Personal Branding Power Plays: 5 Tips For Making the Right Moves


Whether they’re obvious or not, laws of power and personal branding are constantly in operation in any organization or workplace.

Power is fluid—it can be bestowed, it can be taken away, it can be wielded, and it can be felt—and it’s always there.

How you deal with power in your workplace is a prime indicator of how you’ll advance in your career. Get to the next step by following these five personal branding tips.

1. Guard your reputation and personal brand carefully.

At the end of the day, your reputation is all that you have. What people think of you—your reputation, in a word—is something that can be carefully and methodically built up over time.

Be quick to publish successes while minimizing failures even while taking responsibility for them. Establish your reputation as someone who gets results.

2. Be dependable.

Everyone needs a go-to guy or gal. Why shouldn’t that be you?

Work on an unimpeachable record of getting the job done every single time, and you’ll soon be rewarded with special tasks, assignments, and projects that will have your bosses in awe and your coworkers envious.

Be the “special forces” of your workplace—the team member who gets called in when something needs to be done and done right.

3. Be an expert.

While it’s commendable to be a generalist, it’s even better to be a specialist.

Perfect your skill set to the point that you’re an expert in one particular focus area or field—two at most. Not just pretty good—an expert. Experts get hired and paid well. People who are pretty good get sidelined in favor of the experts.

4. Listen twice as much as you talk.

As the saying goes, you’re given one mouth and two ears so you can listen twice as much as you talk.

Listen to those around you, note subtle details, absorb other people’s plans, but don’t reveal too many of your own. Gathering intelligence means just that—gathering. Don’t give out too much of your own intelligence in the process.

5. Evaluate everyone you deal with.

Whether they’re clients, coworkers, or superiors, size them up. Study their actions, learn their strengths and weaknesses, and don’t get too familiar and friendly before you know what the person is like.

Remain comfortably formal until you really know the person—it’s better to err on the side of formality than to appear too informal and offend someone or be perceived as not serious.

Remember: power is a fleeting, fluid thing, and those who have it now may not have it tomorrow.

Whatever your personal brand, power and influence is at this moment, if you want to expand it, develop and hone your skills. If your star is on the rise, keep it going by establishing close relationships with the people who are above you. Someday soon, their power might be yours.

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