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“Your brand is what other people say about you when you're not in the room” – Jeff Bezos.
I have to thank Jeff, as I have not found a better way to explain personal brands in all the years I have been exploring the subject.
There are a few things we need to understand (from my point of view and experience) when it comes to brand:
6.A powerful brand relies on confidence (not to be confused with arrogance)
So how do we authentically enhance our brand value?
B –Build skill sets
The working world has changed so much in the last few years and will continue to do so. In fact the prediction is that in 5 years’ time, only 15% of what you know right now will still be relevant. So, continuous development is not a “nice to have” but a survival strategy. Development no longer has to cost money; there are tons of free resources available. It will now require time, discipline and commitment.
We also need to be aware that in the future there will be more focus on what we called “soft skills” a few years ago (as it will be assumed that you already have the technical ability) [See WEF Top 10 Skills for 2020 - https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2016/01/the-10-skills-you-need-to-thrive-in-the-fourth-industrial-revolution/) so take that into account when planning your development.
We have also just entered the Connection Economy (check out Seth Godin’s video for more information about this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sKXZgTzEyWY) which will bring radical shifts in the way we work and connect with others. Creating new skills sets and being able to apply them with generosity and enthusiasm will definitely give you the edge.
R – Reputation management
When we look at reputation management we need to think about how we communicate (in the real world and online), the standard of work we consistently produce, our ethics, how organised and punctual we are and most importantly OUR attitude.
It is not what you do on the days you feel good that determines your reputation; it is what you do daily. The small activities, words and actions accumulate to form the picture. The old saying goes “Hard work beats talent, when talent does not work hard”
These are major factors that influence not only our own brands but also the co-brand that we have with our manager/s, but that is a blog for another day.
A – Authenticity
No one likes a fake; it is true no matter where you go in the world. A truly amazing brand cannot be a projection, imitation or a mirage. It is ok to talk a good game but you MUST be able to back it up with consistent action. Find your own voice, your own unique talents and contributions and bring them into your work. Don’t be a copy. People pay good money for originals, not cheap knock-offs.
In our roles “who you know” is extremely important. Having a strong, reliable network helps you solve problems, find opportunities, grow relationships and organically enhances your brand (IF YOU ARE ADDING VALUE TO YOUR NETWORK).
Networking should be done online (there is a very dynamic, active and diverse group of assistants online from across the globe and it is easy to plug into these groups via LinkedIn or Facebook) but importantly, networking should also be done in the real world. Take time to attend events, speak to people you have not met before in the office (even just a friendly greeting will do) and take opportunities to grow your circle. Your network = your net worth, it doesn’t matter how great you are if no one knows about you. I am not encouraging you to brag but to be confident and to OWN IT!
D – Dependability
A brand is nothing if you are not consistent. Being phenomenal today and poor tomorrow doesn’t serve you, as you are not dependable and you are therefore eroding trust. If you can’t be a star everyday then pick a level you are comfortable with and stay in that zone until you are ready to level up. This applies to work that you produce; commitments made and kept, communication, your personal appearance and emotional intelligence.
If you are wondering how healthy your current brand is please feel free to do the FREE Brand Health Assessment at http://www.anelmartin.co.za/brand-health-assessment.html
There are things we want, things we richly deserve and opportunities which present, which we simply do not take.
Why? What is REALLY holding us back?
If you look back on 2017 you will no doubt have some unfinished business. A goal you only partially achieved (or not at all), an opportunity you did not take (and regret) or a project you started and did not complete. We tell ourselves things like; I got busy or I did not have enough...(insert your perceived lack here). While some of this may be true we are actually held back by deeper issues.
My hope is that by shining a light on these factors we can set the scene for 2018, making this our YEAR OF GOAL ACHIEVING
This is in my opinion our biggest stumbling block. Fear has a purpose, our bodies are engineered to feel and respond to fear as it ensures the survival of the species. Fear is a primal and necessary driver but in the modern age it can hold us back from many magnificent things.
Fear manifests as the belief that we cannot do it, we don't deserve it, people will laugh at us. I should not stand out, I should not speak up. Fear can also present in a much more sly way, it can present as procrastination or what appears to be a lack of focus. Fear will create excuses, fear will erode confidence.
