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Entries from August 2016

Personal Brand Management in a Crisis

22nd August 2016

personal branding

As a leader you will face a number of critical events during your career. These can range from being on the receiving end of a redundancy situation to having to manage an external crisis as a leader of a department or division.

No matter how prepared or well organised you are, you need to know how to manage yourself through this to ensure you do not damage your reputation and your personal brand. By addressing the problem head on, you will be able to mitigate any damage.

Take Control

There may come a time when you find yourself in a bad place that is outside of your control. Whatever you do never avoid facing into the situation. You must take control of how you handle the situation and your message. Here are some tips:

  • Stay calm
  • Act quickly and apologise for what has happened if appropriate
  • Explain the error if you can
  • Tell people what action you are going to take or what the next steps are
  • Follow-up and identify learning points
  • Ask questions to seek clarity

It is essential that you do not allow mistakes to define you. Address the problem, move on and continue expanding your brand.

Stay Connected

In difficult situations, you may be tempted to burn bridges, but you should never do this.

Burning bridges is breaking ties with people. When you walk away from someone with no hope of salvaging the relationship you can negatively affect your reputation and potentially create enemies.

What to do instead:

  • Wait to communicate until your anger has passed.
  • Thank the person for his or her feedback.
  • Consider your responsibility in creating the situation and what you could have done differently.
  • Create space in the relationship and decide what action would be most appropriate.

Be Consistent

Problems in personal branding often stem from communication. Miscommunication and misinformation happen regularly, and they can destroy your reputation.

It is important that you address communication errors immediately and squelch rumours before they spread. Gather all information as it appears. When you find errors being reported, respond immediately.

Once a negative story spreads, it is difficult to stop the grapevine and it takes a lot longer to recover.

Examples of misinformation:

  • Incorrect quotes or misinterpretation of what you have said
  • False or exaggerated claims of what has happened
  • Incorrect statistics or data
  • Stories created on the back of what has or hasn’t been said

The best way to handle this situation is with the truth. Address the source of the misinformation directly. Your response will depend on the message you found. For example, you may need to clarify the information to someone, or confront someone with the truth when everything said is false.

Be sure to spread your message throughout all of your communication channels. Consistency is key. Your goal is to present the truth or facts, not to go on a personal crusade.

Create new habits

You will face failures – sad but true – and these could all impact on your personal brand and reputation.

Learning to learn takes practice. When you face failure, take the opportunity to learn from your it and identify actions to do things differently.  This way you are more likely to create a new habit and create a stronger more resilient brand.

“Our background and circumstances may have influenced who we are, but we are responsible for who we become.” 

Barbara Geraci



3 core elements of your personal brand

4th August 2016

personal branding

You are in control of your personal brand if you choose to be.

As a leader you are on show all of the time and people are watching you even when you think they aren’t! It is essential that you define yourself carefully and cultivate your image – remember that perception is reality. When you take the time to define yourself and present this definition to the public, your will reap the benefits that come with taking control of your personal brand.

Take Charge

It is easy to underestimate the importance of personal branding and avoid actively engaging and developing your brand. The truth is that branding occurs whether you participate in it or not. If you do not take the time to take charge, others will brand you, and it may not be favourable.

Taking control of your personal brand is essential in managing your reputation.

Be Real

People are attracted to genuine people. The key to personal branding is to make it personal. Your brand must have your personality. Ensure your brand attracts the people you want it to. Share ideas, implement humour if appropriate, and connect with people. Remember leadership is all about connecting with others and taking them with you!

You are under no obligation to share personal details about yourself, but everything that you do share must be genuine. Never make up facts, statistics, or tell lies. Fact checking has become easier than ever, and lies will do nothing to improve your brand’s reputation.

To define yourself, you need to know yourself well. Identifying your values, passions, and strengths will help you realize what you need to communicate in your brand. Once you understand what you have to offer, it will be possible to create a brand that is both honest and positive. It will allow others to see you clearly.


Consider your values to be your pillars. They are the attributes that help define your identity. Ask yourself what is important to you about the work that you do. Your values are what motivate you; they explain how you offer what you have. For example, you may offer years of sales experience, but your pillar could be offering an honest and authentic sales experience. There are no right or wrong pillars; they simply need to reflect your work values.

Ask yourself what is important to you and make a list. Then prioritise them in order of the most to least important. Those higher on the list will have more meaning for you and it is these that you should link to what your brand has to offer.


Your brand should reflect your passions. Ask yourself the following questions to identify your passions:

  • What do you care about?
  • What drives you?
  • What do you love to do?

Remember to list all of your passions, not just the ones that are obviously related to work. If the only passion you communicate is linked to your work, you may appear work obsessed. People know that there is more to you than your work. Your brand needs to personalise you to other people, so a passion for art, family, or the environment could only contribute to your brand. You are bound to attract people with similar passions.


Branding requires you to identify your strengths. Your strengths are essential in your brand and you need to ensure you play to your strengths, this is when you will perform at your best.

Consider your natural talent when defining your personal strengths.

  • What comes easily to you?
  • What do you do better than anyone else?
  • What aspects of your character are natural strengths? For example, self-control, trustworthiness, and intelligence are all strengths that define you and your brand.

Bringing it to Life

Committing to your brand requires you to take action every day. It is about being consistent. Every interaction with your brand needs to build a sense of reliability. Committing to living out your brand is the only way to make this happen. How you execute day in and day out will depend on your brand – your pillars, passions and strengths.

As you take action you will be able to expand your brand’s reputation.

If you would like a free copy of my Demystifying Personal Branding simply click here.

Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.

George Bernhard Shaw

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