I was travelling to Chandigarh, when a man sitting beside me asked, “Are you a CEO?” I was surprised to hear the question, as I was just like anyone else travelling to Chandigarh. I said, “No Sir, I am not, I am only wearing this suit as I have a meeting to attend (assuming that my attire made him ask this question)”. He said, “No, you are a CEO” and I insisted, “No Sir, I am not”. He smiled and said, “You are the CEO of your First name Last Name Pvt Corp”. That was interesting to me so I asked him what that means! He explained, “You are the CEO of your own brand, i.e. yourself and you take ownership of the services you provide to anyone. You are responsible for your own marketing, sales, training and human resources (networks). You are responsible for the value you create for others”.
That was a surprise to me, because I have never thought myself as an entity providing services to corporations, I only thought myself as an employee working for a corporate entity. When I gained this insight a whole new world of Personal Responsibility opened up. This shift from an employee to that of the CEO of “NishitLalPvt. Corp.” helped me own my work and the services I provide to others and specifically to my clients.
In this competitive world, we need to gain an edge by differentiation. As a corporate entity (your personal brand) what is your differentiation? Why should people ask for your services? What edge do you have over others? Why should people do business with you? What is your core competency? Unless you differentiate yourself, you will be one among others. No one will know how you can contribute, what difference you can make! Take ownership of your personal brand and start working on yourself. Jim Rohn, renowned motivational speaker and business philosopher said, “Work harder on yourself than you do on your job”. It is because when you work on yourself you develop your strengths and become more than what you are, you provide greater quality of service, better performance and create more value for the entity you work for.
Imagine how you will feel when you see your employees taking personal responsibility and ownership of their own work. Imagine the work environment where people don’t blame their bosses for their growth, but look to themselves for their development and strive to achieve their personal best. When your employees begin taking personal responsibility, they become brand ambassadors of the organization and begin creating more value for the company they work with. But such change in mindset is not possible just by intellectual thought. They must be exposed to trainings which put participants to real life situations which make them take personal responsibility. This not only helps people reflect on their actions but also show them how to take control of their personal and professional lives.