The sensitive image of a company called "me"

15 of June 2017
Margaret Rose Grigsby

Let's start from something clear. You as a professional already have an image and will continue to have it even if you don't want to. You then face only two paths: let your professional environment create what you want or work to project yourself in the way that suits you best.

The trade-off is easy to resolve. Nobody likes to leave their image to the designs of luck. For this reason, there are ways to build an image and manage it to "sell" effectively in the market., many of them included in the advice given by the expert Margaret Rose Grigsby, speaker, consultant and visiting professor at INCAE Business School.

As in so many areas, There is no manual recipe for developing "personal branding", but there are a series of tips that depend on the context and the technological options for disseminating the information, so they can change over time.

The first thing Professor Grigsby points out is the need for leave out the typical resume full of degrees, awards and experiences, even language skills or professional achievements. The most important thing is to show what you are, not necessarily what you have or what you know.

Of course, it is not easy either. In order to project the personal essence, it must be specified and that goes through a self-knowledge that, on occasions, can take some effort. It may happen that we refuse to recognize our limitations or, something usual, that we do not give credit to our abilities and strengths. 

“Beyond talking about experience or titles, it is important to tell what one is, which is also key to showing ourselves as a unique person. Another person may also have an MBA, speak Russian or multinational experience, they are not guaranteed to differentiate themselves, ”explains Grigsby.

Part of the idea that we are the general managers of the company called "me" and that the image of that company has a direct impact on its value. A promotion, a contract, an invitation to a valuable project, admission to an academic program, or consolidation in a current position may depend on it. You never know.

So get to work. The first thing is to “identify the primary product”, define our own values, what represents us and what we care about highlighting. It may be three or four words, but those will be the centerpiece of our image, complemented by what we are passionate about. That is the essence of our authenticity, a unique design.

Then comes the talents part, specify those skills that we have had a lifetime. It can be that leadership in childhood games, the facility to imagine scenarios, to face problems with resistance, to excite others or to put new knowledge into practice. Of course, everything evolves over time and is refined until we are aware of what we are really good at and what talents other people have recognized us. Let's avoid false modesty, that for every virtue that we keep to ourselves there will be two that someone will put on the table.

Then comes the need to prioritize. We won't be able to show everything. Which of our values ​​and talents do we want to show for our interest? Those are the ones that will have to be synthesized in a few lines in a concrete way.

The teacher insisted on not hiding her virtues, especially in the case of women, who are more given to it. However, he also pointed out the need for avoid unnecessary bragging and not say exaggerations or even less falsehoods. Excess can be the perfect recipe for immediate rejection.

Where to turn then? A segment of the classic resume, the CV in digital format or the updated account on LinkedIn are mandatory spaces, in addition to the presentation that we must make of ourselves depending on the circumstances.

Social networks are added, spaces that offer enormous advantages but also risks if they are handled carelessly. Facebook is a good space to show the more human side, as long as the content does not contradict or deteriorate the image that we have defined of ourselves. "Let's avoid crazy party photos with friends or family," says Grigsby, jokingly and seriously.

Twitter can also be used if you have the time. It is not advisable to post a comment every six months because the idea of ​​abandonment remains, as well as a blog space of its own where nothing new has been written for a year.

It is also convenient to have on the radar the direct circle and spaces in the media, whether of an advertising nature or as experts on a subject, always attentive to the audience of that platform. Everything must be controlled, at the risk that the image takes on a life of its own or, worse, remains at the mercy of third parties.

These are fleeting times and, paradoxically, of perennial records. Someone could surprise us now with a reckless criticism that we made five years ago in a moment of emotions or with a photo that we published in an environment that we believed to be reliable in a WhatsApp group, or a simple “like” to a controversial comment. An important part of controlling our image is also regulating our messages, the communications of the company that we are. 

Margaret Rose Grigsby is an experienced speaker and teacher in Leadership, Female Leadership Development, Marketing Strategy, Brand Strategy. She is a consultant in Branding and Marketing Communications, has extensive international experience with leading global and regional brands. Professor of INCAE's Emerging Leaders Program for Women and Women's Executive Leadership Program.

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