You know that person who when they walk in the room you feel their energy? When they present, they have you at hello? When they write that email, you open it with anticipation that it will deliver something smart, insightful and with wit? They leave a mark each and every time. That’s what I mean when I say ‘average is over.’ In our new remote-virtual world, the lines have blurred between home and office. The connections traditionally made at the office, on sales calls and in business meetings and lunches have gone poof. Video screens and thumbnail size faces are forcing a different kind business connection. How are you adapting your personal brand in this unique moment in time? No matter what your profession, the Secret to Your Slight Edge means defining, knowing and bringing your value - your brand. Jeff Bezo’s has famously said “your personal brand is what people say when you leave a room.” The brand of YOU is how you communicate with your teams, your clients and your companies to ensure a connection that leaves them knowing exactly what you stand for, who you are, what they can expect from you in the future. Fast Company called it the CEO of Me Inc. Today more than ever to break out in this virtual world, you need to play big and bring your best asset: your brand . According to Seth Godin, the definition of a brand is “the set of expectations, memories, stories and relationships that, taken together, account for a consumer’s decision to choose one product or service (or person) over another.” Expectations you set and overdeliver. Memories you create that are positive, rich and valuable. Stories you tell that are remembered. Relationships you build that are deep and trusted. In this highly competitive world — now under more pressure from the virtual work day — know your brand and bring it every day in everything you do. You must distinguish yourself from all the other very smart people walking around in your industry and life. If you want to be exceptional which is a marker for success today, your Secret to the Slight Edge needs to be prescriptive. Don’t get me wrong – this is about authenticity NOT doing something for show. It’s your signature that when left is a reminder of you. It’s not made up. It is what you are made up of. Developing your brand requires becoming relentlessly focused on what you do that adds value, that you’re proud of, and most important, that you can shamelessly take credit for. Begin by identifying the qualities or characteristics that make you distinctive. Ask yourself ‘what do I do that adds remarkable, measurable, distinguished, distinctive value?’ This isn’t about a job description or about the typical delivery of someone in your career position. Typical is average. Average is over. Ask yourself: What do I do that I am most proud of? What have I accomplished that I can unabashedly brag about? When I go the extra mile, I do this__________. Here’s the tough part: you gotta do it each and every day . When you clearly know your brand value it should manifest in everything you do. The Secret to Your Slight Edge needs to be written down and clearly articulated as a reminder when you go off the path or when you are interviewing or selling yourself or your company. Two sentences that when read would so closely represent you that the person reading them would automatically know it was you they were reading about. You are unique. That makes your personal brand one-of-a-kind.
You are distinctive. You are extraordinary. You bring value. Your value currency is……? Oprah gave a 2020 commencement speech this week and said, “every one of us is now being called to temper the parts of ourselves that must fall away, to refine who we are, how we define success, and what is genuinely meaningful.” In this unlikely time, be the one people celebrate when you leave the room. If you need help discovering and sharing your slight edge , let’s get to work. Email me for a 20-minute consultation.
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