Will your personal brand live long and prosper?

Will your personal brand live long and prosper?

It has been repeatedly said that former Conservative prime minister, Mrs Thatcher, only needed two words on her CV and they were simply, Margaret Thatcher. Even five years after her passing in 2013, she still has one of the strongest personal brands that has ever existed.

Whatever one might have thought of her politics or leadership style, it was unequivocal what she stood for and everyone knew the unwavering set of values by which the “grocer’s daughter” lived her life.

Recently, three individuals in the world of sport have similarly given us great examples of demonstrating a personal brand through living it. England football manager, Gareth Southgate, his team captain, Harry Kane and Tour de France winner, Geraint Thomas, have all become positive role models because of the way they have conducted themselves in the public eye. Hard work, commitment and consideration for the team are all qualities now closely associated with the trio and which have undoubtedly increased their market value.

Even if we don’t live our lives in the public gaze, we all have a personal brand. Personal branding is an immensely powerful tool when it comes to career progression as a good one can undertake a great deal of the hard work for individuals. While the concept is far from new, social media and the always-on, 24-7 world has meant that our brands are there for everyone and anyone to see, warts and all.

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Those looking for their next career move should never under-estimate the importance of a strong personal brand. Bear in mind, if no-one has ever heard of you in your sector or industry, that is effectively your personal brand and it certainly isn’t going to help catch the eye of headhunters and prospective employers.

While a brand can be cultivated and polished, no-one is entirely in control of how they are perceived as everything we do can be open to misinterpretation. But the more authentic the personal brand – and the more aligned your actions and behaviours are with what you claim to stand for – the more difficult it will be for anyone to get the wrong idea.

Hence, being true to yourself at all times is one of the most powerful ways to build your brand. And which is why Messrs Southgate, Kane and Thomas simply have to continue doing what they are doing if their brands are to prove as enduring as the Iron Lady’s.

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