Is It Time For Life Science Managers To Create Their Personal Brand?
October 28, 2016
Life science professionals are familiar with how important brand perception is on success—whether it’s the name of a major drug company, a renowned research hospital, or a trusted physician recommending the latest cardiovascular intervention.
However, what’s often overlooked by managers is the power of their own personal brand to elevate them above the crowd. Well-respected managers often find that employment opportunities come to them, brilliant networkers and speakers are invited to conferences, and upper management agree to a salary increase for a high-performing team leader without argument.
The power of their personal brand works to build respect and opens doors. What’s increasingly recognised is that influential people have powerful brands— just as products, companies, and institutions do.
This idea of personal branding doesn’t just apply to the Richard Branson’s of the world or the high-flying CEO’s. Every single person can and should be developing a positive personal brand in the workplace to increase their influence and create opportunities.
As a life science manager, it’s hard to overestimate how important it is to develop a strong personal brand to elevate your own performance, get noticed by superiors, and motivate your team.
Reasons why managers need to build their brand
-People listen to and follow those with strong personal brands.
-Top candidates want to work for managers with strong personal brands.
-Managers with strong personal brands have greater influence in the company.
-People with strong personal brands get promoted before those with weaker personal brands.
-Influencers are offered more development and travel opportunities to represent the company.
-Building your brand gets you noticed and builds your professional network.
You already have a personal brand. But is it one you approve of?
The truth is that you already have a personal brand at work. The problem, however, is that unless you take control of creating and moulding a favourable personal brand, then your personal brand is at the mercy of others to decide.
If you take no action to build your brand, you’ll find that the decisions that are made by others about your future—promotions, pay rises, staffing levels etc—will be made with you playing no active role in increasing your influence on those decisions.
How to create a powerful personal brand
Step 1: Consider what you’d like your personal brand to be.
What are your strengths (or potential strengths)? What makes you stand out from everyone else? What would you like people to think of immediately when they hear your name? Do you want to be known as someone who is the go-to person on regulations? On public speaking? Do you want to have an impressive personal network? Do you want to be known as every doctor’s favourite salesperson?
Step 2. Consider whether your chosen personal brand is authentic
Is it in line with your personal values and aspirations. The really successful personal brands are ones with genuine passion and authenticity, so don’t force yourself into a new brand direction purely to get noticed at work if you don’t think you can sustain it long-term. Talk to your friends and family about what they think your brand and values are, and work towards something that both excites you and feels right.
Step 3. Create an action plan of how you’re going to build up your brand.
Are you going to go to seminars and conferences, start studying up on a niche area, or get your name known by commenting on online articles, LinkedIn pages and respected forums? Will you write a blog on your specialist subject and have it placed on a well-regarded industry website, or reach out to mentors and old colleagues to cement important relationships?
Are you going to do a Toastmaster’s course to improve your public speaking, or take a leadership course to hone your ability to motivate your team? A personal brand doesn’t just happen, it takes work, and learning, and effort.
Step 4. Spend some time on the little things.
Small details often go a long way towards making a strong impression and cementing your personal brand. What does your email signature look like? What’s your average response time to emails and calls? Do you dress to impress at work? Do you have to call IT every time you make a presentation because you’re technically challenged?
What does you LinkedIn page look like? Have you Googled yourself to check there are no inappropriate facebook posts or photos? All these ‘small’ things add up and contribute heavily to how others perceive you in the workplace.
If you take control of your personal brand, you can manage people’s perceptions of you with extraordinary effectiveness and start reaping the rewards in your professional (and personal) life.