August 18, 2014
As association leaders, it is important for us to be visible. It helps with exposure for our organizations and fundraising, giving credibility to our groups and helping to make valuable connections.
As our personal and professional lives blend together, how do you build and manage an image that is true to yourself and representative of your organization? It’s important that your own identity is consistent with the image that you want to portray to your association’s members and stakeholders. If you’re lucky, your personal identity is perfectly aligned with your position and the mission of your organization. If your own personal brand is not consistent with your job responsibilities, you may need to do some work to get them in sync.
Before you overhaul your own identity to make it “fit” with your job title, you need to understand who you are so that you can be authentic and connect with the right audiences.
At a recent NYSAE Special Interest Group meeting for executive women in nonprofits, Farra Trompeter of Big Duck suggested a few questions to help you uncover your true personal brand:
As you ponder what makes you YOU…use these questions to guide your thinking.
- What do you want others to think about you? I am a_____________in ________________for _______________.
- What do your colleagues and friends think?
- What personal brand attributes do you associate with?
- What skills do you excel at?
- What are your greatest strengths?
- What are your greatest weaknesses?
Strong leaders understand that who they are does affect the work that they do. You should understand your own personal brand and strengths so that you can leverage them for the benefit of your association. Do you ever have trouble reconciling your “personal” self with your “work” self? What other questions can help guide your self-reflection?