10 steps for women to brand themselves for success

Make that impact your measure of success.

 |  6-minute read |   22-01-2015
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What does it take for a woman to go from being a leader to an icon? What does it take for a woman to go from being a lady to a legacy? What does it take for a woman to go from being needed to being wanted in the boardroom? Two words: thoughts and leadership qualities.

In fact, it would be wrong to say that thought leadership will do all this for the brand woman, because it won’t-only thought leadership won’t. But when a woman takes active control of her thought leadership and her personal brand, she then takes complete control of her reputation as well as her destiny. Then why did I say, thought leadership? Because that is the foundation of her personal brand, her iconicness, her legacy and the exclusive value that she would then waltz with into that boardroom with pride and panache! As a leader, your thought leadership: the exclusive value which you and only you offer separates the icons from the mortals! Let’s understand what is it that women like Indra Nooyi, Sherly Sandberg, Chanda Kochhar, Christine Lagarde, Vinita Bali, Oprah Winfrey, Kirtigha Reddy, Marissa Mayer amongst others do, to have built an enviable legacy for their personal brand and thought leadership. I like to call it - "Success Code of the VIP Woman": "The Visible, Influential and Powerful Women Leader" who know how to dream, dare and do what it takes to make an impact.

#1. Be clear: Having absolute clarity of your passions and aspirations, dreams and goals, value and worth is the first step in acknowledging your personal brand. Ask yourself some thought provoking questions on these parameters and celebrate the clarity you receive from your mind, heart and soul. Factor these into defining the exclusive promise of value you bring on the table - your thought leadership  - what you do better than anyone else. Be clear about what the Brand YOU stands for, and boldly position yourself as the expert on call.

#2. Be focused: Focus on a niche. Gone are the days of being jack of all trades and master of none! Today, we evolve this adage into the 21st century motto of "Being jack of all trades; Master of Some; Emperor of ONE!" Consider your emperor skill-set to be the calling of your thought leadership, your Brand. Be focused on uber specialisation and aim to dominate one niche that you can proudly claim your own.

#3. Be confident: Make confidence your middle name. Romance it. Personify it. Nothing is more intimidating and inspiring than a woman confident in her own awe, her charisma, her value. Self-confidence is directly related to how much you as a woman value yourself. Never let your self-confidence rest in how much others value you. Be confident of your own value; the world shall value you only when you revel in the glory of your own value.

#4. Be selfish: Don’t wait but woo. Opportunities only knock upon your eager doorstep, if you have a welcome sign painted upon it. Woo opportunities and challenges both with open arms. Be the ME-first woman at work! Be the first voice in the room; be the first solution to the challenge; be the first idea on the table. Never hold back from the fear of criticism or man-terruption or idea hijack. Be selfish about your self-respect, pride and progress.

#5. Be selfless: Brand-karma works and how. As you value your self, learn to value your community by adding selfless value to them. Indulge in brand-karma by giving all that you know to enrich and empower lives around you. Such nobility in brand karma is the hallmark of the most iconic thought leaders of the world. As a woman, you are already attuned to selfless love for your family; as a leader bring in the same selfless love for your professional and social community. Be the selfless leader who empowers their journey towards their next milestone, and watch your karma amplify in its journey back to you.

#6. Be visible: Spread those wings; and fly, sky high. Leaders, lead from the front. They get seen, get heard and get celebrated. Take active control of your brand visibility both online and offline and make your work seen and voice heard. Leverage the power of social media to build your personal brand on LinkedIn, Twitter, Slideshare, YouTube, blogs etc. by sharing your expert thought leadership and thus adding value to your colleagues and community. Seek out opportunities to be quoted and featured in credible media outlets to share the latest developments in your company and industry. No matter what your role, you do have the means to be visible, be heard and be celebrated for your expertise. The social media is your oyster today; be visible and valuable today, so the world values the Brand YOU tomorrow.

#7. Be vocal: Silence was golden; knowledge is priceless. But knowledge, not shared is sadly worthless. As the torchbearer of profound knowledge and wisdom amassed in the journey called life, it becomes your moral responsibility to enlighten the next generation of women leaders as well. Stand up, speak up and inspire a million more women to live their dreams. Take a stand and stand for it. Today there are dozens of avenues where a woman can take center-stage, speak her mind and ignite young minds. Start a crusade for a cause closest to your heart and give it all you got. Be vocal both offline and online to amplify the influence as well as the impact of your thought leadership.

#8. Be inspirational: Think. Do. Inspire. This is the mantra of a true thought leader. Always ask yourself just this one question: "What can I do that no one else is thinking or doing; and by doing so how can I transform life as we know it?" When you then embark upon the road less travelled, shall you lead a life so inspirational. Be inspirational as a woman, a leader and a legacy.

#9. Be proud: Pride is ownership. A celebration of your self-worth. Traditionally pride is perceived to be a vice, best left untouched. But says who that a woman, a leader cannot be proud of her value, her accomplishments, her dreams, her legacy with heartfelt humility and gratification? Be proud of your brand, your value, your vision, your journey; then own your pride and show your pride.

#10. Be a dreamer: Dreamers do what others dream of. Dream with those eyes wide open, so you can then witness it happen. A thought leader is a leader with a dream, an idea that he is willing to pursue, to nurture with courage and conviction until it shapes into the reality called life. Dream of a change, a new world, a better life, a kind bequest. The most beautiful legacies began as a dream of some of the most celebrated icons who changed our world forever. Be the dreamer, who dares to do what it takes to make her dreams come true. So what do you dream of? What will you do to create that impact? What do you wish to be known for? What will you adopt from this code in your pursuit of success? Remember, success is relative; what truly matters is what impact you believe your thought leadership, your brand will create. Make that impact your measure of success.

Writer

Tanvi Bhatt Tanvi Bhatt @tanvi_bhatt

Tanvi Bhatt is the pioneer of personal branding in India; as a thought leadership strategist she empowers leaders to become thought leaders, and thought leaders to become icons.

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