Ed’s note: This post was written by guest editor Phill Nosworthy of Switch Inc.
This might come as a surprise, but when it comes to your personal brand, talent isn’t enough.
Some of the most talented people I know leave trails of human destruction wherever they go. The fact that they’re talented comes second to the impact they have on people. For instance, you might know someone who lights up the room when they walk into it. You might also know people who light up the room when they walk out of it. That’s impact and that’s the thing that is even more important than your talent.
Your impact is the effect you have on people when you’re around them. Perhaps more than anything else, your brand is built on the impact you have on people. The market and the workplace wants to put so much emphasis on what you know, or what you can do, and forget that it’s the way you make people feel that defines your success and what you get to do in life.
There’s no doubt about it, your ability to create positive and constructive impact will define your career and who you are a person.
A succinct masterclass on impact. How do you do it right?
You have to start by understanding that your impact is created by your actions. In other words, what you do. Notice how I didn’t say what you meant to do? On one hand are my actions, that’s the thing that generates the impact I have on people. On the other hand are my intentions, what I would like to do.
Your impact is the effect that you have on people when you are around them. Perhaps more than anything else, your brand is built on the impact you have on people.
They are very different things, and the size of the gap between them explains the size of the dysfunction in any area of lives. ’Cause here’s the thing, I have never met someone who wakes up in the morning and says, ”I can’t wait to get to work and destroy the confidence of my team and belittle people and piss off my customers and smash shareholder value”. No-one plans to do it, but people do it every single day.
Read More: How I Got Richard Branson to Say, ‘Yes’
It’s like when you accidentally offend someone. If you’re like most of us, we excuse ourselves because we know we didn’t mean to. But they don’t care, because their offence was caused by what we did, not what we meant to do.
Funny how we judge others by their actions, while we judge ourselves by our intentions. That’s a problem isn’t it? So how do we do this well? With reflection and something I want to introduce you to called pre-flection.
The only way you’ll ever get better at something is to reflect on it, and ask yourself the simple question: how could I have done that better? So, starting today, I want you to include a new daily habit that won’t cost more than 2-3 minutes but could be the thing that redefines the impact you have in life.
Every day, ask yourself three simple questions:
1. What went well today?
2. What didn’t go well today and why?
3. Because of these reflections, what will I do differently tomorrow?
Reflection is powerful. But so is pre-flection. Preflection is setting your intentions for the day before you do anything. It’s like reflecting in reverse.
So from now on, even if for just a minute, as you walk through the doors of your office, ask yourself: what impact do I want to have today? How will I talk to people? How will I show them that I value their input? Whatever your plan is, set your intention at the start of the day. You’ll be amazed at how it will shape your actions as you go.
So know this – when it comes to your personal brand, talent isn’t enough; it just qualifies you to be in the room. Your impact is what will define your career.