Don’t Let a Steep Learning Curve Become a Cliff

A learning curve is a graphical representation of the increase of learning (vertical axis) with experience (horizontal axis).

LearningCurve1

When we encounter a “steep learning curve” we face an uphill struggle to learn new ideas, practices, systems, etc. The goal is survival and ultimately, to be at a better place at some point in the future.

You know – the best in the world.

Anyone who is going to hire you, buy from you, recommend you, vote for you, or do what you want them to do is going to wonder if you’re the best choice. –Seth Godin

If you’re not going to put in the best effort, why bother?

Your learning curve should always be up and to the right – if it’s not, you’ve come to the edge of a cliff…

LearningCurve2

…now what?

Developing Your “Brand You”

All leaders are in sales.

You may not be selling a widget or a gizmo, but you are “selling” vision and ideas and momentum, and dozens of other powerful intangibles that are very real.

One of the keys to being successful in sales is being memorable. One important way to be memorable is to have a personal brand. Valerie Sokolosky, an executive coach, recommends that professionals build personal brand equity in the following 5 ways:

Brand yourself through your professional presence. First impressions count! What messages are your clothes, grooming, and posture presenting? Your outside appearance speaks volumes before you even open your mouth.

Brand yourself as a valued partner. What do you know about the group you are leading or the project you are trying to tackle? Take time to do research on the people, places, and process involved, and when you lead, you will be doing it from a solid knowledge base.

Brand yourself with strong communication skills. Learn how to quickly gauge the people and environment you are in. Is it appropriate for small talk first or is it time to get right to business?

Brand yourself by staying one step ahead. Anticipate what the group wants or needs. Anticipate what may be going on in the team. Be fully prepared for questions, and always be truthful when you’re asked something you don’t know. “I don’t know but I’ll find out” is always an acceptable answer.

Brand yourself as being socially savvy. In today’s world that means both interpersonal and digital skills. Be a good conversationalist, mixing and mingling as appropriate. Ask open-ended questions, and really listen.

 

How are you going to develop Brand You today?