The Best Laid “Brands” of Mice and Men Often Go Astray
Many of us have heard the saying “the best laid plans of mice and men often go astray”. Well, so goes our personal brand. We can envision ourselves ever so pleasantly and perfectly, presently and in the future. We see ourselves have a great life, lots of friends, warm, approachable, dependable, accountable, well dressed, articulate, I mean outright superstars!
Sometimes things go as planned and sometimes. . .they don’t. Why does this happen? If this has happened to you, relax. You are not alone. Unfortunately, many of us do not receive the feedback necessary to know if we are on track to realize our Best Brand. You envision yourself being dependable; however you overcommit to a point where you can’t possibly get it all done. In your mind, you’re doing the best you can and shouldn’t people be happy that you said “yes”? No, not if they’re counting on you. I have personally had to learn this lesson. I was fortunate enough to recieve the proper feedback and was able to get back on track.
You envision yourself as well dressed and appropriate for every occasion. However, in reality your clothes are too fitted, too loose or downright unsuitable for various occasion. How will you know? You may not without feedback. Feedback can come in a few forms. You may notice subtle (or not so subtle) remarks about how “snazzy” you dress or WOW! look at you. Paying attention to the phrases and adjectives that are used, but more importantly those that are not used to describe your appearance.
You get where I’m going here. Assess your brand on a regular basis. Given that 75% of getting, retaining and advancing in a job (or otherwise put, 75% of your likability factor) is based on people skills (per the Dale Carnegie Institute). We need to put the same laser focus on ensuring that our own brands are the best and most authentic as we do analyzing others.
Remember that very few of us get most things right on the first try. We need feedback, strategy, execution and monitoring to ensure that we are constantly moving forward to our best brand (and in life). So plan the brand, understand who you are and how you want to represent yourself to the world. Then understand that sometimes, we veer off of these plans. Feedback will help us get back on track.