Reinvention is about assessing how you are perceived and how those perceptions impact your ability to be effective. Reinvention is about mapping out a strategy to modify your behavior to align with the personal brand you desire.
Modeling behavior that is consistent with what we preach is one aspect of alignment. However, alignment that connects us with our passion creates the path for us to operate at the level of our potential.
Negative vs. Positive Brand
Imagine a time when you were in a meeting or at a dinner party and you said or did something that created a negative impression. Sometimes we don’t get to recover from these types of errors, and that first impression influences how people will interact with us and interpret our behavior and words. More importantly, it may limit our opportunities. This could be considered as creating a negative brand —being brand negative.
In other situations we may be on our best game. We create an impression that is positive. This, too, influences how others will interact with us and interpret our behavior and words. This could be considered creating a positive brand. Being brand positive. Each of us currently has a personal brand. You might consider it as being the five things that are synonymous with hearing your name or seeing your face. Of course it could be greater or fewer than five things, but they represent the way you want to be perceived by others. In every interaction we have, verbal or nonverbal, our brands are being communicated.
More importantly, they may be helping us or hindering us. Consequently, if you don’t know your current brand you can’t manage it. It manages you! This becomes a critical factor when you are leading change and/or attempting to engage employees. One important aspect of reinvention is determining who are your blockers, enablers, and neutrals. Blockers are people with whom you are brand negative. They operate against you. Enablers are people with whom you are brand positive. They work on your behalf. Neutrals are those people that don’t have an opinion one way or the other. They represent an opportunity for you when you are building your coalition of personal and professional supporters.
Our responsibility to ourselves is to be conscious of our behavior and our brand, become aligned, and understand the reinvention we need to accomplish and with whom. Focus on the people who accept your new brand, and they will influence others on your behalf.
Negative vs. Positive Characteristics
The negative characteristics I have actively worked to overcome over the years are:
The brand I want to be synonymous with hearing my name or seeing my face includes (not in order of priority):
- Committed to helping others
- A great friend
- A great coach
- Making a difference
I work towards modeling my desired brand in all of my interactions. However, I continue to work consciously to improve in each of these areas of my personal brand. It is a focus. It is a journey. However, it is not perfection.
As we grow and learn, we will inevitably discover the need to reinvent ourselves and recover from that which we did not know or would not acknowledge about ourselves. In order to be effective in demonstrating accountability for our behavior we must be accountable for the story reflecting the thinking that leads to our behavior.