Monday, 8 October 2007

Shaky Foundation or Steady as a Rock?

Recently, I attended a Personal Branding workshop, which I thought would be one that focused on the emergence of Personal Branding in the UK and explaining their views on the subject. Because this topic is one that I continually study and enjoy sharing with others. I often take time to attend events such as this to get others views.

Nonetheless, I must say, I was greatly disappointed in the course. The speaker, whom has written two books - one on headhunting and the other on personal growth (this one I say with much laughter), I felt had very little idea about the subject and felt as though his contradictions could have an adverse affect on a person's life.

Normally, I am very open minded and try my best not to be judgemental, however, this speaker was so contradictory in much of his presentation, that I felt bad for the people that came there with absolutely no clue as to what they were getting themselves into.

The statement which got me most on edge was his answer to a student's question on values. The student asked, "if it is not true that sometimes, someones values will need to change based on the situation which they may be involved". The speaker unequivocally said, "Sure, values do change based on the situation and at times you may have to alter them". However, later in his presentation on creating a brand, stated that values are your foundation, such as a building is built from concrete and such to build a sound foundation, so must your values". If you are thinking what I thought in class, you are spot on.

If values are your foundation, how can they change? Yet, shall I ask, how can you build a stable home, if the foundation is shaky. If your values change every so often, then what holds you firm? What keeps you stable?

I must quote a great author, who says that a wise man builds his house on a rock and when the rains descend, the floods come and the winds blow, it will not fall because it was founded on the rock (Holy Bible, Matthews). Therefore, your values and beliefs give you the ability to stand for something or fall for anything.

I was insulted as this speaker, in so many words, recommended we should mask ourselves sometimes to get the job; break values to keep the job or fit in; and hide your true being. What?

A personal brand is not just building skills for professional success. It is a cohesive unit which exists to complete your total package, professionally and personally. People need to identify with you professionally and personally. Without having mixed personalities. Hence, changing your values and views. Therefore, this model helps one to view branding as a strategical process, which entails every dimension in one’s life – as a holistic view.

According to personal branding specialist, Gad and Rosencreutz, a personal brand should consist of four dimensions: Functional dimension: Practical ability and skills; Social dimension: Ability to attract and interact with other people; Mental dimension: Intellectual ability to inspire others; and Spiritual dimension: Connecting to the bigger picture, by a person’s role in society and causes in which one believes.

This model suggests that a person’s brand includes a balance between a person’s personality, abilities, social activities, and cultural believes: hence, shifting to a methodological stance on branding and less reliance on self.

Adapted 4-D Model© by Sharon Hughes

In what has become such a valueless society full of moral delapatation, hold tight to your values and believes. They make up who you are and are a major part of your personal brand. In essence, strong values build a strong foundation, to house an unforgettable brand.