Saturday, October 30, 2010

Are You Able To Cope With A Sabotage On Your Personal Brand?

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.” 

Friday, October 22, 2010

Are YOU an Attractive and Premium Brand?

What do people think and feel when they see you? What words come to their mind about you? Be honest with yourself. Are you aware of it? Do you understand YOUR own brand?  Have you exploited in the past the opportunity to reposition yourself, to become a brand new and up to speed with the evolving social and professional environment?
Successful charismatic people drive strong emotional responses from us. We know what to expect from them which is why we remember them. They have built themselves based on core values linked to their unique life experiences. They have discovered what resonates with their souls, they have exploited their talents that they honor and rely on. They apply the branding rules for the brand of SELF.
Successful people understand that if they do not brand themselves, someone else will. Someone else may give them a label that they dislike totally. Authenticity, clarity, differentiation and consistency are the key to any career and social success. As trusted brands earn or loose customer loyalty, you can expect the same for the brand of YOU. The audience is watching and judging: your talents, your skills, your words, your actions and your style. Trying to create links to your core values and the real you person. It is rarely in a brand’s interest to “tell it all”. Sometimes the mystery around the brand can increase the interest.  
However it pays hugely to avoid cheating and misleading the audience. As we have seen from several women politicians during the last elections. They have sold their pretty faces and withheld afterwards to give the real job to the men behind them. They may be able to do it just once.
Business or politics are talent shows. We can never play with or cheat the audience in the long-term. We cannot provoke people just to get a reaction. Otherwise we get a label – “Unreliable”. Think of it twice also when you decide to play either the bad guy or the victim in the business. What effect will it have on your future?
Branding is an on-going never ending process. There is always a chance to control how you are perceived and to change YOUR brand.You just have to keep asking two questions: does your brand deliver on the expectations of your target audience and is this in line with your true SELF? The more these two answers match, the more strong is YOUR brand.
Because nothing is more positive, than if your brand is able to attract exactly those opportunities, that you want. Because your brand is able to inspire others.To differentiate yourself in whatever field you have chosen. To make you somebody people are attracted to.

Still not persuaded why should you bother to build a brand for yourself? 
Than try this one: Big Brands = Big Money!
P.S. Stay tuned for the next week blog on “Sabotages On Our Reputation, How To Protect the Brand Of SELF.”
P.S. I am happy to offer coaching to help people find the right tools to strengthen their OWN brand and to make themselves more attractive for the external world.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Last Steps Matter Most …

You have observed it many times around you during the elections or in the companies. People have seen themselves as winners of a position well before they have got it. They have promised their companions share on the future fruits of power. They have started to behave in their natural (arrogant) way being so sure they do not have to pretend anymore. They have overestimated their previous success and influence. They have seen things as they wanted them to be, not as they were.
The more sure they were about themselves the more harsh was the next day awakening into failure. They felt as victims of conspiracy. They felt it is not fair to them. Why it has to happen to them, when they have already lived their dream of a conqueror.
Life is in fact not so much about the fairness, rightness or the end goal achievement. Rather about perseverance and lessons learnt on the way forward. About focus on joy and adventure along the way. Having honorable target and honorable way to achieve it.
After initial success there are mostly no shortcuts. Rather a bumpy road with many curves. We are always under the test of our intentions, desire and courage. The moment of truth comes in a way of examination of what we have learnt on our way. Just before the dream is fulfilled. The life wants to give us a chance to master the new skills we have learnt. To better understand them.
Many people give it up right during this test. Right after the first signs of failure or any other setbacks. They become bitter and skeptical. They do not want to put anymore the energy into their dreams. They are afraid to overcome obstacles. They may be afraid of another failure. They may loose their confidence. Or they may be unclear if they deserve the success at all. The fear of suffering is mostly worse, than the suffering itself.
There are no fulfilled dreams without passing a road full of expectation, joy and pain  – all of that mastered with courage until the last minute. Don´t be afraid to desire more from your life. There is a bonus for you in the end. You will be much more rich because you have exploited things and areas that many others never will.
P.Coelho: "Do not forget that your heart is where your dream is. You have to make the dream reality, so that everything what you have discovered along the way starts to make sense."


Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Tough New Beginnings…

     Starting with something fresh new is very easy when we are children. We are exploring the adventures of life by practicing all over again the trivial skills, like learning to walk, learning to write. We are focused just on ourselves, being explorative, intuitive and creative. We are having happy smile on our face, not minding any setbacks.

     As we grow older the fresh new beginnings become more and more complicated, because we make them more complicated. We create stretched targets and strategies for winning. We accept only victories. We are afraid of setbacks. We process thoughts how to learn the new tasks quickly and efficiently as much as possible. We have a detailed plan. We push a lot. Despite the fact that these tools may be very useful at work, they are not always efficient in the real life.

     Take golf for example. Golf is a game most of us started to play as grown ups. Golf is typical example of a game of mindset. Pushing with enormous energy will not serve us good for learning. The success lays in psychology, more than in the mechanics. The more we are in balance with ourselves, the better we play.  Yes, we have to have a goal in mind, but the rest we need to put in hand of a good trainer and to our relaxed body, that is able to produce the natural swing. We just have to find the trace in our brain.
     There are no shortcuts to success. We can have our natural talent. But the skill has to be developed. The road to success is full of setbacks. When it seems impossible, when it seems like nothing is going to work, we are usually just a few millimeters away from making it happen. Millimeters? Because the propensity of the golf club may be just a millimeter away from the most effective shot.
     We just cannot give up. We have to go on. Find “our swing”. We have to remind ourselves of the smoothness and happy adventure code of our childhood learning. There is nothing like negative experience, only the opportunity to grow and discover the art of self control. The opportunity to discover ourselves.

     If we have the courage for a fresh start, we are given an opportunity to earn more personal strength and to discover bigger depth in our life meaning. We are given an opportunity for extending the boarders of our life.