Thoroughly Good CPD #3: Personal Branding

It’s been a couple of weeks since the last Thoroughly Good CPD. I thought initially that a break in the intended publishing schedule would reveal a lack of commitment on my part. Not so. Phew.

As it turns out, a lot of my attention has been on personal branding. This has emerged from working with clients on career programmes where we’ve evaluated what’s worked in the past and what needs to change in the future.

Here are some of the articles that have resonated for me over the past fortnight.

Five Minute Read: P(erformance) I(mpact) E(xposure)

I normally hate acronyms. Hidden beneath their tricksy outer shell is the assumption that the solutions they point to are as easy as the letters in their name.

But re-connecting with PIE – a model for looking at the percentage share of performance, impact and exposure and its impact on career progression – really unlocked my thinking and those of a couple of clients.

It helped steer away from the black and white thinking which sometimes emerges when a job application or interview hasn’t succeeded, and importantly helped point to some practical steps to pursue in changing outlook and thinking.

I used a Diversity Best Practice article from 2015 as a starting-point. It contains some useful questions to ask yourself (or to get your client to ask themselves) including a nifty call-to-action to share amongst peers, friends, and colleagues. I’ll be blogging about this further in the coming weeks.

Five Minute Read: 26 Ways to Develop Your Personal Brand

Clickbaity lists can get a bad press too. Manage your own expectations down from the lofty promises in the article headlines and you’ll end up settling on something useful. Although written from a digital perspective, this is a useful piece from Jeff Bullas, published last week.

The pointers I noted down from the list were authenticity, recognising others and their impact on your life, identifying your USP, and maintaining an authenticity.

Long Read: Josh Kaufman’s Personal MBA

Don’t read this all in one go. Its quite long. Better, listen to it in audio form. It dispels some myths about the apparently scary world of commercial success for those of us who have spent most of our working lives in the public sector.

At the same time it manages to translates business processes into a series of tasks which need to be completed in a particular order. It can’t guarantee success, but Kaufman’s book places success more within reach.

Three Day Read: The Subtle Art of Not Giving A Fuck

I’ve revisited Mark Manson’s brilliant book about (essentially) identifying and focusing attention on what’s important. It reduces stress levels and helps conserve energy for the big stuff. All too often books are labelled ‘life-changing’, but its fast-becoming a bit of a bible of mine, alongside Steve Peter’s compelling Chimp Paradox. As well as helping, Manson’s book will also caugh much laughter. Why should ‘self-help’ be a chore?

5 Minute Read: Assessing Leadership Potential

One of the things I’ve come to enjoy researching for these blog posts is stumbling on seemingly unrelated posts and extracting the useful learning points I need. So too with this post about Assessing Leadership Potential from Lee Hecht Harrison, and Penna.

Three points emerge for me in this post.

First, that we are constantly writing stories about the people we meet based on the first impressions we’ve had of them – both good and bad stories. Second, we react to people based on how they make us feel. And third – something which taps into a belief of mine – we assume that past behaviour predicts future behaviour.


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