Kristin Shane

I spent most of my career running businesses for Target.  A job I loved.  But my dreams were bigger.  And now I'm living them...

Your personal brand will make or break your career

Your personal brand will make or break your career

Your personal brand is made up of so many things that you don’t even think about … including how you dress. I spent my whole career in business attire until I started Fly Feet. I’m here to tell you that, shockingly, people don’t take me as seriously in a hoodie.

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My personal brand story started shortly after I joined Target in 2005.  I was fresh out of business school, having worked in consulting and the Peace Corps prior and so excited to create a career at the bullseye.  

 

I started to hear things like …  You have a really big personality.  You have a lot of energy.  You’re so passionate.   You move so fast.  Every now and then I get:  You’re really direct.  Just a subtle hint that maybe there were some things under the surface I needed to dig into.

 

What I learned is that passion, energy and fast moving gone wrong looks like steamroller, a little crazy and reckless.

 

Ok, pause.  Let’s first get aligned on what exactly your personal brand is…  Your personal brand is the intersection between how you see yourself and how other people see you.  That means that at least half of your personal brand is based on someone else making up their mind about you.  That doesn’t mean that it’s out of your control.  “Just being myself” is too one sided.  You have to find ways to be authentic and dynamic, which means that you are able to behave appropriately for the situation.  

 

Your personal brand can make or break your career because we are all human including the leaders and decision makers for your career.  This also means we have emotions and those emotions aren’t always logical, and those emotions play into how we make decisions. So while we want to think doing a good job and having our work stand on our own will get us to the next level, that is only part of the equation.  

 

For me, I found four simple things that helped impact how I am perceived.  But understand that I could only get to this point after doing a lot of work by myself, with my mentors and also with a coach to really dig into and understand 1) how I was perceived by others and most importantly 2) how I wanted to be perceived.  I’m going to share these with you, but here is the deal: These may or may not work for you.  You’re going to have homework and part of that homework is to dig into points 1 & 2. 

 

Shut up and listen

For better or worse, I have an opinion about most things.  And, I will certainly find a way to make it known. That is something I’m not afraid of.  But others are, so I try not to go first.  Listening does two things 1) it let’s others be heard without tainting their thoughts with mine and 2) it allows me to refine my thinking based on other’s perspectives.  

 

OPPOV 

I learned this from my coach that I referenced in this blog. It stands for “Other People’s Point Of View”. {She even wrote a book about it!} I spend time really digging into what others are thinking so that I can incorporate their thoughts into my own and more importantly create an environment where people feel like their opinions matter.  

 

When things get fast, I slow down

I move fast. I can make decisions quickly.  I thrive in a fast moving environment.  If I’m not careful, this can start to look like steamrolling instead of moving with a purpose.  

Keep it light        

Something that is important to me – one of my values – is to have fun and to create an environment where others enjoy what they do.  I can operate with intensity, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be fun.  

Your homework

  • Write down three words that describe your personal brand today. This will take some time to get these right. Remember the definition! The intersection of how you view yourself, and how others view you.

  • Write down three words that you’d like to describe your personal brand as you move forward. Where you want to go.

  • Find three mentors to help you evolve there and work on specific actions you need to take to get there.

  • The next Catalyst Circle event is on May 9th! Our topic is “How I Got Here” where we’ll be talking to rock star executives and entrepreneurs on how they successfully navigated their career. Sign up for our newsletter to be notified when tickets are on sale!

This was always the plan:  Making it up as I go.

This was always the plan: Making it up as I go.

A note from our {woman} CEO

A note from our {woman} CEO