Becoming the Boss: The 4 Essential Elements of Your Personal Brand

Becoming the Boss launch partyToday is the day! I am thrilled to launch my new book, Becoming the Boss: New Rules for the Next Generation of Leaders, into the world. As I wrote last week, the first step to becoming the boss is to learn about yourself. How can you be a great leader of your own life and career? Part of that process is becoming the CEO of you and building a professional and effective personal brand for yourself.

With people no longer sticking with a single company for the course of their careers, it’s essential to always be marketing yourself for the next opportunity. And that may not be in the same industry or field, so you want to ensure you’re putting forward both specific expertise and an array of qualities that are valued across the board.

To help you get started, here’s an excerpt from my new book, Becoming the Boss: New Rules for the Next Generation of Leaders:

As you begin to think about your personal brand and how you’d like to be perceived as a leader, here are four overarching areas to focus on.

1. Visibility

Do people in your organization or community know who you are? Is your presence felt by the people you lead or the people you want to lead? Are you findable where your desired networking contacts are looking? Do you appear in the media, at industry events, in the company cafeteria? Leaders need visibility.

2. Differentiation

What are you known for? What can you offer that other people can’t? If someone walked into a meeting of you and your team, could that person tell that you are the boss? While leaders today need many skills, it can be helpful to have a few areas where you really excel. This is what gets you noticed and what gets you continually promoted.

3. Consistency

Can people depend on you to behave in a similar way across a variety of circumstances? Do you treat people equally? Is your image consistent across all social media and your in-person persona? This quality is particularly important: consistency regularly ranks as one of the most desired qualities of a strong boss or leader. Nobody likes surprises, especially in their leaders.

The consistency of your style is important for another reason as well: it sets the tone for your team to be consistent. It’s like the physics principle of entrainment: a roomful of pendulums will eventually all begin to swing at the same pace. If you are consistently optimistic and reliable, your team will (under most circumstances) be consistently optimistic and reliable. If you are moody and unpredictable, your team will become moody and unpredictable, too.

4. Authenticity

Are you genuine in your image and your outreach to people? Are you comfortable in your leadership skin? In no way should you interpret personal branding as the need to put on a persona or be fake in any way. While you certainly want to own your authority and power, you can do so in a way that feels natural and comfortable to you. Maintain your personal integrity always.

Keep reading. Becoming the Boss: New Rules for the Next Generation of Leaders was released today and is full of advice and information.

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Lindsey is a globally recognized career and workplace expert and the leading voice on generational diversity. She has spoken for more than 300 audiences including Google, Goldman Sachs, Estee Lauder, Stanford and Wharton. Lindsey is the author of four career and workplace advice books, and her insights have appeared in media outlets including The TODAY Show, CNBC, NPR, the Harvard Business Review and the Wall Street Journal.


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