TOP 10 PERSONAL BRAND KILLERS
It’s been a while since we have had a Top 10 list. You will love this one.
This has been such an incredible first quarter for me, and my team. We have traveled the US working with companies, individuals and teams from every sector. We are humbled and overwhelmed with the responsibility of changing lives and shifting companies toward success. I often tell people my purpose is to help others find their own purpose. I get very emotional when I see someone committing job suicide because they do things they are not aware of, or don’t believe they should change. When a company who has an incredible service to share, or product to sell, must close its doors because the brand of the company and the brand of the teams fail – that is a sad day. This is my mission.
Brand drives everything. Always has, always will. Brand is not social media, slogans, colors, websites, marketing material or logo – Brand DRIVES those things. It also drives how employees grow and develop, how teams communicate, what words should be used and the overarching ‘why’ – the critically important why. Do you know your personal why? Does your company? Keep reading!
Personally, I cringe and feel awful if I don’t off you any value – your time matters to me. Please let me know your thoughts.
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Top 10 Brand Killers
1. No emotional intelligence.
Start and end here. You don’t have emotional awareness, you are failing. Don’t know what it means? You’re failing. You will never reach your potential.
In an article titled, “10 Things You Do to Make You Less Likeable,” they explain why EI is more important than anything. Hundreds of studies back this up – but let’s start here.
“In a study conducted at UCLA, subjects rated over 500 descriptions of people based on their perceived significance to likability. The top-rated descriptors had nothing to do with being gregarious, intelligent, or attractive (innate characteristics). Instead, the top descriptors were sincerity, transparency, and capable of understanding (another person). These adjectives, and others like them, describe people who are skilled in the social side of emotional intelligence. TalentSmart research data from more than a million people shows that people who possess these skills aren’t just highly likable; they outperform those who don’t by a large margin.” Read their column here.
Moral of the story: Charisma without authenticity is a life without real friends or relationships with depth.
I have been in thousands of closets. Image, being the best you were created to be, every single day, is vital to success and how you feel. ¼ of a second to establish trust says Harvard Med – ¼ of a second. You were created for a purpose. You have value. Be seen for who you are – don’t allow distractions to get in the way. Image, fashion and presence not only matter – it is your first line of selling yourself and showing the world that you respect the environments you are in and the people you are with. Don’t miss opportunities just because you think this is fluffy – it is real, and it matters.
3. Pride and Lying.
Pride comes before the fall. I can give you 100 personal and clients examples of this. Prideful people are typically the most fearful of being discovered. Newsflash: The jig is up. People know you are prideful and are probably leaning away from you versus toward your brand. Pride pushes people away from you.
Don’t be too prideful to change your mind on the fly. If you have any EI at all, you are probably aware that you may have a pride issue…if you don’t deal with it, you will fail and probably fail really hard.
Lying. This brand killer is hard to come back from. I have clients who have taken this brand hit and are still rebuilding – there is hope though. If you are a liar, you will live a lonely life and one where you never reach your full potential. Hope is in the moment you stop. Just decide today to stop.
4. Unwilling to keep learning. (Think you know-it-all).
You may have taken a college course on a certain topic, been to 8 different seminars about it – and think you know it all? You don’t. If you are not learning, you are dying. Just because you think you know, doesn’t mean you know. I had a young man turn down an opportunity to learn more about leadership – he said he already knew what he needed to know. He is the most disliked leader in his company – and has no idea. No awareness, no caring and full of pride. Eventually his gifts and his technical skills, (Which he has in spades), will be overshadowed by the fact that nobody in his company would follow him anywhere. Talk about opportunity lost and a man who will never meet his own potential. He is a dime a dozen and it’s sad.
5. Unwilling to fail.
Learn to fail and fail fast. Fear of failure means you have accepted mediocrity. Don’t give into fear. Who cares what your mom thinks? Or your dad? Or brother? Or old boss? ENOUGH CARING – when you’re 99 and in a rocking chair, I can assure you that you will only care about the regret from listening to people who took away your opportunity because you listened to them and cared what they thought – You do you.
Here is a great quote from a column about Sarah Blakely…
When Sara Blakely was growing up, her father would often ask her the same question at dinnertime. “What have you failed at this week?" Blakely recalled in an interview on CNBC's "Squawk Box" Wednesday. "My dad growing up encouraged me and my brother to fail. The gift he was giving me is that failure is (when you are) not trying versus the outcome. It's really allowed me to be much freer in trying things and spreading my wings in life." (Watch the video and read the whole column here).
6. Uncertain of how to handle a brand ‘hit.’
What is a brand hit? You made a mistake on accident – OR, you failed and chose the wrong thing to say or do on purpose. You had an integrity breach and chose the easy thing versus the right thing. Happens all the time. How do you come back? CONSISTENCY. Know who you are, admit the wrong, be consistent, say you’re sorry, be transparent and move forward with consistency of action and word. Easy? Wish it were. It’s tough to say what the elephant in the room is at times – but it always works.
How many times has a client asked me how to ‘spin’ something…hoo boy. My answer is, you don’t spin anything, and the word alone makes it sound like a lie. Spinning can be lying – say what you did, admit it, deal with the consequence and move forward. Learn and let it shape you to be better – don’t HIDE. Stop hiding. Everyone makes mistakes – some bigger than others, but still mistakes. Get it together, admit your fault and move forward. 1 mistake or 1000 later, there is still hope for you to be all you were created to be. Move on.
7. Broken filters.
Your filter may be broken. Do you hear with a filter of empathy? Or through a filter of thinking everyone is out to get you? If I had a penny for every time I told someone they had a broken filter…how do you get a solid filter? Develop your own brand words, stick them into your filter and hear with them in mind and speak through them. You are compassionate? Then you hear people with compassion and you never think in a way that would hurt them with your words. You speak to build, repair, lead and love – funny enough, you can fire with this filter too. It doesn’t mean you aren’t strong, but it does mean that you are consistent in how you deal with all those around you at work and at home.
Get your brand attributes in order – stick them into your filter – imagine them in front of you every second of every day. This makes decisions much simpler and you always act with the best you in mind even on your worst day.
8. Vulnerability and empathy.
These two attributes always win the day. Always. You have an ego? You’re already failing. Sorry for you. Empathetic communicators are authentic and transparent – those who create or ‘craft’ messages based upon ego’s always lose and people see through that. You want to lead people? Love them. Thanks John Maxwell.
9. Communication barriers.
Communication training is a total waste of money if you don’t have self-awareness to boot. Speaking clearly, with the right tone, using the right gestures to ensure your message is heard is a good start, but it is only the tip of the communication ice berg. If you can’t read a group or a person’s emotions, limitations, reservations, attitudes, dynamics, body language, emotions and values while communicating – you might as well be talking to a tree. Learn to adapt your message to the environment without hesitating…those people win because people not only hear them, they hear them through the right filter and they follow them anywhere. How can you tell? Well, if you tell the same story, the same way, all the time – you are not creating a dialogue – you are simply reading a monologue. Pretty boring.
10. You don’t know your why.
Read our blog about the ‘why.’ It is worth your time. Click here. This is the key. Why are you here? Why should anyone care? Know your why and you will not live a wasted life.
MODA Image and Brand Consulting is the only company in the United States that is able to integrate corporate brand, personal brand, leadership, marketing, sales, image, internal and external communication, non-verbal communication, emotional intelligence, brand storytelling, the ‘why’ exercises, professional etiquette, executive presence and fashion into training seminars and 1:1 coaching that benefit both the company and its employees.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 615.656.4279 for more information about individual or corporate services.