Most people agree that managing your brand is an important part of managing your career. Books such as David D’Alessandro’s Career Warfare outline strategies to do this very thing. Most of us also realize the value in building, maintaining and leveraging a personal network and we do so with LinkedIn, networking groups and through events within our professional communities. But how often do we apply this thinking to our day-to-day activities in the office?
Ask yourself whether or not you are doing two key things:
Managing Your Brand:
You’ve established your brand outside of work, but are you also managing your brand inside your current firm? First off, what IS your brand at your current firm? Do others associate you with success? Are you viewed as a strong team player, who will do whatever it takes to get things done? Are you sought out at your firm as someone who knows how to deliver results, both personally and through your teams?
Ask a few “trusted advisors” within your firm to give you their candid perception of your brand and LISTEN. Is your internal brand the same as your external brand? More importantly, is it the brand you want? Be conscious not only of how you are perceived within your firm but whether your words and actions exemplify the brand you wish to establish. Seek congruence!
Managing Your Network:
Your ability to get things done at work relies not only on your scope of authority, but more importantly on your scope of influence. Having a strong scope of influence is the result of having a strong internal network. Are you taking the time to get to know people who do not report to you and who are not your peers, making sure you understand their roles, goals, and pain points? Are you making sure that you know who is who before you need to ask someone for a favor? To turn it around, do others know who YOU are and what YOUR role, goals and pain points are?
Making sure you build, maintain and leverage your personal network is important in getting things done and in establishing and strengthening your brand. Your ability to successfully influence others to achieve both your and their success says a lot about your ability to manage both your brand and your network inside your firm.
Thus, in the choice between authority and influence, always choose influence. Authority is given and taken away by others but influence is yours to earn or lose.
© 2013, Mark E. Calabrese