WOW! Brand: Expressed from the Heart with EQ
Thursday, May 16, 2013
Posted by: Ascend Northern California
Elaine Lai of TD Bank in Toronto wrote the following from her heart, with lots of EQ ;o))
Lessons from Three Wise Men – Sharing My Learnings from Ascend Canada EIS"
An Encounter with Three Wise Men” is how I would describe my experience in attending the recent Ascend Canada Executive Insight Series (EIS) Part 2 "Building Your Personal Brand” and "Managing Up”.
The three presenters – Larry Chang, Buck Gee, and Wes Hom – are associated with Ascend and the Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business Asian Leadership Program. Not only do they have impressive leadership track record, they also brought so much wisdom that I was trying to absorb as much as I could like a sponge. They were engaging speakers who challenged us with thought-provoking questions, while keeping the 7-hour workshop extremely fun.
We explored a number of interesting topics, but I wanted to highlight one theme that stood out – building and marketing your desired brand.
Please note that I say desired. It’s up to you to create your own desired brand – a future-looking and ideal brand that you want to be associated with you. But before you work on creating that desired brand, it’s important to do some reality check. Like it or not, your brand is earned from the outside – other people’s perceptions determine what your brand is. You may think you’re Superman, but if others see you as Bizarro, then you’ll have to overcome that perceived brand and build your desired brand.
For Pan-Asians, there’s often an additional hurdle to overcome. Pan-Asians are often perceived as intelligent, hard-working, technically-accomplished. While these are excellent qualities to possess, Pan-Asians need to overcome this stereotype in order to round out their brands to include other attributes such as charisma, leadership, or any other EQ-related attributes that you desire.
Building Your Brand
Self-awareness, excellence, and consistency are the keys to building your brand. First, you need to know what you’re good at. What makes you distinctive and unique? What is your most valuable business contribution? Second, once you know what you’re good at, continue to improve it and strive for excellence. Third, be consistent in exuberating your strengths and experience. The consistency of delivering sustained excellence will become your brand. After all, when your desired brand is in your DNA, it’s more likely that other people will perceive your brand the way it is.
Marketing Your Brand
You market your brand in your entire ecosystem, i.e. to people above you, below you, and to those to your left and right. Those to your left and right – your colleagues in the same department or in a different functional area or line of business – are often important influencers whose view shapes your perceived brand. Step up and volunteer for an extra assignment. Get involved in cross-functional projects. Shine and gain recognition in doing so. Leverage your network. Market your brand outside of work – Ascend Canada is an excellent forum where you can market your brand beyond TD.
Expressions like "i’m lovin it”, "JUST DO IT” and of course "The Better Bank” conjure up a positive image with respect to a corporate brand. Similarly, individuals should come up with their own brand that is unique and catchy. It should be short too, ideally in 5 words or less. Rather than analyzing it from our IQ side, the Three Wise Men suggested we craft our brand by feeling it using our EQ side.
As I write this blog, reminiscing how much I enjoyed the EIS, this just came to me: "I’m your next Kelvin Tran” What do you think? And what is your WOW! brand?