is a quick tip ezine for Managers who believe in
"Results Derived from Within"
Vickie Bevenour, a Professional
Certified Coach, PCC
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Brand – Part 1 Persona
Last month’s newsletter
discussion was about using more precise language
to communicate what your individual strengths are
and how to use them to maximize performance. How
successful were you at increasing the precision of
your communication? In this newsletter, I would
like to expand on that idea, all the way to
creating a personal brand for you.
Recently I was introduced to Susan Hodgkinson’s
book, The Leader’s Edge, Using Personal
Branding to Drive Performance and Profit. She
makes the point that the most successful business
professionals actively manage their careers. The
way that they accomplish this is to think of
themselves and their careers as “brands” and
they are relentless in managing their brands. Her
concept is that the old employment-for-life
contract is gone. This means that developing and
managing your personal brand is YOUR CHOICE and
is, therefore, 100% controllable.
The method that she uses to help business
professionals understand, define and leverage
their brands is called the 5 P’s of Leadership;
which are: persona, product, packaging, promotion
and permission. In this newsletter, I would like
to focus on the first of these, persona. Per
Hodgkinson, “Persona is the emotive emotional
connection and reaction that you elicit in other
In the exercise below, imagine yourself in each of
the following scenarios:
· You are working late in the office, when the
phone rings. You reach to pick it up, when at that
split second you see the caller ID; it is your
coworker Joe. Your hand instinctively recoils and
you let the call go to voice mail.
· You are at the airport with your family, ready
to board a plane to your two-week annual vacation
when your cell phone rings. You are not in the
mode to take any business calls, and then you
notice that it is your coworker Joe calling. You
instinctively answer and you notice a sight smile
coming to your lips.
· You are at a networking event and have had a
very pertinent conversation with prominent leaders
in your field. You are walking towards the food
table (you are starving) when you spot your
coworker Joe out of the corner of your eye. He is
walking towards you. You instinctively make a
u-turn and quickly engage in conversation with the
next person in your path.
What is it about Joe that INSTINCTIVELY makes us
feel the way that we do about him? The answer is
that he has a way of operating that either grates
on our nerves (examples 1 and 3), or makes us feel
good (example 2). Our reaction could result from
any number of things: his tone, his comments, his
edginess, his interaction with others, his sense
of humor. In Hodgkinson’s words, Joe’s
“…persona elicits a visceral (positive or
negative) reaction by the hundreds of small things
that he says and does. This in turn has an
on-going effect (detrimental or encouraging) on
him and his ability to achieve on behalf of his
organization and its customers.”
The question is, what visceral reactions are you
eliciting by the hundreds of small messages that
you send out daily? What feedback have you been
given in the past that might help you identify the
reactions you elicit?
I believe that, to a degree we have all trained
ourselves to ignore these reactions as we still
have to deal with that difficult customer or
offensive boss. This idea of a truly visceral
reaction is an enlightening concept and would like
to suggest the following exercise:
Notice as you go through the day, who gives you a
positive reaction and who gives you a negative
visceral reaction. Write them down, and then take
a quiet moment to reflect on what it is that you
are specifically reacting to. Could it be that
· Embraces the same values that you have, or not?
· Has a pleasing self-confidence about them or
· Has an emotional connection with you or not?
· Has a similar vision to yours or not?
Now let’s think about the reaction that your
persona elicits. In Hodgkinson’s words, what are
· Brand Attributes?
· Brand Drags?
· Desired Changes?
· Action Required?
In short, do you want to be the caller ID that
everyone picks up, or the one that goes to voice
mail? Do you want to be the person that others
walk towards or the person that they try to avoid?
Remember, the perception that others have about
you is reality.
Congratulations, you have
taken the next step to deriving results from within.
you like the tip, let us know but more important,
share it with a friend or colleague. As always,
YOUR SUCCESS IS MY GREATEST PLEASURE.