is what allows you to stand out from the competition around you, whether it is you or your company.
She further says that your brand must be intentional. As she says “Its goal is to influence, inspire, and impact others. And, very importantly for today’s competitive world, a strong brand gives you the ability to identify your target audience and align with what that audience needs and wants.” Talent will no longer be enough. Being “talented” is no longer sufficient to be competitive, particularly as talents may become outmoded or replaced by automation.
As Meister and Willyerd said in their book, the person with the broad network of connection that can be turned into potential business will take the place of the person who has talent. This connection is enhanced by the brand they project. Companies have found that having employees who project a strong personal brand aligned with the company brand is beneficial to the organization. Being perceived as competent, well-spoken, reliable and talented will go a long way to keeping you employed even as jobs change, and disappear. Citroën says “Work at it until your brand precedes you. Work at your brand until you no longer ask yourself if you’re staying competitive in a rapidly evolving work culture.”
That is good advice for both individuals, departments, and individuals. Have you examined your brand lately? The brand of many an HR department is lacking. As you evaluate your brand use “radical candor”, a term I have borrowed from Kim Scott’s book by that title. We can all probably improve our brand, some of us more than others.
Picture credit: MS Word clip art