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How to build your personal brand for your future career
I heard an interesting figure this week; 50% of a company’s reputation is attributed to the CEO. From visionaries such as Steve Jobs through to hard-nosed commercial animals such as Mike Ashley, it is hard to argue with that. A great CEO can add 15% to a company’s market value.
People significantly underestimate the reputational pull (or push) of a CEO. These reputations are forged over years of consistent outperformance and great working relationships with staff, suppliers and customers. Benjamin Franklin said, “It takes many good deeds to build a good reputation, and only one bad one to lose it.” In recruiting for a fashion business, it is common for candidates to choose a brand they would prefer to work for based on the CEO’s reputation. The CEO’s reputation is also commonly used as a reason for leaving a brand.
So, for those who are aspiring to be the leaders of the future, what characteristics and values do you need to display in order to get the best results?
Six steps to being recognised as a great leader
Throughout many years of interviewing leaders in many organisations, we have seen a few traits that separate the good from great:
Consistency – both in approach and personality – I will often ask in interviews about the candidate’s worst day/week in their job to understand how they coped and the impression that would have been set. How does your mood fluctuate in tougher times? How aware are you of how you are perceived by your team/peers?
Vision and values – a good leader instils his/her values in the business and has a clear vision for how the company is to reach its goals. It’s important to consider what your personal vision and values are and how you present them in business.
Ability to hire great people – a good leader must be able to fire non-performers and hire great performers. Partnering with a professional recruitment firm will ensure that you hire the best and are presented in the best light in the recruitment market.
Honesty and transparency – how authentic is your communication? A good leader levels with people and tells it like it is!
A willingness to take responsibility – it is easy to externalise blame when things don’t go according to plan... market conditions, weather, other people’s actions etc but it’s the leader’s job to anticipate the market and position the company for success regardless of the circumstances.
- Think about how you deliver bad news – Tesco CEO, Dave Lewis, has had a very tough six months in his new role and has had to deliver mostly bad news, but his delivery has reassured the shareholders and team that he is leading Tesco in the right direction. A positive mental attitude.
Using social media to build your brand
There are a number of vehicles that you can use to build your personal brand, in addition to the more obvious reputation with your team and operational board. Social media such as Twitter and LinkedIn are the shop windows to your world. Every tweet you send, every status update you make, every picture you share, contributes to your personal brand. So make sure you’re putting your best foot forward. More and more vetting processes for recruitment include checking the future employee’s LinkedIn profile, Twitter and Instagram accounts, blog and Facebook page. In fact, today social media has a real impact on your career.
While these may seem straightforward, you need to continually live by these, day in, day out, through adversity and in the good times, if you want to maintain a strong personal brand.
Are you looking to take the next step in your career? Are you looking to hire executive fashion talent? Or are you simply looking for some further advice on the fashion recruitment market? Contact Nicola Wensley for a confidential discussion.