As talent acquisition and human capital management continue to grow more complex, there’s opportunity for HR professionals to redefine their personal brand as leaders within their organizations. Making that shift is definitely top-of-mind: According to SHRM’s Business and Human Capital Challenges report, 44% of HR professionals say their greatest challenge is moving HR from a transactional to transformational position.
Personal branding is an often-overlooked tool which can help TA leaders move that shift along. It’s a mark of leadership that opens the door to reshaping your interactions at work. Enhancing your personal brand can help you accomplish your business goals, whether they involve redefining your hiring process, bringing in new HCM technology, increasing diversity hiring or other priorities.
What Personal Branding Isn’t
Cultivating a personal brand sometimes gets confused with self-promotion, or increasing personal social media presence. However, neither of these activities supports the true intent of a leader’s personal brand, which is to purposefully guide your interactions with others, and put focus on the value you bring to your relationships. You already have an “image” at work in the minds of others. Personal branding is being more intentional about that image.
Enhancing Your Personal Brand
Enhancing your personal brand is like most self-improvement activities – it requires time, space and the effort of self-reflection and imagining the what-ifs. It also requires ongoing commitment to adjusting your behavior not in a way that’s unnatural to you, but it may stretch you a bit.
Here are a few ideas to get started:
- Think about how you add value. Many leaders define their personal brand by thinking about how they can best serve others with their unique talents and skills. You should also think about what motivates and engages you on a personal level at work. You’re more likely to give effort, engage others and enjoy your work when you’re involved with the things you care about most.
- Solicit feedback. One consultant I know identified a group of a dozen people she respected who were colleagues, long-time clients and a few friends. They were willing to complete a written survey about her strengths and weaknesses, leadership style and perceptions of her personal brand. While this feedback provided some confirmation for her, it also uncovered things she did not expect. Like most of us, she had some blind spots in her self-evaluation. That feedback was invaluable as she clarified her own ideas about her personal brand.
- Remind yourself of it every day. Your enhanced personal brand won’t become part of you if you define it and then leave it on a shelf or in a file folder. Come to work with a mindset to live your brand, and make it a consistent guide in everything you do.
Finally, realize your personal brand will evolve. People’s strengths, capabilities and interests change over time, sometimes in small shifts and sometimes in large jumps. Be ready to recognize changes and integrate them. Your evolving personal brand will support your growth as a leader in your organization.