By Daniel Dela Dunoo
The Chief Executive Officer of “You Incorporated?” Sounds like a weird expression but it’s nonetheless a viable and vital concept. It is to see yourself as a company or product (which you certainly are). The CEO of you, Inc. is essentially concerned with personal branding. When it comes to personal branding, the ultimate responsibility rests with the individual and not a second party. Personal branding is perhaps as crucial for success as much as the branding of a company or its products and services, if not much more. Companies the world over are noted for branding and re-branding of their products, services and the very same institutions. They do so to create value, have competitive advantage and remain relevant within their chosen industries. Mention could be made of Ghana Commercial Bank’s recent rebranding as seen in its colors and name (GCB). Personal branding is undoubtedly the way to go for professionals who desire to climb high the ladder of success in the corporate world.
Develop a unique sales proposition
As CEO of you, Inc., it is essential you develop a unique sales proportion. What do you stand for? What do you want to be known for? What makes you stand out from the crowd? What image of you do you want to be etched into the psyche of your clients or potential clients. In his book, “The Millionaire in you”, Dr. Michael Leboeuf notes that the purpose for a unique sales proposition is to set you apart from those who do similar work. He provides practical advice on the route to take: “Look at your work through the eyes of those who hire you. What do they value most when they hire someone like you? What problems do they want you to solve? What can you do better than anyone else? Take the answers to those questions and write a short, original statement, phrase or word that tells people why you are the person they need.” It is that simple and yet very essential. Leverage on your uniqueness.
Commit to self improvement
Failure to continually strive to be a better ‘you’ will be counter-productive, especially if you are involved with the corporate world and desire to be the best you can possibly be. It should be the per-occupation of employers, employees and prospective employees to constantly engage with activities that stimulate the mind, unleash potential and sharpen competences.
It is advantageous to be on a constant look out for opportunities for self improvement. If it requires reading some self help or motivational books do so. If it requires attending seminars or enrolling for a course to build your capacity, by all means do so. Go the full length to ensure that you are better today than you were yesterday.
In his book, “be a sales superstar”, Brian Tracy, a world renowned author and top sales trainer, contends that sales persons, and all employees for that matter ought to dedicate themselves to contiguous learning. He notes that, “the future belongs to the learners The highest paid sales people spend much more time and money improving themselves and upgrading their skills than the average sales person.” So right on point!
Commit to Excellence
Excellence should be the hallmark of every professional. Mediocrity in the delivery of products and services should not be countenanced whatsoever. When assigned a task, one ought to settle for nothing short of excellence. It was Orison Swett Marden who once proffered this advice: “Make it a life-rule to give your best to whatever passes through your hands. Stamp it with your personal character. Let superiority be your trademark.” You do not want to be known for slackness and mediocrity. Such will be a poor brand and would inadvertently drive away clients and prospective clients. Brian Tracy also states, “The dividing line between success and failure is contained in your ability to make a clear, unequivocal decision that you are going to be the best and then to back your decision with persistence and determination until you reach your goal.” Such solid advice!
Commit to integrity
Integrity in business is everything, someone has said. Integrity basically connotes the attribute of doing the right thing at all times and in all occasions; ethical uprightness; honesty. Professor Thomas Dunfee of the Wharton School and who was in business for nearly three decades once noted, “We need to stress that personal integrity is as important as executive skill in business dealings.” Sharing similar sentiments, Warren Buffet, chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway once conceded that “in looking for people to hire, look for three qualities: integrity, intelligence, and energy. And if they don`t have the first one, the other two will kill them.”
It is sad that some professional have developed the proclivity for outwitting the system and more especially their clients. In the long run, when their sordid business dealings are discovered, they lose clients and in some cases end up with lawsuits and imprisonment. Who wants to hire (or have business dealings with) a swindler?
Commit to creating visibility
As CEO of you, Inc., creating visibility is a must; Refusal to do so is to consign yourself to obscurity and failure. Creating visibility essentially connotes the idea of exposure. Placing advertisements and embarking on several other promotional campaigns are employed by companies to create visibility, with the intent of increasing their market share. Little wonder S. H. Britt once made this perceptive statement: “Doing something without advertising is like winking at a beautiful girl in the dark. You know what you are doing but nobody else does.” Dr. Michael Leboeuf shared similar sentiments when he stated that “the world isn’t going to beat a path to your door unless it knows you exist, what benefit you provide and what makes you special.” Here, social media such as Face book, Twitter and the likes become important. When an employer (or potential employer) for instance, checks your profile and posts on Face book, what will he or she see and what impression will he have of you? What image do you create in the minds of your contacts and others who may at one point in time or the other check out your posts? It`s horrendous how many youngsters, some elderly included, mess up their personal brands via social media. Rather than mess up or waste your time in idle chatter on social media, make a deliberate effort to ensure that your accounts, profiles and posts project a good image about yourself. See social media as a promotional tool.
You could also volunteer your services, where you desire to work for instance; this is one of the viable ways of creating visibility which will inure to your benefit in the long run.
When all is said and done, never forget that you are CEO of you, Inc. It will do a lot of good if every professional or aspiring professional takes personal branding seriously. One ought to maintain the consciousness of being a CEO of you, Incorporated and should take calculated measures to create a personal brand that will sell.
I am a freelance Christian writer, editor and proofreader based in Ghana. I hold a Bachelor of Arts degree in Theology from the University of Wales, United Kingdom and a Higher National Diploma in Marketing from Tamale Polytechnic, Ghana. Email: [email protected]. My blog: http://theroyalwordsmithgh.wordpress.com