One of the most important lessons that I’ve learned from my Microsoft
career was the importance of a personal brand. It helped me tremendously while
I was at the company. It both served me well inside and outside the company as
well. It allowed me to connect my ideas with people even if they didn’t know me
personally. This was important because it got me in the door to conversations I
wouldn’t normally have, get past that initial barrier in initial conversations
and learnings about who I am and what I’m about out of the way and we could
focus on problems we needed to solve.
There are many definitions but I thought I would fall back
to a Wikipedia on the definition of personal branding:
Personal branding is, for some people, a description of the
process whereby people and their careers are marked as brands. It has been
noted that while previous self-help management techniques were about
self-improvement, the personal branding concept suggests instead that success
comes from self-packaging. Further defined as the creation of an asset that
pertains to a particular person or individual; this includes but is not limited
to the body, clothing, appearance and knowledge contained within, leading to an
indelible impression that is uniquely distinguishable.
As an Enterprise Architect, this is a very important
concept. Much of the EA formula to achieving results is through trust and
credibility. Achieving trust and
credibility isn’t like a onetime event similar to selecting an EA Framework,
but a complex people oriented and ongoing activity.
Simply put, the ability to personally brand yourself allows
you to stand out in the crowd, get into forums you normally wouldn’t get into, presented
with new opportunities and the opportunities to have your thought leadership visible
across a company or industry.
Some helpful resources for personal branding can be found:
- Me.2.0 Book – http://www.amazon.com/Me-2-0-Powerful-Achieve-Success/dp/1427798206
- Personal Branding Blog – http://www.personalbrandingblog.com/
- Fast Company Article – http://www.fastcompany.com/28905/brand-called-you
- Forbes What’s Your Brand – http://www.forbes.com/sites/ronashkenas/2011/02/23/whats-your-personal-brand