Competence is one of the keys to career and life success that I discuss in several of my books: Straight Talk for Success; Your Success GPS; and 42 Rules to Jumpstart Your Professional Success. If you want to succeed you need to develop four basic, but important competencies: 1) creating positive personal impact; 2) becoming a consistently high performer; 3) dynamic communication skills; and 4) becoming interpersonally competent.
If you want to create positive personal impact you need to do three things. 1) Create and nurture your unique personal brand. 2) Be impeccable in your presentation of self – in person and on line. 3) Know and follow the basic rules of etiquette.
There are a lot of great things about writing this blog. However, the best thing is that I often receive books to review. I’ve come across some great books this way, and my library has grown considerably.
A couple of weeks ago, I received a copy of Marsha Friedman’s book Celebritize Yourself: The Three Step Method to Increase Your Visibility and Explode Your Business. I like this book. And, while it is written to the entrepreneurial audience, there are some great lessons in it about personal brand building.
Marsha’s three steps are simple:
You may be thinking “I don’t have to do any of those things, I work for a company.” Wrong. We all need to become mini celebrities. These days the possibility of spending your entire career at one company is slim to none. I can almost guarantee that you will end up working for two or more companies over the course of your career. That’s why it’s important to become a mini celebrity in your field. People outside of your company need to know you.
You don’t have to write books, but you do need to write. Write letters to the editor of your local paper commenting on issues that affect your company and industry. Write articles for your company magazine, or industry publication, comment on industry blogs. If you’re really ambitious start a blog that deals with your area of expertise or industry.
When I was a young guy, I edited the newsletter of the local chapter of the American Society for Training and Development. I also wrote small articles and sent them to the national publication and to Training Magazine. These articles helped me when I was looking for a job. I mentioned them on my resume and brought clippings with me to interviews.
Now let’s talk about speaking. It’s easy to find places to speak. Volunteer to run technical training sessions for your company in your area of expertise. Volunteer to represent your company at job fairs and student events. Volunteer to be a speaker at a service organization meeting like the Rotary Club. Volunteer to be the luncheon or dinner speaker at one of the professional societies to which you belong – you do belong to one or two don’t you? If not, what are you waiting for – join and get active.
If you’re afraid of speaking in publics, join your local Toastmasters. This will boost your confidence and help you learn some of the tricks of the trade. Many a career has been built on the strength of one good talk. Make sure that speaking is part of your career and life success bag of tricks.
Finally, we are all sales people. If you’re in the selling profession, you’re still a sales person. You need to sell yourself every day. That means you need to look sharp, become a good conversationalist, and take an active interest in your career.
When someone says, “How’s it going?” your answer should be “Great,” not “OK” or “I’m getting by.” You can sell yourself by being positive. People like to work with energy creators, not energy vampires.
As I’ve mentioned, Marsha Friedman’s book Celebritize Yourself is written for entrepreneurs, but we all can benefit from her three ideas: write, speak, and sell.
The common sense point here is clear. Successful people are competent. Your ability to create positive personal impact is one key competency for career and life success. Creating positive personal impact begins with building a strong and unique personal brand. Because the chances of you staying with your current company for your entire career are very slim, you need to become a mini celebrity in your field. You can do this by writing, speaking and selling yourself. You have to take responsibility for your success. Becoming a mini celebrity is a great way to start.
That’s my take on Marsha Friedman’s great book Celebritize Yourself. What’s yours? Please leave a comment sharing your thoughts with us. As always, thanks for reading.