10 Steps: How To Build Your “Personal Brand”

Unique Selling Proposition

As a leader today, it is more important than ever to build, manage, and maintain your “personal brand.” With online social media tools with worldwide exposure available 24/7, it is now a necessity to be on top of who you are, how you are seen and heard, and what impact you are creating.

Personal Branding” is about making the choice to determine  how the world sees you.  It’s about packaging the brand called “You.”

Knowing “Brand You”

Your personal brand is your word and your action and the way you present yourself. Personal brand is about you being your own Corporate Brand.  Being in a positive mood, having a positive culture of mutual respect, being focused and determined are imperative to each of our personal branding.

“Regardless of age, regardless of position, regardless of the business we happen to be in, all of us need to understand the importance of branding. We are CEOs of our own companies: Me Inc. To be in business today, our most important job is to be head marketer for the brand called You.” ~Tom Peters in Fast Company, 1997

10 Steps: How To Build Your “Personal Brand” 

Personal brand is an ongoing process and it evolves.

 1. Know Yourself 

Self-awareness and self assessment is key here. You need to be clear who you are, what drives and motivates you, your talents, values and strengths and what you want to achieve.

 2. Get Feedback 

Get feedback about yourself from people who know you, your colleagues, your ex bosses, your family, friends, your ex peers and your team.   Ask them specific questions on what 5 adjectives that describes you the best or what do they see as your strengths, or your personality traits.

 3. Your Talents 

Take a Talent Assessment test and also think about what are your recurring thoughts, behaviors and feelings. Do this whilst you have a quiet moment as well as when you are in the midst of something. Observe yourself.  The recurring thoughts, feelings and behaviors are your talents.  Based on your self assessment and feedback from others determine what do you represent? What are the words, images and ideas that are staring at your face?

 4. Unique Selling Proposition 

There is only one you and no other. Determine what is the key 1-2 talents that describe your Unique Selling Proposition.

 5. Business Card, Website and Social Media 

Presentation of each of this is important. The layout, color combination, information contained there in should speak of the person and the values that the business represents. Determine what is your personal brand statement ? This is a statement that represent who you are, what you represent and one that others who know you can associate with.

Do you have a LinkedIn profile? Your LinkedIn profile is a combination of a resume, testimonials, and a dynamic database of your network.  You can use it to create your own personal advertising, to search for jobs or make new connections.

6. Lead by Example 

You are only as good as what you say you will do. You ruin your personal image and branding every time your audio is not in sync with your video.

“When most people think of a brand, they visualize a slogan, a logo, campaign, a promise, or a product. A brand is much more. Your company’s brand is a powerful relationship fueled by a loyal belief system and knotted to the principle of providing exceptional value.” ~Karl Speak

 7. Listen Rather than Hear 

Empathize, let your body language show that you are listening. Make eye contact while talking, presenting, meeting current or potential customers.

 8. Speak Rather than Talk 

Your values are the things that you believe are important and your work and life needs to reflect this.

9. Over Commitment & Lack of Planning 

Failing to act on your word is a sure way to fall flat on your face as far as your reputation is concerned.  Do not ruin your franchise and image by making false promises.

10. Consistency 

You cannot separate yourself from your personal branding and thus consistency and congruence is imperative.

When you have a solid personal brand, people will remember you and have a favorable opinion of you exactly in the same way when a product has good branding.

Does your personal brand reflect who you are, and what you are? Are your talents and innate qualities brought out in your personal brand? Do you have a Unique Selling Proposition? If no, why not? Does your action empower your words and in congruence ? I would love to hear you thoughts!


Never miss an issue of Linked 2 Leadership, subscribe today.
Learn, Grow & Develop Other Leaders

Lalita Raman

Lalita Raman is CEO of Transitions Intl Ltd
She serves her clients as Executive Coach, Business Coach & Consultant
Email | LinkedIn | Twitter |  Web | Blog

Image Sources: tannuzzo.com

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On Leadership and the Art of Practice

Paralympics Games

What is the question we always ask about those that are successful in what they do?

We want to know what they are like:

Their talents, skills, business acumen, personality and if their talents are genetic gifts?

We often assume that it is the genetic special skills that enabled them to reach the top.

However, is it true that just possessing a special skill enables one to reach the top or become an expert at what they do?

Olympic Mindset

Is that what the recently concluded Olympics proved ? Is that what the Paralympics teaches us?

XIV Paralympic Games

The 2012 Paralympics are taking place between August 29 – September 9 2012 and the United States has its own “Blade Runners” in sprinter Blake Leeper, a double amputee who could challenge Pistorius over 100 meters, and 22-year-old Jarryd Wallace, from Georgia.

The latter had his right leg amputated two years ago because of a medical condition but has swiftly transitioned from a talented able-bodied runner to a Paralympic contender.

