How to cultivate your personal brand
We look back on insight from Carole Pyke, personal brand evangelist, who spoke at last year’s CA Summit on how to leverage your personal brand to unlock the door to success.
Carole, who describes herself as the ‘Sparkle Navigator’ because she is “on a mission to make the world a brighter place by helping leaders, entrepreneurs and business owners discover the power of their sparkle”, led a session at the 2021 CA Summit about how to identify and capitalise on your own ‘sparkle’.
Watch the video or read on to learn more.
Defining your sparkle
Jeff Bezos, founder of e-commerce giant Amazon, famously said, "your brand is what people say about you when you're not in the room." Carole explained that she takes personal brand further than this, defining it as “the story you tell from the moment you show up, before you speak.” She added that whilst you may have no control over what people say or think about you, if you know and understand the story you are telling then you can “become the director of the stories that others tell about you.”
Using the analogy of a Mrs Potato Head toy, Carole illustrated to attendees that there are many accessories, or roles and titles, that individuals can put on, but the core and substance of you will always be the ‘potato’ – and this is where the true value lies. As such: “Sparkle is about knowing who you are and understanding the value that you bring to the table.”
Carole challenged attendees to ask themselves several questions to help them define their own sparkle, using the word itself:
Superpower: What is your superpower? how does your work solve a problem, need or concern?
Passion: What are you passionate about and how do you bring that passion to what you do?
Attitude: Are you taking advantage of hardships as opportunities to grow?
Resources: What skillset do you already have and how are you using it?
Kryptonite: What challenges you and do you have the strategies in place to navigate your way through?
Leadership: Do you think positively about yourself? Our thoughts lead our actions.
Experience: How are you utilising the lessons you have already learnt?
She continued by emphasising the benefits that discovering and cultivating your sparkle can bring to your life. “Only you have the combination of experience, expertise, failures and successes that make you unique. Once you start to claim this, you will be able to engage with people more effectively and how you approach your job, colleagues and relationships will change for the better.”
Applying your sparkle to leadership
The positive effects of defining your sparkle, and encouraging others to do the same, are particularly evident in the leadership sphere. As Carole explained, “by utilising your sparkle, you will leave a footprint on everything you do, making you an unforgettable leader.” In turn, if your employees know and understand who they are and the value they bring to the table and do so consistently, then you will have a more productive workforce.
Lastly, Carole focused on mental fitness and how this is linked to your sparkle. She explained that you can spend a lot of time working on becoming a better mother, father, accountant, business owner, or leader, but if you spend your time focusing on being a better ‘potato’ then you will naturally become better at the roles you play.
Carole closed by encouraging attendees to sparkle and “be more potato” by identifying who they are and the value they bring, in both their work and personal life.
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