The Real You: Make Sure Authenticity, Confidence Contained In Leadership Brand
Of course we are not talking Michael Kors, Google or BMW. But we all know everyone managing a career has a personal brand. And as women in leadership, we each need to cultivate and protect that brand as carefully as marketers for Coca-Cola, IBM or Facebook. According to Joanne Tombrakos, creator of Your Digital You, you need to manifest your personal brand just as carefully as these megastar branding teams of global companies.To develop your brand, communicating your story beyond your bio, CV or resume is a must, Tombrakos advises. Especially as a woman aiming for leadership. Make sure the message you are transmitting aligns with your career intentions and grows as keenly and deliberately as you do. Authenticity is important. Prepare your brand deliberately.Career coach and personal branding expert Erica Breuer of Clevertech agrees. She suggests to polish your image as a woman in leadership you stay away from cute titles and fuzzy profile shots on social media. While calling yourself “Queen of Everything” may be funny to your tribe of friends, it doesn’t appeal so much to the headhunters in HR.That is not to say you have to be all buttoned up and dull, allowing none of your personality to shine in the office. New research points to the need to be your “true self,” at work, though that does not mean you can relax as if you are hanging out at home, acting like Tina Fey or Amy Poehler in “Sisters” at their last great house party. Strike a balance, not just a pose. Professionalism still counts, but allowing the real you to be part of your identity as a leader in the workplace can also make your healthier.Be mindful that as you are building your leadership identity that it’s important to be confident in your brand and in yourself. The right brand can propel you ahead. That can be easier said than accomplished, according to Carol Leaman, ceo of Axonify.She writes in Fortune: “I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: women can be their own worst enemies sometimes. They get inside their own heads, compare themselves to others, convince themselves that only perfection is an option, and get paralyzed by the idea that someone else is smarter and better. And then all that self-talk manifests itself in the behaviors and attitudes that come through at work. They diminish themselves, thereby diminishing the confidence others have in them.”But knowing these pitfalls can help keep them at bay. Keep your brand and your confidence in mind and in your control.