We may be born with some talents and skills but finding and performing with excellence in whatever we do requires passion, persistence, clarity, commitment and much more.

Q: What is the key ingredient to excel at what we do or seek to do or have interest in?


P – R – A – C – T – I – C – E

prac·tice  [ práktiss ] repeat something to get better: to do something repeatedly in order to improve performance in a sport, art, or hobby

Let’s break it down:

P – Passion with a purpose

If you want to become The World’s Best Gymnast, that becomes your compelling desire for achieving something purposeful.  Your practice thus has to connect to the skills you want to build to become a fantastic gymnast.

R – Reach and repeat

Make step by step progress by practicing repeatedly and improve on yourself from the last time.  It is a continuous process of achievement, repetition and consistently moving ahead.  Let’s take an example where you have to make a presentation to a the senior board members within your organization.  This is the first time you will be addressing a panel of senior management. You would need to start off by preparing the script, research ahead of the script, rehearse at home in front of a mirror or video yourself, make improvements and thereafter practice in front of small groups.

A – Assurance 

Practicing repeatedly is of no use if you don’t feel engaged and get the assurance that you are moving closer to your goal or vision.  To feel confident you need to believe and trust in yourself. Feedback from your colleagues, friends, peer group or social circle is essential to improvise.

C – Clarity

Some of the questions you need to ask yourself is:

  • What do I care about?
  • How do I get to where I want to be ?
  • What is the time limit I set myself ?
  • What are my strategies and options to get there?
  • How can I make it better ?
  • Have I considered all options?
  • Do I need the assistance of a Coach to get there?
  • What’s the immediate next step?

T – Time 

How much time are you going to spend daily to achieve your final vision ?

I – Initiative 

If you want to become the World’s best gymnast, then you need to begin and follow through energetically with a plan, task and determination. Four years ago a fresh-faced 15-year-old unknown athlete slipped into Beijing unnoticed but returned from the Paralympics as one of the darlings of New Zealand sport with three golds and a silver. Sophie Pascoe a moving target at London’s Paralympics.

C – Commitment 

Underlying all of the above, no matter what your vision is, is your relentless dedication to get to where you want to be. Are you willing to focus, think and bind yourself in achieving what you set out to do so.

E – Excel 

To be the best and nothing less in what you seek to do. A perfect example being an athlete surpassed by none.

So what has PRACTICE got to do with leadership. No matter what you do and however small the act, you can be a leader in your action and your thoughts and in putting that to PRACTICE.

What do you want to achieve? Are you committed to it? Do you have a clear vision? Do your actions empower your words? Are you willing to PRACTICE?


Never miss an issue of Linked 2 Leadership, subscribe today.
Learn, Grow & Develop Other Leaders

Lalita Raman

Lalita Raman is CEO of Transitions Intl Ltd
She serves her clients as Executive Coach, Business Coach & Consultant
Email | LinkedIn | Twitter |  Web | Blog

Image Sources: 1.nieuwsbladcdn.be, en.wikipedia.org

Leadership Lessons Learnt from Adversity


The 2012 Olympics ended on a high note. There were many a laughter, joy, a tear, a heart-broken and many other emotion or memory  but the key takeaway was how the host city London made it happen.

Organizing a successful event like the Olympics takes a lot of planning, coordination, optimism, desire and willingness of many people from different walks of life.

Coordination and team spirit is tested in organizing such events.

But let’s take situations of having to survive and find a way out with a group of people, some of whom may be complete strangers, after an air crash or ship wreck.

Staying Alive

 Alive is a 1993 American biographical survival drama film which details the story of the Uruguayan rugby team who were involved in the crash of Uruguayan Air Force Flight 571, which crashed into the Andes’ mountains on October 13, 1972.

The 16 Uruguayan rugby players, friends, and relatives who survived for two months after their plane crashed in the Andes are forever bound to one another. But what did it take for the survivors during the two months when they were stranded.

The entire movie is worth watching but the following extract from the movie captures the essence of leadership well.

6 Key Lessons from the movie “Alive”

1. The best relationship is not the one that brings together perfect people, but when each of us  learn to live with the imperfections of others and can admire the other person’s good qualities and able to use it for achieving the vision.

2. Hope – Never take away hope from anyone including yourself.  Each of  the Uruguayan rugby players lived with the hope that they will be rescued. Each of them kept the hope alive and even for those who doubted about being rescued people like Roberto Canessa and Nando Parrado kept the team together with their encouraging words.

3. Togetherness – they learnt to live together and put aside the differences they had.  Empathy among team members is imperative.

