Over the past few months, I’ve noticed many more of my CFO clients choosing branding packages over the standard marketing document packages. Then, as usually happens before I write a blog post, a couple of things along that line caught my attention. In particular, this snippet from a FENG member in a recent newsletter …
… there was a section entitled "See yourself as Others See You" that was quite helpful. For example, when I see myself as thoughtful, a good listener, and considerate under pressure someone else may perceive that as non-demonstrative, unconcerned, and hesitant! So I really agree with one of your summary statements: "You really need to be as correct as possible about the 'person' you are projecting."
Be as correct as possible about the person you are projecting.
Just pause for a moment and let that realization sink in. The writer offered a good analogy and it affirms that who we believe we are is often perceived differently by others. What are you projecting to others that might unintentionally be sending the wrong message?
The easy answers revolve around age. Since most Chief Financial Officers and other Senior Finance Executives are rarely spring chickens, what message is your brand sending to people in advance of meeting you?
–Rather than wearing your battle scars proudly, are you really conveying near extinction?
–Have wisdom and contributions been trumped by difficulties and responsibilities?
Beyond age, how are you perceived by others?
–As an administrator or a leader?
–An executive who empowers or who micromanages?
–A finance nerd or one who owns the seat at the executive table?
Perhaps, through bad economic circumstances,
–Your resume is in all the job boards making you appear desperate.
–You worked yourself out of a job but your resume screams “unemployed.”
Understanding how others perceive you is the first step in the branding process. Without that knowledge, it’s impossible to create and then take the steps necessary to reinforce what’s true or alter what’s not. That message is apparently resonating with more and more finance executives.
What image is preceding you … and is it true?