When Mary van de Wiel, founder and CEO of The Business of Brand Intelligence, spoke at the 2014 AHRI National Convention, she said creating a powerful leadership brand was about “the willingness to communicate that you know why you do what you do, why it matters and why people – customers, employers, peers – should give a damn”.
Also, having a “more transparent touch” went a long way when it came to complex media communications and multichannel platforms, she said.
AHRI Tasmanian state president Toni Rowley FAHRI (pictured) introduced van de Wiel to the audience at the convention. Here Rowley, HR manager at the Tasmanian Department of Social Services, explains the advice she took and how she has stamped a personal brand on her own career.
Q. What for you was the best advice from van de Wiel’s presentation at the AHRI National Convention?
The reminder that my personal brand is interrelated with my leadership brand; that they inform each other. It’s how I ‘show up’ in all my interactions with others and how they feel in their experience of me. Being mindful of this interdependency means it’s important for me to be authentic and true to my personal values.
Q. How have you developed your personal brand?
By delivering what I say I’ll deliver and being persistent, curious and willing to learn through work and life experiences – particularly when taking on something new and uncharted. I love the reflective practice of asking myself what’s going well and what I need to adjust, take into account or do differently next time. I’m a strong advocate of this methodology to support my professional learning and personal development. And I regularly encourage others, through mentoring or coaching, to try it too.
Q. Has ‘being authentic’ been a tricky process for you?
Approaching work with transparency has occasionally made me vulnerable to those who believe that to hold a leadership position means it’s important to personally have all the answers, rather than consult at different levels of an organisation to potentially uncover innovative solutions.
Q. How has personal branding helped you achieve HR goals?
My passion is to make a valued contribution that builds capacity at all levels of organisational life – individual, team, group, executive. Also to, wherever possible, encompass a strategic reach out into the HR and business community, which is often accomplished through my AHRI state president volunteer role. Developing a personal brand that builds trust in others about my capacity to navigate, support and/or provide positive leadership has been critical in achieving my HR goals and helping others to achieve theirs.