Link to video: http://youtu.be/Ag-LUSKb-LU
The first step to becoming a Brand Inside a Brand is to assess your current situation. The assessment step is focused on self assessment and environmental assessment.
We start with self assessment because becoming a Brand Inside a Brand is about creating alignment between who you are and how you want to be known. We want to unearth what is most important to you through a process I call, “Your Essence.” We want to discover your strengths by using the Clifton StrengthFinder Assessment. (Anyone can get this done by buying the StrengthsFinder book which comes with an access code to take the online test or you can pay $9.99 to just take the test and get a report on your top 5 strengths).
Your Essence is a way to discover your values through stories. Instead of giving you a list of words to choose from, I ask you to answer a few questions and from your answers we pull out what’s most important to you. Here are the steps:
- Answer a series of questions like: “Tell me about a time when you felt most alive.” “What pisses you off?” “What do people usually come to you for?”
- Look for patterns and what is most important to you in those stories. List the words / phrases that come to mind.
- Once you have those words / phrases, make them your own by coming up with a metaphor for each of the words so you can make them your own. For example one of my Essence words is “Creativity.” The word has different meanings. It could mean expressing what’s in your heart or doing something different, to name a few. So for me Creativity = It’s like rocking a bow tie. It doesn’t have to mean anything to anyone else but you! It’s to serve as a reminder to what is most important to you.
- Prioritize your words and keep them close to you as a sounding bound when it’s time to make big decisions. You can also create goals based on those words so you make sure you are working towards things that are important to you.
There is nothing better than working towards a goal you know is true to your heart. With this clarity you can now look for opportunities at work that align with what’s most important to you.
Your strengths, i.e. what you are good at, can be difficult to express or even identify. Why? I believe because we are taught to be humble and not brag about ourselves. The truth is we can and should own our strengths without feeling like we are bragging. We’ll start by identifying those strengths.
The Clifton StrengthsFinder Assessment is a great way to find discover your strengths. You take an online test (about 15 minutes) and it spits out your top 5 strengths. It has full reports and videos explaining your top strengths. You can judge for yourself how accurate it is. If you answered those questions honestly, your results should be a good reflection of your strengths. I took the test and nodded saying, “That makes a lot of sense. That’s why I like solving problems and helping people.”
When I took the test, My 5 strengths were:
That really describes my strengths. I like to solve problems, meet new people, work on meaningful things, make connections between different fields and deepen relationships.
This is where you have to answer the questions, “So, what’s going on?” “Where am I looking to go?” and “Where am I now?” The environmental assessment is an opportunity to align your goals with obstacles and allies so we know how to proceed. This assessment is a constant one as things change.
Once you’ve taken stock of where you are now it’s time to build. Our next post in the series will focus on the “Build” phase of becoming a Brand Inside a Brand.