Sufi Stories

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Build Your Personal Brand: Unconventional Strategies For Executives

Even as you read this post, your company is busy reinventing itself, adapting for survival in the new economy. Changes are afoot. Employee productivity, margins and cost are under a microscope.

Employers are constantly on the look out for star employees who can be promoted from within or hired from outside to support the organization’s aggressive growth strategies.

How do you triumph in today’s wild, ever-changing business world?

Top 5 Guerrilla Strategies

(Secrets Of Executive Success)

• Organize a Think Tank

• Become a storyteller

• Become a writer

• Reinvent yourself

• Volunteer

1. Organize A Think Tank

Identify a small group of kindred souls – at work & non-work – – who have a passion for being incredibly good at what they do. This team is your support system – members of this team can even be geographically separated.

What happens in your think tank?

 Plan a lunch at least once a week and brainstorm positive ideas – Discuss: what are the career development trainings & certifications you can go for, trends in the economy, books you have read, people you have met.

 Consistently highlight each others accomplishments in the organization. A praise from a colleague has a much higher credibility than you praising yourself.

 The members of your think tank could be anyone – including your subordinates or bosses – as long as you trust them. Be careful however never to gripe about your manager. That is not the purpose of the think tank.

Tip: Make your think-tank meetings enjoyable and productive sessions: A good regular activity in your think-tank meetings could be reviewing the top financial news or different chapters of a good book you all have agreed upon.

2. Become A Storyteller

Storytelling as it applies to business isn’t about spinning a yarn.
Rather, it’s about how you have added value to the organization, shown initiative and got results. Think in those terms when producing your ‘about me’ stories, project case studies, or client narratives – so that people can relate to them.

Craft your stories so they follow the template of – “Situation, Action, Result.”

An Example “Success Story”

Situation: Many of my company’s employees started leaving the company in the last few months for other opportunities. This turnover adversely affected the company’s profitability. The investment made in training the employees was wasted and also the company could not maintain a pool of trained resources.

Action: I identified a more effective interviewing process to hire new recruits looking for longer term career opportunity. For short term projects, I identified a list of outside consulting resources who do not need to be trained and could be on-boarded quickly. Initiated a mentoring program to help new-hires bond with the company’s goals. Recommended continued investment in training programs, but with the caveat that employees getting the benefit of training must agree to stay for a certain period.

Result: The new measures cut down turnover by more than 70% while increasing employee morale as a result of mentoring and continued training programs. Expenses incurred in on-boarding new employees was reduced by more than 50%. In the words J. Larson, the CEO – “The revamped new-hire strategy has had direct impact on the increase of company’s revenue in this fiscal year.”

Use quotes from real people to make your stories more interesting and credible.

3.Become A Writer

Printed words – on paper or digital – establish you as an expert in your field. Publish a table comparing your company’s product or service with a competitor in your organization’s magazine. Or just craft it in a mail and send it to everyone in your team including your boss.

Create a blog and share ideas, information and trends in your area of specialization. Resist the temptation to write one liners as in twitter. For a blog to be successful you must be ready to devote a few hours each week compiling and contributing information of real value. Put this blog address in your resume.

Use your blog to position yourself as the go-to-person for a specific skill. It is beneficial to be someone that gets called upon when a specific need arises.

Too busy to write? Think ghostwriters! Hire a college intern to do your research and write the blog once a month for you based on your inputs. Find them on craiglist, elance or from your own family!

4.Reinvent Yourself

Real success comes from having real qualities. Refresh your skills every six months.

Check job ads on and other job boards. What are the requirements mentioned there for jobs similar to yours and at the next higher level?

Request trainings which are not directly required for your present job but can help you in the next stage of career development. Most companies are open to such requests.


Meet new people outside your department and company. Volunteer to teach at your local community center or college. Volunteer in the homeless shelter and meet other volunteers there from different walks of life.

Build contact lists before you need them using your volunteering gigs. All it takes is one person from that network to get you back in the game! Use facebook or linkedin to maintain this contact list.

These are 5 out-of-the-box ideas which may seem ‘unconventional’ at first glance. However, they have proved to be very successful in the real world and can transform your image in a very short time.

As Mahatma Gandhi said, “We must become the change we want to see in the world”.