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Why Personal Branding Influences People You Want to Influence and 6 Ways to Get a Hold on Your Personal Brand

A pivotal moment in my life happened when I walked into my office on the 17th floor with my hair still wet, a t-shirt and kahki pants with flippity flip shoes in that they were noisy.  At least I wasn’t wearing flip flops. There were people in my office waiting for me.  I was late and remembered the meeting I set the day before for the very start of the day. They were from sales. The poised woman was slowly, patiently sipping her coffee.   The man was obliviously chatting. The woman gave me a sideways glance. I was late and ill prepared for a meeting. I was so ashamed.

I needed help. What happened to me?  I was always successful. I found a way to be an award winning professional who created systems and found clients and created a path to success that others couldn’t or didn’t find. I loved a challenge. I was punctual, prepared and eager to make things happen without a fuss.

But the sales people in my office didn’t see that at all. Did they see that I could solve any problem they were bringing me with my eyes closed? Did they know I brought fifteen years of solving those kinds of problems? Did they realize that any problem they had was done before and I had it handled? I doubt that. I was deeply ashamed.


What happened to me?  I needed help.

My personal brand had diminished without me noticing from “just call Pat” to invisible unless needed.

Sad fact, I was wondering why I hadn’t been promoted or gotten bigger responsibility. I had to get a grip on my personal brand. How was I going to do that?


My journey is not shocking but it was challenging. Because while realizing you need to change is essential to solving any problem. And realization is the amazing (not pleasant) first step to real change the rest is hard.  The rest of the steps are about getting jiggy with who you really are and what really makes you happy.


I knew I needed to move from the position I was in to a new position.  My job was pretty specialized but not really one that was going to easily transition to another part of the organization.  Go figure… they say opportunity abounds for employees to grow their career. Yes, but…only those who could clearly articulate their worth.


Here’s how I reinvented my personal brand:

  1. Looking around for resources in a time where there were fewer obvious choices I found a 2 day seminar.  That seminar gave me the foundation for next steps.
  2. Took a serious inventory of what I became and why.   This does not include a pity party but it does include accountability.  That retrospective included doing a historical retrospective of what went professionally well and what didn’t go so well and how I personally contributed to both.  Takes some real courage to really do a deep dive like this.  This is where having a trusted partner really helps.
  3. Gathered the parts of and pieces of where I was happiest.  What did I really enjoy in a work setting?  Where did I really shine?  What was unique about those situations?  What happened along the way where I had compromised myself and those facets of happiness?
  4. Started to look forward to what might bring me success in the future.  What could I salvage from the current situation?  Who could I bring into the conversation about changing things to move to a new position?   What I found was that while I was respected in the position I held I was being considered for positions outside that role.  I am sure there were a variety reasons but no one was directly honest with me.  At that time I was too scared to get real with someone who might share with my boss my quest and then cost me the role that I held.  Hindsight taught me that I was losing that role as I was doing the deep dive on what else would make me happy.
  5. What else?  History, strengths, classes with great grades, awards for doing certain things what could I see as a potential path.  I could have gone back to sales.  I certainly would have been welcomed with the insight I held from being a buyer at one of the largest purchasers.  Or I could go to another large consumer manufacturing company and do basically the same type of work.  Okay… then start the hunt.
  6. Did not do a thing about either of those options.  I could not get excited about going back to selling the people I was working for or going to a competitor.  One of my big values is loyalty.  And besides not acting was powerful information in its own rite.  I had to wait, with enough not acting, to see that as information.
  7. Deeper dive or seriously, what was I going to do?  I looked at all kinds of options, teaching school, being a dive instruction on the Cayman Islands, nothing was off the table.   Nothing was really staying on the table.  Until I took a look at my college transcripts.  In there, while embarrassed that I didn’t work harder, I noticed I aced Organizational Communication.  I still have the paper about social behavioral communications I wrote and spent two days typing on a Selectric.  I remember the pain of typing more that the paper. But I had forgotten the grade of A with a side note of amazing insight. Maybe that was the kind of clue that meant something.
  8. With that knowledge I talked to people whom I have known for a very long time.  They told me things they heard me say that gave more information.  This was not a destination but it was a pathway to graduate school and studying human organizational development.  Or in simple terms “the way people act towards each other at work and why.” I couldn’t get enough of this and read more books than I ever imagined. LOVED it!   Best part?  My organization paid for school.
  9. Was led down the path to find coaching, wrote a thesis on the effect of conflict on creativity and launched a coaching business.

Personal Brand

I found my path and passion for developing people in the workplace.  My new career and brand is all about leadership development but what I do is bring out the best in people so they love what they do for a living.


You can love what you do for living by living in your personal brand.  Call me to get really clear on how to live your brand.


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