4. Commitment  - Three of the young men, Roberto Canessa, Nando Parrado, and Antonio Vizintín, made a daring trek through the mountains to reach help. While Vizintín returned to the fuselage, Canessa and Parrado made human contact in Chile after ten days. Their friends back at the wreckage were back home in time for Christmas.  They took the lead and kept their word and brought rescue.

5. Integrity  - During such situations or in vulnerable moments, one’s values and ethics are put to test.  Your character is what you display during your worst down and out moments. This movie displays the importance of integrity well.

6. Trust – There were many moments where they had to push themselves beyond their comfort zone and stand up for the situation.  They had to learn to trust and rely on each other.

Life on a day-to-day basis may not be as vulnerable as facing an air crash but when we work in organizations there are situations where we may have to deal with people whom we have differences of opinion or some one whom we may not necessarily be comfortable working with.

A Leader need not be one with a title but one who can bring together a team and inspire them to work towards a vision.  Mindfulness is not only about being but using our tenacity, courage, faith and unwavering commitment to whatever we do.


Never miss an issue of Linked 2 Leadership, subscribe today.
Learn, Grow & Develop Other Leaders

Lalita Raman

Lalita Raman is CEO of Transitions Intl Ltd
She serves her clients as Executive Coach, Business Coach & Consultant
Email | LinkedIn | Twitter |  Web | Blog

Image Sources: elaph.com

What Olympics Can Teach Us About Leadership?

Olympic Runners

You have probably heard of the famous quote by Vince Lombardi concerning his opinion on winning.

It goes like this:

“Winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing.”

On Winning and Leadership

Of course we all want to win; be it in daily life or in the Olympics. When one is training for the Olympics it takes a lot of effort, hours of training and discipline to prepare for the game or event in which one is trying to compete.  

This is evident from LeBron James or Michael Phelps.

See What’s LeBron James’ Secret to Success?  

See  Michael Phelps Regimen in Training 

On Losing the Gold

So these are two examples of medal winners.

But what happens when you train, put in all the effort but yet miss the medal by few nanoseconds. 

  • Does that mean you have lost?
  • Are you not good for competing again?
  • Are you not capable of winning?
  • Have you really lost.

If you are an Olympic participant who had put in a lot of effort and trained and followed the same regimen as Michael Phelps and yet didn’t win a medal/

You ask yourself “The What Ifs,” and “The What-Might-Have-Beens.”

You go through a dozen other negative emotions that will haunt you on your journey home and much thereafter.

Losing at Your Own Best Game

Each of us go through these moments in our life. Imagine you have worked hard on winning a deal for your Company.

  • You put in hours of late nights
  • You cross all the t’s and dot all the i’s
  • You leave no stone un-turned

And yet you lose the deal to your competitor. Damn!

I was touched by a recent story that was reported in the Washington Post about a girl from Afghanistan, a war-ravaged country, who trained in a dilapidated stadium, and one who couldn’t afford elite sprinter’s footwear, but competed in the Olympics.

She didn’t win the medal, BUT she showed more strength than any weightlifter and much more stamina than a gold medal swimmer or marathoner or athlete or Ironman.

Iron Young Lady

Her story For the taxi driver who humiliated her, the men who heckled her, and the father who supported her:

 What does this girl teach us about Leadership ?

1. Your effort is what matters, you give it to your best shot, you know from your within that you did everything possible within your control.

2. Everything in life has a Yin and Yang, so for someone to win, another has to lose. Real loss in when you didn’t put in your best effort and you made excuses for not putting your best foot forward.

3. The craze to win makes many to adopt strategies that derail and destroy the franchise value of the organization or the integrity of the individual.

4. This girl though she set out to win was happy with what she had achieved. She did not allow time pressure, hardships back at home, the competitive pressure affect her performance. She came a long way and she led by example and inspired many a girl who is living under similar circumstances.

5. She showed positive attitude, courage of her convictions and the discipline to do what is important to her and to her country and many other women in her country. To me she has displayed traits of a True Leader through her behavior and her actions.

6. She didn’t play victim though she came from a very difficult background. She did not make excuses and that shows a true quality of a leader.

Each of us are born with a lot of Positive Potential and genius but some choose to die in mediocrity. Leadership is about having steadfast faith in your vision and persistent confidence in your power to make a positive change. This girl exactly achieved that and won a true medal not only for her but for many a woman and human being who is trapped in similar situations.

Winning isn’t everything!


Never miss an issue of Linked 2 Leadership, subscribe today.
Learn, Grow & Develop Other Leaders

Lalita Raman
Lalita Raman
is CEO of Transitions Intl Ltd

She serves her clients as Executive Coach, Business Coach & Consultant
Email | LinkedIn | Twitter |  Web | Blog 

Image Sources: usatoday.com

On Leadership, Success and Emotional Awareness


Emotions are a key driver of our behavior. Emotional Intelligence  or EQ is crucial to managing your behavior, to your success both professionally and personally, and to the choices you make in the journey of life.

