LEAD YP: Conscious Action, Developing Your Personal Brand

Alexis Swanzy, Associate Attorney, Kessler Collins P.C.

Talent Suite’s Summer Pailiet shows us how to leverage our personal brands in order to maximize our influence.

Alexis Swanzy, Kessler Collins P.C.

Over the past few months, a lot has changed for my LEAD YP cohort as we’ve shifted to virtual classes and communications – an experience we couldn’t have anticipated at the start of this leadership journey. But through this, we’ve forged a special bond with our classmates as we support and collaborate with one another in new ways. We’ve had three virtual classes, and various small group and one-on-one meetups to further connect in a socially distant world.

In our last class, we explored the results of our Predictive Index (PI) Assessment, which helps organizations reach their business goals, all while creating a better workplace for employees through behavioral, job, and cognitive assessments. Through these tools, we can foster increased self-awareness, which will help us communicate effectively, strengthen team dynamics, and improve manager-direct report relationships.

During this session, we focused on consciously cultivating our personal brands by utilizing our PI results. After discovering what motivates us, we were able to develop plans to feed our individual needs.

The overarching theme of the session was conscious action; taking the steps to design and execute a plan for an individual’s personal brand, instead of defaulting to a generic or perceived brand. Research conducted by Harvard University, the Carnegie Foundation, and Stanford Research Center uncovered 85% of job success comes from having well-developed interpersonal skills (soft skills), while only 15% of job success comes from technical skills and knowledge (hard skills).

As a class, we discussed the distinctions between virtual and live interactions, and how our first impressions dictate our inferences. These inferences, combined with the startling fact that 93% of communication is non-verbal, add an additional layer of complexity to virtual interactions when executing our personal brands.

During the interactive portion of the class, we identified qualities of those we admired and recognized what values we prioritize. We then detected our professional competencies (technical skills), personal presence (mannerisms), communication/behaviors, and what sets us apart. After compiling that information, we used the mind map technique to expand our ideas and thoughts to create a plan for cultivating our personal brands. These steps and techniques give us a solid foundation to live an intentional and authentic brand, making us better leaders, coworkers, and friends.