It's Now or Never

The world is getting smaller – there’s no denying it! As the world shrinks, and the economy re-settles itself, now more than ever is the time to set aside the sceptical view that our professional personas aren’t commodities. As the job market shrinks and technology trumpets not just our successes to the entire world wide web, but also our failures, to be a true leader and to nurture the growth of your career you must be conscious of your “brand”.

OK – I hate that word too. It de-humanises us and conjures up plots from futuristic novels where individualism doesn’t exist and we are all just tools to be used for the benefit of the few. So, why don’t we call it something more palatable – your Inner Elvis!

An important part of being a leader is to understand the value of your Inner Elvis. Have you given any thought to the way you are perceived by others? Your peers, your staff and your business partners or clients? Does the Inner Elvis always shine? And when it does, what exactly is your Inner Elvis saying? Uh-huh? Uh-huh?

Your Inner Elvis should be clear and concise, and should be easily understood by your audience. Your Inner Elvis should encapsulate your core values – what you stand for, what you expect from yourself and others and should showcase your strengths. It is important that your Inner Elvis stays “on-message” in everything that you do, from your personal presentation, to the tone and details of your correspondence, online profiles and the way you treat colleagues and business partners. A consistent Inner Elvis shows the world that you are confident, in control and therefore trustworthy.

So how do you get that Inner Elvis going?

The first step is to do a self-audit. You need to understand what makes you tick. You’ll need to look into yourself honestly to find out. Here’s a couple of questions to start you up:

• What makes you happy?
• What drives you?
• What can hold you back?
• What are the strengths of your character?
• What are your core values?
• What do you stand for?
• When are you the most/the least productive?
• What types of people help you shine? And those who get your goat?
• What feeds your ego?
• What makes your over-react?

Once you have a good handle on who you are, you will then need to have a career plan. The goal here is to look at the results of your self-audit and the skills/experiences of your career to date to map a ‘where-to” path. There are many ways to do this and many experts in this field who can help you including career counsellors, coaches and mentors.

Investing the time and the energy into building up your Inner Elvis will only serve you well as your career develops. In future articles, I will delve a little deeper into some of the ideas that I have raised in this article, so stay tuned! Uh-huh! Uh-huh!

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