Success of Emotional Awareness in a Leader’s Role

You have often heard of a person having a high IQ but yet failed to succeed. Why is this? It is because EQ and IQ are independent of each other and a high IQ does not mean a high EQ. And you certainly cannot determine one’s IQ based on their EQ and vice versa.

When dealing with people, let us remember we are not dealing with creatures of logic. We are dealing with creatures of emotion, creatures bustling with prejudices and motivated by pride and vanity. ~ Dale Carnegie

Emotional intelligence (EI) is the cognitive ability involving traits and social skills that facilitate interpersonal behavior.

The five main components of EI are:

  • Self-Awareness
  • Self-Management
  • Social Awareness
  • Relationship Management
  • Empathy

When I say ‘Emotions,’ many people almost immediately associate the term with negative reactions like ‘Anger’ and ‘Sad’ and think of them as synonyms. However, ‘Emotion’ is just the mental state of a person and this could be positive or negative.

Positive & Negative Emotions

There are seven major positive emotions:

  • Desire
  • Faith
  • Sex
  • Enthusiasm
  • Hope
  • Love
  • Romance

And the seven major negative emotions are

  • Anger
  • Fear
  • Jealousy
  • Hatred
  • Revenge
  • Greed
  • Superstition

Our brains harbor a lot of emotions and it is the negative emotions that is worrying.

Brainiac Leadership

The amygdala  is most commonly associated with fear and anxiety.  Each of us have a chronic or habitual emotional level that determines the overall well-being or satisfaction.

If a threat is perceived,  the amygdala tends to hijack the reasoned response process.

We have certain triggers-mechanisms that cause us to have an emotional reaction and bring about our innate ‘fight of flight’ response.  This limits our capacity to think clearly and causes us to move to default behaviors that may not be skillful or effective.

Trigger Mechanisms

Have you wondered as to why these negative emotions are triggered?

  1. Change  results in discomfort and stress – a lot of us expect life to be easy and when challenges and hurdles come along, it overwhelms us and may cause negative reactions.
  2. Human Being rather than Human Doing - we forget many times that what really matters in each of our lives is what we are, what we build and what we share.
  3. Allowing our mind to control us – life is not perfect and sometimes we allow a bad moment, or a bad day to take control of our state of mind and the reactions to other unrelated events of the day.
  4. Help – not asking for help when you need it desperately.  Each of us need help and cannot survive in isolation.
  5. Not being accountable & responsible - not walking the talk which leads to distrust and guilt. We lose our identity by not learning to say,  ’No’ resulting in over committing and under delivery.
  6. Focusing on past : allowing our past to continue to dominate us to such an extent that we become victims of it. Negative thinking and behavior hurts only one person the most and that is “You.”

How much of an impact does emotional intelligence have on your professional and personal success? Short answer, a lot

Emotional Memory Management

Emotional memory management enables us to manage our emotions in a way that will produce more positive outcomes. I like to think emotions as colors, some simple, and yet others are blends.

The vast majority of HR Managers, Coaching Program Managers and other professionals who oversee executive development programs simply do not understand all the variables that influence organization and individual performance.

3 Performance Levers

Specifically, most are not aware of the three critical ‘performance levers’ that they should be using and encouraging internal and external coaches to use.

  1. Behavioral change happens mostly by engaging an individual’s emotions and feelings.
  2. What we perceive defines what we believe. And this belief or perception is what guides our behavior.
  3. Values help to determine how we will act as they help us to weigh the importance of various options.

Brain plasticity a term used to describe the brain’s ability to change its structure and function using new behaviors. Today’s change agent in the form of a coach needs to go beyond the facts and know how to bring in the emotional dimension that has been so long ignored.

Using Your Brain

EQ requires effective communication between the rational and emotional centers of the brain.  Having a coach in an individual’s corner allows them to validate their loyalty to themselves and their commitment to the new story.  Change results in moving out of the comfort zone and thus stressful. Continued coaching through new challenges helps create the sustainable behavioral change.

“Certain things leaders do – specifically, exhibit empathy and become attuned to other’s moods – literally affect both brain chemistry and that of their followers” ~Harvard Business Review 

In today’s world, A leader needs to have high levels of self-awareness, maturity, empathy, interpersonal communications skills and self-control, having the ability to handle setbacks as well as enjoying success with joy and humility.


Never miss an issue of Linked 2 Leadership, subscribe today here.
Learn, Grow & Develop Other Leaders

Lalita Raman

Lalita Raman is CEO at Transitions Intl Ltd
She serves as Executive Coach, Business Coach and Consultant
Email | LinkedIn | Twitter |  Web

 Image Sources: city-connect.org 

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