So how do we engage with fear?
2. Lack of self confidence
As adults the message has become so ingrained that you MUST NOT MAKE MISTAKES, if you do, you are a failure. But sadly this teaching has created people who innovate less, create less and have no self confidence. This is the little voice that holds you back from trying to do something in a new way or making a suggestion in a management meeting. It is the thing that holds you back from asking for help or feeling that you deserve the thing you are striving for. Critically for us this is also the factor that holds us back from new (and often great) opportunities. This is a big factor that sabotages your success.
Engaging with low confidence:
3. Lack of Resources
As a coach (who does a lot of work with clients on goal setting) I can tell you for free today that if you start the goal with needing resources, you will NEVER achieve it. If you focus on resources (you don't have) you automatically give away control to external forces and already set your excuses up for not doing the thing you really want.
Yes, some goals will require money, time or a solid network but you need to focus on what you can control which is your own resourcefulness.
4. Lack of Focus, Motivation and Discipline
I love the Mel Robbin's Ted Talk in which she says "you need to parent yourself because you are NEVER going to feel like it" You are going to have to make it happen. It will not magically manifest without you doing the work.
Getting it DONE!
I really hope that these observations, thoughts and tips will help you during 2018 (OUR YEAR OF GOAL ACHIEVING) but feel free to get in touch if you need one on one coaching with your goals in 2018. This is my passion and I would really like to help you create the life and career you really want.
WISHING YOU A VERY HAPPY
So, until next time
HUGS FROM DXB
I often use the analogy in my coaching with assistants that we need "big match temperament" so what does this mean?
When a rugby or soccer player misses a kick they need to regroup as soon as possible to avoid more mistakes and missed chances. They need to get their head back in the game as quickly as possible to ensure the best result. This ability is immensely valuable in sport but also in life!
But what do most assistants do once they have made a mistake? They obsess about the mistake for days (who are we kidding...sometimes weeks), we feel that we have failed and thus we are a failure. This erodes confidence and creates a VERY unhelpful inner dialogue. The voice in your head then starts to create drama, havoc and intrigue where none originally existed.
By focusing on the mistake we often stress ourselves out and make even MORE mistakes. When instead, we can (AND SHOULD) do the following:
1. Own up to the mistake (no excuses and no blame)
2. FIX the mistake
3. Do a proper review of what led to the mistake
4. Formulate a plan of how we avoid making a similar error (once is a mistake, twice is a choice)
5. Gain the lesson and experience
6. GET BACK IN THE GAME AND FOCUS FORWARD
This process requires honesty, accountability and confidence.
REMEMBER : We are all human beings, we all make mistakes! In fact mistakes are proof that you are trying, doing and creating. Just look at how many failed attempts SpaceX had before they succeeded in their first rocket launch (AND LANDING) something everyone said could not be done!
Imagine what would have happened if the engineers sat down after the first attempt and said "well, that's it folks we failed"
Failure and mistakes don't feel good but it really is how we learn.
In a world where innovation will be valued we will need to learn to embrace painful learning through failure, embrace the discomfort and let go of the judgement, perfectionism and hateful inner dialogue, apply the experience and always face and focus forward!
So until next time
Hugs from DXB
As assistants we spend our lives caring for the well being of others. If you are a parent this load is multiplied. To be successful as an assistant or in any of the care giving/service orientated professions you need to be concerned with and devoted to the welfare of others, but recently I have encountered more and more PAs who are neglecting themselves physically but more importantly on an emotional level. This always leads to a level of discontent, a feeling of being uninspired and stuck. Our routine and our laser focus on others leads a growing disconnect with ourselves and our purpose...
When I ask questions like:
Having fun is necessary to reduce stress, find creative juices and fire up your mojo, especially this time of year when we all feel a bit run down and ready for a break. Taking time out for a bit of fun or self care is necessary, not a waste of time as many of us see it.
As the old saying goes, if your jug is empty you cannot fill anyone else's glass!
