Chapter 2Define Your Personal BrandEstablishing and Projecting Executive Presence

Personality is an unbroken series of successful gestures.

—F. SCOTT FITZGERALD

Personal branding is a complex idea comprising various elements, but at its core it is simply the way you project yourself to the world and, consequently, how you are seen by others. Your personal brand is not only defined by what you do and where you are headed; it is also about how you do it and why. The great dance master, Martha Graham, said: “There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all of time, this expression is unique.”1 For any leader, creating a strong personal brand and projecting executive presence begins with an awareness of how you look, speak, engage, and interact with others. While there are intersections between someone's personal brand and the level of executive presence they exhibit, the two are not the same. Put simply, your personal brand is what people expect from you while executive presence is how you deliver on those expectations. To develop and maintain a strong personal brand, focus on the elements of presence detailed in this chapter and then make adjustments to your communication if elements are not aligned. As always, consistency is key to ensure the traits and behaviors people have come to expect from you are indeed what they experience. This will not only help you advance in your career, ...

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