Top 3 Values of Effective Brands

When I was in private practice, I never paid much attention to values. I had no time. I do remember we used to talk about our mission and vision for the law firm. We even had a mission statement. After that, nothing really happened. It was a hollow experience.

What does branding have to do with values? Brand development is all about the people. We work with individuals by looking on the inside first. Looking inward is all about discovering individual values. Once you are clear about who you are, why would I hire you and where you fit into the business brand/corporation/firm, then we can take your brand and market it to your target audience.

Businessdictionary.com defines “values” in part as “[i]mportant and lasting beliefs or ideals shared by the members of a culture about what is good or bad and desirable or undesirable. Values have major influence on a person’s behavior and attitude and serve as broad guidelines in all situations.”

Leadership

When used as a development tool or an intervention for change and innovation, leadership is the grandfather of all values. Leadership is the most important value to cultivate in your organization. Once leadership is truly mastered within an organization, it will lead to other values. All such values can then drive profitability.

No matter what else they do or what else is printed on their business cards, senior leaders in the most successful socially-responsible or values-driven companies see themselves as “Chief Culture Officers.” These people take time to cultivate leadership in others and make sure they lead as an example, always.

Responsibility

The notion of responsibility goes hand in hand with integrity and creating an even playing field. The definition of responsibility includes the word, “control”. If I have to be responsible for you, then I must control you. If that doesn’t sit well with you, then perhaps choose to see your level of responsibility in your organization and career differently. Even if you are not a formal “leader” in your practice, where can you take more responsibility for the overall business success? If no one takes responsibility, assuming others will do so because they are officially named firm leaders, then the values system breaks down and profitability takes a hit for certain.

Personal Growth

Part of responsibility is stepping back to see where you can grow personally. Some of the most amazing masters I know acknowledge they are not perfect. They turn to coaches and others for support to make them even better. Where are you not taking your personal growth seriously? Why not? I acknowledge it is very scary to admit to ourselves -and then to others- that we could stand to be better, however there is great strength that comes from doing so. Not only do others respect you for your honesty, and your firm values are more effective because you are working on improving yourself.

Forgiveness

As humans we are so very hard on ourselves. As professionals, we are even more hard on ourselves because we are seen as counselors and advisors to so many. Consider forgiveness as a very important value for yourself. Learning to forgive ourselves allows us to choose to see others differently. This value then allows us to be kinder on others in our firm, which drives morale. Prospective clients are attracted to the energy around a firm where people get along.

So stop and ask yourself:

  • Do you really live your business values, as a person? If not, how can you do better?
  • Do you live leadership as a value, whether you formally lead others or not?
  • Do you take responsibility for your life and career?
  • Do you practice forgiveness- of yourself and others?

Source: Katy Puris

katypurispersonalbranding-com

I moved to this country with my family in 1979 from Iran. We came with two suitcases thinking we’d stay for two weeks. We stayed a lifetime. I went to law school because I wanted to help humanity AND because I felt that if I was a lawyer, then I would fit in and be accepted and respected. I practiced for 15 years as a successful securities lawyer. One day I realized I was wealthy, miserable and no longer helping humanity. I quit my job as a lawyer within a month. As a spiritually-minded business person, I started to listen to the Universe and my intuition. Through a series of miracles, I ended up finding my natural talents and gifts, which are the ability to realize and evolve peoples’ assets very clearly. During the first two years of my “retirement” as a lawyer, I saw an ad in a community college catalog that read, “What do Oprah, Bill Gates & Warren Buffet Have in Common?” The answer was said to be that they were all practicing their natural talents. So I went to the workshop and learned excitedly and incredulously that my natural talent is in personal brand management for others. From this workshop, my horizons opened and I devised a number of programs highlighting others’ talents and abilities, wrapping it in a “personal brand” package. Initially, I had no idea how these gifts would work in coming together; but for the past seven years I have been running a personal brand management company. We work with individuals and companies to unearth their uniqueness, communicate this to their target audience, and then manage all perceptions. The mission of my company: While appreciating the oneness of humanity, my goal is to highlight for others their specific talents and abilities in order to bring greater joy and success to all areas of their lives. This is how I do my part to cultivate a world of love and kindness where I promise through my example that no one is forgotten and everyone is appreciated. Personal brand management is based on defining and understanding your uniqueness, communicating it effectively to your target market and managing the perception of your personal brand. Your personal brand comes first. It is about you and NOT your business logo or marketing materials or PR. YOU must have a personal brand before you: a) can have marketing material and b) are press worthy. An effective personal brand starts with the understanding of who you are as a business owner and an individual. Without this solid foundation of a sense of self, it is not possible to build an effective personal brand that then translates into effective business branding. Throughout my career and life, I have been blessed with an eye for the creative process around building a successful personal brand. I finally stopped and listened to all the people who kept asking me for help in making their personal brand and business a success. Most of these people were lawyers trying to figure out how to stand out as attorneys in society. I was enlightened by the concept of following my natural talent. I wanted to help other businesses have an effective personal brand and thus, increase revenues, productivity, morale and sales. For fifteen years, I worked as an attorney in multiple areas of corporate America. For over eight years I practiced in Washington DC: the Securities & Exchange Commission, lobbying on Capitol Hill, and working in a law firm. I then moved to California working as in-house corporate counsel and then consulting via my own business. I hold undergraduate degrees in Finance, Accounting and Economics and a law degree. My clientele include numerous law firms , corporations, law schools, specialty institutions, retail corporations, CPA firms, engineering firms, financial services firms, dental professionals, medical professionals, as well as many smaller businesses. I am an author and public speaker on personal branding, leadership, marketing and business development. I have been appointed to serve on the ABAs Law Practice Management (LPM) Division Webzine, Nominating Committee and Women Rainmaker Boards. I have contributed numerous articles to the ABA and been a frequent speaker at various ABA conferences. I believe in being active and giving back to our community as part of your personal brand and mainly because it is good Karma! I am on the national board of directors of The Women Of Color In the Law. I also serve on the San Diego board of directors of National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO).

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