So be a bit selfish and have a bit of fun, PLEASE
So until next time,
Hugs from DXB
I often wonder how work ethic and discipline is developed. Are some people just better at it? Perhaps born with the committed gene? In my life I have concluded that my childhood, education and family were the main driving forces. But I have also (very recently) observed that discipline is a muscle that can be practiced and improved.
Like everyone else I have things in my life that I am immensely undisciplined about and let's be honest the majority of the time these items have to do with self-care or personal maintenance items like looking after your health, getting to the gym, finishing your studies or making that dreaded doctor's appointment (you get my drift). So I started a little experiment, using myself as the lab rat.
And this is what I have observed/learnt so far:
Well, I will keep you posted on this "project" as time goes on, but in the meantime, decide what you want and get after it. Don't spend another year dreaming about it, don't wait till New Year's to put it back on your resolutions list.
It is time for all of us to take charge and get it DONE!
So until next time,
HUGS FROM DXB
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May you know today that you are needed and you are loved. I hope you realize that nobody (that matters) judges you for a pot belly, rounded bum or flabby arms - they love you for your heart. May you know that not one person is perfect and we are all trying to figure life out. Nobody has got it all together (although many pretend to), which brings me to work life balance. It is a myth designed to make us feel like we are incompetent.
Our inner dialogue goes something like this "look at that perfect parent/sister/friend (whatever), they have work and their home and kids/finances/health (whatever) sorted (why can't I do that)"
Well the answer is that this perfect balance does not exist, we simply compensate and refocus on neglected areas...but nobody will ever tell you that! Just do the best you can, focus on the people that matter. You can always find another job but family and health are irreplaceable remember that!
People may have better "stuff" than you, but mostly that just means they have more debt and clutter. Having more does not "make" you more. So love your shabby couch and little car (it's paid for) I hope you fill your life with experiences and love (not things). Focus on the value, forget the bling!
Today I hope you know that those who go out of their way to make you feel small and less are insecure and already worse off than you. Don't let it get inside you, don't let it eat your light. I also hope you realize that people see how amazing you are, so don't let the world make you hard or cynical.
I hope you know that there is something special that you bring into the world by simply being you and being here.
I hope you don't give up, I hope you smile and try again....
I hope you have a good laugh and some fun today
I hope you are living your best life and not letting fear or lack of confidence hold you back!
May you live your dreams and not your fears!
For all of you who need love today! You are enough, in fact you are MORE THAN ENOUGH!
So until next time,
HUGS FROM DXB
While reflecting on the week that was, I was thinking about collaboration...
I saw a team working together in harmony to create an amazing event, I saw an assistant and manager speak in glowing terms about their working relationship and how valuable their combined efforts are, I saw a CEO and EXCO team show appreciation for what their assistants do for them and the value of this partnership. I spent some time working on new projects with my training partner. But this left me questioning why do some people collaborate so naturally and others find it necessary to compete?
In the Fourth Industrial Age we will be expected to join forces with others, pool resources and embrace the idea that when we work together we multiply the available human and physical capital in an amazing way. This will be an era where trust and relationships will have financial value. This new age is not called the Connection Economy for nothing!
When we compete are we building relationships? Are we gaining the trust of those we openly or discreetly compete against? I think you will agree that the answer is a definite no. Competition is not to be confused with ambition or drive, these are worthy attributes. I am talking about the negative aspects of competition.
I truly believe that your only competition should be the person you see in the mirror while you brush your teeth in the morning, because after all no one is like you, you are a once off and that in itself will earn you more financially and emotionally in this new age.
From an observer's point of view being competitive with others, withholding information or know how makes us look insecure, jealous and as if we only have a limited amount of ideas, skills etc. The act of sharing without expectation on the other hand creates the image of someone who is an expert, generous and a leader.
Collaboration is creative and it is fun! When you work with another person your ideas are amplified, there is an exchange of energy and the other person can act as a sounding board or voice of reason. It can be joyous, it can be a bit messy, it can be beautiful but in my opinion it is always more exciting than competing!
So thank you Esme van de Merwe and the team that arranged the event, The Exxaro Assistants, Mr Mxolisi Mgojo and Teri Wells for inspiring me to collaborate MORE and BETTER! This week was a blessing and a lesson!
So until next time,
Hugs from DXB