Do the Right People Know Your Brand?
It’s not what you’re doing. It’s what you look like you’re doing when you’re doing what you’re doing. –Express Yourself, Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band
Tricia, Chuck, and Dave are members of their company’s Information Technology organization. They have been friends since they joined the company 7 years ago. Tricia has received 2 promotions in the last 3 years. She was recently appointed to lead the IT implementation of a solution that will enable the company to achieve industry best in class designation in customer service. Tricia, Chuck and Dave have all received solid performance appraisals. Chuck and Dave have not received promotions in the last 3 years. Chuck and Dave are wondering why Tricia’s career is advancing while their careers are stuck in neutral.
Tricia, Chuck, and Dave are returning from lunch. They encounter Jeff, CEO of their company, in the hall. Jeff says “Hi, Tricia! Congratulations on your appointment to such an important role in implementing our customer service solution. Hit a home run!” Tricia thanks Jeff. Jeff gives a vanilla nod of acknowledgement to Chuck and Dave.
Dave: Tricia, how do you do it?
Chuck: Yeah, what’s the magic?
Tricia: I am not a magician. I have some things that I have done that I would like to share with you. Let’s talk at the Bistro after work.
Chuck and Dave agree to meet at the Bistro after work.
Tricia: Do you remember the Lunch & Learn session that the Customer Service organization conducted in the main auditorium 2 years ago?
Dave: Was it about leveraging interactions with customers to increase their loyalty to our brands?
Tricia: Yes, it was.
Chuck: I remember, too. The title of the presentation was “Managing Our TouchPoints to Encourage Customer Loyalty”.
Tricia: Great recall!
Dave: Tricia, what does that presentation have to do with you career success?
Tricia: I thought about customer calls to our customer support representatives and the company’s communications to our customers informing them of new product features and product line additions we were introducing, and the happy anniversary messages we send to customers on the 1st and 2nd anniversaries of their purchases. Customer Service called these interactions with customers “touchpoints”.
Chuck: Okay …
Tricia: Dave and Chuck, do you remember the Personal Branding workshop the company sponsored?
Dave: I remember. We participated in that workshop.
Chuck: That was some good stuff.
Dave: It helped me recognize what I could contribute to the company and what made me unique.
Chuck: Same here. However, I never put what I learned into practice.
Dave: I also left what I learned in the Learning Center. I got so caught up in the day-to-day that I forgot about my brand.
Tricia: I also got a lot out of the Personal Branding workshop. After the workshop, I thought “I know my brand but do the people who can promote me or who can influence promotion decisions recognize my brand?”
Dave: This is getting very interesting.
Tricia: I decided to designate the people who can promote me or influence promotion decisions in our organization career brokers.
Chuck: Umm, career brokers.
Dave: Name these career brokers.
Tricia: Career brokers include our boss, our boss’ boss, company executives, peers of our boss, our HR manager, and the administrative assistants for executives in our organization and the company.
Chuck: I understand the career broker designation for everyone you mentioned except for administrative assistants.
Tricia: Do you know Sally Rogers?
Chuck: Everyone knows Sally or knows of her. She is the administrative assistant to Jeff, our CEO.
Tricia: Sally and I had quite an interaction when we both volunteered to help build homes through our company’s sponsorship of Habitat for Humanity. We shared personal experiences and a few laughs. We stopped for brief chats as we encountered one another in hallways and in the cafeteria. She also introduced me to other executive administrative assistants.
Dave: I bet Sally mentioned you to Jeff.
Tricia: I have a suspicion that she did. Administrative assistants have the trust and ears of their bosses. Many of them have been assistants for their bosses as their bosses’ careers advanced.
Chuck: Okay, Sally thinks a lot of you. It takes more than that to have the career success you are experiencing.
Tricia: You are right. I thought about touchpoints, my interactions directly or indirectly with career brokers. Touchpoints provide opportunities to demonstrate my personal brand, the best version of me. I developed a list of touchpoints.
Tricia shares the list with Chuck and Dave. The list of touchpoints include:
- How she conducts meeting
- How she participates in meetings
- How she communicates (oral, written/electronically)
- Her job performance
- Her management of her career
Dave: This deep!
Tricia: I focus on perfecting these touchpoints to take advantage of my interactions with career brokers. I want to make sure that each interaction is a command performance. I even have a diagram that appears when I boot my computer each morning to keep me mindful of the importance of managing my touchpoints. (Tricia shares the diagram with Chuck and Dave.)
Chuck: So that’s the magic.
Dave: It’s more than magic. It is best practices for demonstrating our brands to the right people.
Tricia: I never thought of it as best practices. I guess it is as far as I am concerned. It has worked for me.
Chuck: I am starting my personal brand awareness campaign tomorrow. It will start with identifying career brokers and learning how to manage my touchpoints. Look out career brokers! Here’s Chuck!
Dave: I am going to get the jump on Chuck. I am starting tonight!
Tricia: I detect competition. (Tricia smiles.)
Do you feel that your career is stuck in neutral?
Do you have a Personal Brand Statement?
Can you name the career brokers in your organization?
Do the career brokers in your organization know your brand?
How well are you managing your touchpoints?
How well are you managing The Business of You?
Do you see the connections between Personal Product Development, Personal Branding, Personal Marketing and the other components of The Business of You?
I invite you to share your comments, experiences, and suggestions. This helps me provide information that may help you address your career opportunities and challenges.
Fields of Success offers complimentary coaching sessions. Visit the Contact page on the Fields of Success website to schedule a session.
Next week’s article will provide more information and suggestions on how to manage your most important economic asset—your career.
Linwood Bailey is a career coach and the author of The Business of Me: Your Job … Your Career … Your Value. The Business of Me provides a career management process and information designed for today’s business professional. Since 2008, Linwood has enabled business professionals to manage their careers. Linwood, the been there coach, provides innovative career management solutions derived from his 34 years of experience managing functions and people in multiple industries, regions, and corporate cultures.
Founder & Owner, Fields of Success, LLC
Helping professionals convert their opportunities, challenges, and issues into career success stories.