I cannot overemphasize the importance of this statement when it comes to maximizing the power of your personal brand and making choices that naturally set you up for success at work.
Strengths are a key driver to your performance & personal brand
Strengths-driven roles allow high performers to perform at their best effortlessly rather than spending more time and energy in those roles focused on skills they've mastered to do their job well. For this reason, not allowing your true strengths drive your role choices can negatively impact your performance and enjoyment at work, as well as your ability to deliver on your unique promise of value or personal brand.
Your blockers can neutralize your ability to leverage your strengths and perform at your best
But many people can also inhibit their ability to perform at their best and deliver on their brand promise by not being aware of or understanding the strength of their blockers. Blockers are areas where we are at high risk for making choices that negatively affect performance. A person’s blockers are akin to the well known comic book character Superman’s kryptonite.
Hence regardless of their role choices, if a person is in an environment that triggers their blockers they can literally neutralize their ability to perform well. By environment I mean a project, team, organization, industry, sector or culture. And when we’re talking about working abroad, I'd be sure to give proper emphasis to the impact culture choices can have on your performance.
The impacts of choosing environments that trigger blockers and negativesly affect performance include:
- not getting promoted, demotions or even dismissal
- early end to an overseas assignment
- not receiving salary increases, bonuses or recognition given to high performers
- the perception that the message of value or personal brand you put forward to your employer or client was false advertising
- work and client relationships suffering
- lack of recommendations or referrals from colleagues, peers, managers, staff and clients
- loss of confidence in your ability to perform well in that (or any) role
What does this mean in real terms?
Let’s consider someone with a blocker of self-esteem in a competitive, bottom-line focused environment in a low-context culture. (In low context cultures, communication is driven by words and verbal cues versus context and relationships). Without a supportive manager or a team based environment and regular affirmation of their acheivements, they may begin to doubt in their own ability to perform. If they doubt or don’t acknowledge their strengths or abilities it will be difficult to leverage them.
If this person (with this blocker in this environment) was working in sales and their top strength was persistence, they may be able to use their willpower to maintain positive self-esteem for a time. But ultimately this blocker would affect their ability to be persistent and stay on track to close sales. Their performance would suffer. This would likely further trigger that blocker of self-esteem, which would only make matters worse. Over time this person's belief in themselves and their ability to leverage their strengths to perform could be reduced to such a level that they would truly struggle just to survive at work.
Let’s consider this same person in the same situation with the two other blockers - unrealistic and inconsistent goal setting. Without someone they trust to provide direct, honest feedback to help them “right-size” their goals, they could set themselves up, and possibly their team, to fail. Self discipline and will power may help them from "overstretching" on goals most of the time, but the line between thinking big and unrealistic thinking will always be a fuzzy one for them.
It might only take one instance when they leveraged their strength of persistence to drive themselves and their team towards an unrealistic goal to generate undesireable results that had greater consequences for their career. If this occured the person would likely become hesitant about leveraging their persistence in driving their team or projects forward in the future, effectively inhibiting their ability to leverage that strength.
Their inconsistent goal setting blocker could be triggered in a number of ways. Without systems or workflow to keep their goals top of mind, or in an environment that was not particularly goal-driven, or even a highly political environment, their performance will be affected. Exercising their strength of persistence could drive them towards activities or projects that were exciting and interesting but not necessarily directly related their primary goals or objectives. They could also take their team off track as well, amplifying the impact of the blocker.Again, seeing how their persistence took themselves and/or their team off course and consequences of this, they’d be much more hesitant to leverage that top strength in the future.
How do I know what environments will allow me to deliver on my promise of value or personal brand?
That's what you'll learn in Part II of this post. Sign up for updates below to get notified by email when Part II is posted.
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