That must have happened to you in the career at least once. Somebody was after your job or was so jealous about your achievements that could not help but started an intentional public attack on your reputation. They may or may not be your direct competitors. They may even be your bosses.
At first they may not seem so much after you. Everything may have started with “innocent” and sneaky comments to your colleagues or to your bosses, “I do not know if there is any truth to it, but I have heard he has done that and that ……..” Or “He has really lost his edge. I really don’t know why they keep him around.”
These “innocent” sharks like to sabotage other people career because they are so insecure. They do not know how to compete on professional level using fair play principles. Most of the time they have “chronic” sabotage problem, as it was their only way in the past to get to the top. Not the work results, but dirty play. And because it worked, they got reassured.
Does this sound familiar? Depressive? Do not worry if you are a target! There is always the way out! When you see the symptoms of sabotage, don’t get mentally eaten up. Do not be paranoid, but don’t be naïve either. Learn how to protect yourself.
1. Use the strengths of your personal brand
The best defense against any sabotage is to use your personal brand as a protection. Hold tight to your brand character, brand values. Be aware of what is going on, but do not join the play.
2. Keep your positive attitude
Get mentally beyond the saboteur’s influence to a virtual place where nobody can hurt you.
Stay enthusiastic about own job, do the best work. Never talk publicly badly about the one who was talking badly about you. Hold tight to your energy, enthusiasm and to your high ethical standards.
3. Believe in your possibilities
The competition can be brutal. You need to avoid self-doubt otherwise there is always somebody who uses your weakness against you. Think about your life as a see of unlimited possibilities. Look for your possibilities inside yourself and outside too. You may not stay in the same company, but you may strengthen yourself and thrive in much bigger opportunity. Believe it.
4. Create and protect your boundaries
Eliminate those “friends” or colleagues around you who seem to be threatened by your success. Personal boundaries are necessary for preserving energy and keeping yourself and your brand mentally detached from anyone else.
5. Find support
If you get depressed from the situation, find a reference point for your soul to connect with. This could be your mentor, your friends, wife or children, your hobbies or just the nature. It doesn’t matter what you use to give you a direct line back to yourself as long as it works to return you there. You will soon discover that every time you get to the bottom, on the way back you release your stress and strengthen yourself. You empower your brand based on your living values.
6. Apply crisis management techniques for your brand
When you are caught in circumstances beyond your control, do not hide yourself. Approach the situation upfront immediately. Straightforward, calm and honest communication is often the appropriate response to any brand crisis.
7. Move forward with clear personal brand strategy
Do not put your life on hold, just because of this sabotage. Keep your goal in sight and continue to move toward it. Take your destiny in your hands. Prepare an outstanding personal brand strategy, that reflects the real you. Focus on what you love to do. Get noticed and remembered by people. Turn the negative situation into positive for yourself. Move on, reinvent yourself.
People who throw dirt loose THEIR ground. It is their brand that is damaged in the end. Because it was so obvious that they could not stand somebody outperforming them. They have got from the observing audience the label “insecure, not very nice and potentially dangerous”. People may be now constantly watching their back when they are around, being very careful, not much supportive. And then these publicly isolated people hardly survive on the top in the long-term.
The road to success is the high road. The commercial world is tough. Unethical competitive wars are on daily agenda. Think twice before you engage in dirty stuff. It can have negative effect on your personal brand. It is much wiser to stay true to yourself and your ideals. And to make yourself an attractive valuable BRAND instead.
P.S. How to make yourself a VALUABLE BRAND - see my previous blog.
P.S. Stay tuned for the next week thought: "Vulnerability As An Advantage in Business"
Howard Schultz, CEO of Starbucks, quoted in the July 21, 2008 issue of Fortune: “The hardest thing about being a leader is demonstrating or showing vulnerability. And that has a lot to do with trust. ..When the leader demonstrates vulnerability and sensibility and brings people together, the team wins.”