Every day we spend our time trying to justify to our customers and our prospects why they should be doing business with us. What do we, and no one else, bring to the table?
We develop “account entry strategies” or “value propositions” to get our foot in the door via phone, email, personal or internet customer touch points. These strategies tell prospective and current customers about our companies’ core competencies.
Well, forget what our companies’ core competencies are. If, in fact, you/your Personal Brand are one and the same with delivery of your company’s brand / core competencies, what are YOUR core competencies? Do you follow me?
Ultimately, we can’t be switching gears constantly, moving from sales spiel to engineering spiel to personal spiel. I don’t know about you, but unless you manage split personalities, how can you keep all these “spiels” straight? In fact, why should you compartmentalize?
If we say the same thing to everyone, we don’t have to remember what we say. There’s consistency. Between every facet of who we are as professionals and as people. Because we are one with our Core Values.
A number of years ago, I figured out just what my Core Values are. Took some time, some introspection and in-my-own-face honesty. I encourage you to think about yours. Develop your set of core values and COMMUNICATE your values in everything you do.
I have four Core Values: TRUSTWORTHINESS, INTEGRITY, ETHICAL BEHAVIOR, RESPECT. And no matter what I do, or with whom I speak, or whatever hassles I am dealing with, I return to my Core Values. And my family, friends, clients and prospects know that these are my core values. Because I’ve told them.
Trustworthiness – I am true to my word. I will always be truthful with myself, my family, my friends, my clients and my prospects. Painfully so. It’s better to put the cards on the table and work out solutions from a position of truthfulness than dancing around an issue. Always. Which means people can trust me and entrust me. Which means I must be honest and direct with myself. I accept that responsibility – to myself and to others. And I will not betray the trust that I have earned.
Integrity – My actions consistently reinforce the high value I place in my relationships with others. I will not impart, use or manipulate the information with which I have been entrusted by my valued family, friends, customers and prospects in order to achieve personal gain. I will honor my commitments to others. Because I honor the commitments I’ve made with myself to my Core Value system.
Ethical Behavior – I will make commitments to and with others that are consistent with my Core Value system. I will not enter into behavior which I feel compromises my Core Values. If I feel an individual, a situation or a request compromises my Core Values I will contemplate and/or discuss my differences. I am prepared to push back from the table if I cannot reach a viable resolution. After all, at the end of the day, we all have only One Ultimate Reporting Relationship, don’t we?
Respect – I respect myself. I respect my Core Values. I respect my family, friends, customers and prospects. I respect their points of view. Because I respect myself, and my commitment to my Core Values, I will weigh what I am asked to do against whether doing or taking action reinforces self-respect or compromises me because of disrespect. My actions reinforce my Core Values, consistently.
So there you have it. At the end of the day, my Core Values are truly my personal brand. Which means that Personal Branding is more than a veneer that exists in an internet blog or an email / voicemail / personal account entry strategy.
It’s what my life is all about and what matters most to me.