Make Integrity The Cornerstone Of Your Personal Brand

I read an article in SUCCESS Magazine a while back called “5 Tips for Creating a Powerful Personal Brand.” A powerful personal brand is the first step in creating positive personal impact – a key ingredient to your career success mix. Related: 6 Easy Steps For Building A Defined Personal Brand The article listed five keys to a successful brand…
  1. Brand yourself through your professional presence.
  2. Brand yourself as a valued partner.
  3. Brand yourself with strong communication skills.
  4. Brand yourself by staying one step ahead.
  5. Brand yourself as being social savvy.
I agree with all five of these common sense personal branding tips. But I have one additional common sense personal branding tip to add: Brand yourself as a person of integrity. Tweet 62 in my career advice book Success Tweets says… “Your personal brand should be unique to you, but build on integrity. Integrity is doing the right thing when no one is looking.” According to Wikipedia, “Integrity is consistency of actions, values, methods, measures and principles.” Integrity and consistency are intertwined. People who are consistent in their actions are seen as people with a high degree of integrity. Oprah says, “Real integrity is doing the right thing, knowing that nobody’s going to know whether you did it or not.” This is true. If you practice situational ethics – doing the right thing only when you’re in the public eye — you aren’t really a person of high integrity, you’re just pretending to be one. Besides, it’s hard to act one way in public, and another in private. So, to be safe, follow Oprah’s advice. Do the right thing because it’s the right thing to do – not because you’ll get credit, or avoid getting into trouble. John Maxwell is a well-known business author. One of his books sends the same message. It’s called, There’s No Such Thing As Business Ethics: There’s Only One Rule for Making Decisions. According to John, that rule is the Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” In other words, do the right thing. There’s a practical side to this, too. Mark Twain once said, “If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything.” In other words, if you’re always a person of high integrity, it’s easy to be a person of high integrity; there are no complicating factors – like remembering what you did or said in a given situation. Polonius gave similar advice to Hamlet, “To thine own self be true, and it must follow as the day the night, thou canst be false to no man.” My father-in-law, Roy Blackman, passed away a few years ago. This quote was his epitaph. It was on the program handed out at his funeral. Roy embodied it in how he lived his life. It was the only piece of advice he gave his grandson, Matt, as he went off to college. Oprah, John Maxwell, Mark Twain and Shakespeare are all in agreement on one common sense piece of career advice. If you want to brand yourself as a person of high integrity act as a person of high integrity all the time – not just when it suits you, or when someone might notice. This post was originally published at an earlier date. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

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