In all probability, most of who you are is some combination of genetics and environment. With maybe some bumper polishing along the way.
Yes, your socio-economic status growing up has some bearing on whom you are. Schooling, too. Some folks were groomed to be who they became…many of our presidents, politicians, sports stars and business leaders. Think the younger George Bush, Tiger Woods or Nelson Rockefeller.
Most talented people, however, find themselves in leadership positions due to a few, but not all key attributes. As they sense the power they could wield, the success they and their organizations might achieve, or the vision they might create it becomes critical to be self-aware. Not just about “best-practice” management skills, but a whole host of “things” that help make up your intended brand: where to you work, where you live, what car you drive, dealing fairly and honestly with people and so forth.
Smart leaders make a point of thinking about how they’re perceived by others. That means being visible and consciously cultivating a memorable, unique public image. If you were a soft-drink, how would you brand yourself? In the case of you, it’s not much different.
Think about your target audience…constituents. What are they looking for? Develop a marketing program for yourself…photos, video, speeches, articles, social marketing. Network by joining the right club, giving to the right charities, banking with a certain institution…getting media training, surrounding yourself with the right people…at work and personally.
But remember this. Make sure the positioning/branding of yourself is authentic. Regardless of what brand image you’d like to project, if it isn’t really you, your efforts will most likely backlash.
Be Authentic – Stand out!