By, Pamela Gilchrist, MA, APR, CPT
Author | Speaker | Strategist

 Why reinvent yourself?

Sometimes you change. Sometimes the world changes around you. This constant change requires both being adaptable and resilient. As we go through this metamorphosis, like a caterpillar turning into a beautiful butterfly, we find the need to reinvent ourselves.

Reinvention is not just a renewing or refocusing internally. Most likely, it will lead to a change in our external manifestation – or personal brand.

You likely put a fair amount of mind time, money and effort into how you look and interact in the world around you. What you may not realize, however, is that our personal brand isn’t so much about who we say we are, as it is about who others say we are.

It’s worthwhile to take an intentional look at how others perceive you. Ask yourself three questions:

  1. Is this perception accurate?
  2. Am I giving off mixed signals?
  3. Is there anything that I need to change to make my personal brand more powerful?

Editing our updating your personal brand, doesn’t mean that have to change your values, foundational character or personality. Instead, think of it as putting your best foot forward on the path you want to take.

Powerful leaders understand that they need to shed what’s not working for them, and adapt their style to new environments. When I coach leaders on executive presence, we talk at length about sending the right signals to the right people to move strategies ahead.

The more evolved leaders that I have worked with over the years intuitively understand that they do not need to fear revealing their true-selves. Authenticity and transparency serve them well and give them added credibility.  On the other hand, leaders who are insecure or afraid often feel the need to mask their truth and present a persona that is delinked from their inner-self.

Integrated leaders, those whose insides match their outsides, have the law of attraction on their side. They naturally draw other positive people into their circle. People want to be around them, and want to be a part of everything they have going on.

As a powerful woman with a purpose, it’s important to periodically evaluate the need for reinvention, in your life, your career and with your personal brand.

A frequently requested speaker, Pamela Gilchrist is chief strategist at Gilchrist Group a consulting firm that works with leaders and their organizations on executive development, strategic thinking and high-impact branded communication. She will share ideas for your own personal brand reinvention at the Up Woman Circle, February 1, 2013 in Cleveland, Ohio. To learn more about Pam and book her to speak at your next event visit www.pamgilchrist.com  follow her @pamgilchrist

“Executives often fail to recognize that delivering high quality is not enough to gain a marketplace advantage; there must be a perception among customers that high quality exists.

David Aaker, professor of marketing at Berkeley

I ran across this quote from Aaker in an article on Reputation Management by Gary North. North was specifically talking about how Maytag went down the drain in a matter of months by squandering brand loyalty with shoddy products. But Aaker’s point is timeless — Don’t hide your light under a bushel basket.

How many great organizations do phenomenal work and always go the extra mile for their customers — but nobody knows? They forgot to tell their story in a compelling way to the marketplace.

If your company fits this category, here’s what you need to know.

The marketplace must “perceive” value. That’s why I trademarked the phrase: “Perception Is the Reality we manage™.”   Before a perception can even be formed, however, you’ve got to be on your target market’s radar.

There is still tremendous client loyalty for great brands. In today’s hurried, over-produced world, however, they won’t tell your story unless you make it easy for them to do so.

The best way to do this is a little “prepackaging” of your message.

It starts internally. Do you know your unique selling proposition? Are your executive team members, board, employees and shareholders clear on your organization’s key strengths, messaging and go-to-market strategy?

In a survey of corporate employees, 95% said they did not know or understand the strategy for their organization. Shocking? Maybe. What this tells me, is we have work to do.

Employees are your chief brand ambassadors. If they aren’t clear on your message — you can’t expect anyone else to be either.

Let’s also take a look at your client or customer base. Do you regularly communicate with them in an engaging manner? Not to SELL anything — but to connect? Have you shared an insight or article with them? Have you reached out to them and shared your organization’s latest successes and tied those successes to a discreet customer benefit?

Marketplace advantage is achieved not only by maintaining high-quality products and services, but also by shaping perception in the marketplace.

Traditional advertising has a place in building awareness, but that’s shrinking dramatically. Brand ambassadors and some genuine fact-based earned buzz, will build your base and help expand your reach to new customers who are ready for a test-drive.

To read the full article on how Maytag, Dell, Schlitz and other organizations suffered from slips in quality and reputation go to: http://www.lewrockwell.com/north/north579.html

 

Professional Speaker Pamela Gilchrist

I hope that you can join me for my live Webinar, Friday, February 3rd, 4:30 EST

How to Network Best with CEOs as a Business Development Executive

In this webinar, ExecSense examines everything you need to know in 60 minutes regarding the best tips, techniques, and tools to meet more CEOs. Reach them online using social networking, and enlarge your circle of influence in the year ahead. The webinar is led by an expert on the topic, Pamela Gilchrist (Chief Strategist/Professional Speaker & Author, Gilchrist Group) and covers:

• What every business development executive should know in 60 minutes about best practices for networking with CEOs

• Learn how to use social media to position yourself and your area of expertise to be of interest to specific CEOs; speaking on conference, seminar, & webinar panels to display your knowledge on hot topics impacting certain industries; joining LinkedIn groups for CEOs; how to use your connections with lawyers and private equity professionals to reach CEOs; and 5 other techniques to immediately put yourself in front of more CEOs

• The best professional networking strategies to get connected with CEOs, including using LinkedIn, blogs, deals databases, and leveraging existing personal and professional relationships with ties to CEOs

• Specific case studies of how 5 business development executives significantly increased their connections with CEOs, how they made these connections and strategies for staying in touch with them, and their best tips and techniques you can immediately implement to make connections with CEOs in the year ahead

Upon registering, ExecSense will email you the dial-in phone number and all of the other relevant information and files to attend the webinar. You will also automatically be emailed the audio and PowerPoint files the day after the webinar in case you were unable to attend the live webinar (registration prior to live event still required). You can view the webinar on your computer, iPad, Kindle, iPhone, Blackberry, Android and many other devices.

Register here: http://www.execsense.com/details.asp?id=4110

 

Good news: My partner ExecSense Webinars has just announced that it is turning two of my webinars into eBooks!

Public Speaking & Presentation Skills for Venture Capitalists

How Leading Communications Executives Are Using Internal Communications to Benefit All Aspects of Their Business

They will be available on Amazon.com (for the Kindle), Apple’s iBookstore (for iPad & iPhone), BarnesandNoble.com (for the Nook), as well as hundreds of other bookstores that sell eBooks for viewing on anyone’s computer or smartphone such as a Blackberry or Droid.

Stay tuned for details on the launch date.

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The Romney campaign has been a smooth-running, flawless manufacturing operation for years. All systems go.

What Romney lacked in South Carolina, however, is the same thing that many change leaders lack. The failure to tap into an emotional vein.

A CNN political pundit put it well when he said, “You can serve a mayonnaise sandwich on a silver tray – but it still has no taste.”

That’s exactly what happened to Mitt Romney in South Carolina. Information alone won’t result in change. Compliance is not commitment.

As author Rick Mauer puts it so eloquently in his book Beyond the Wall of Resistance, “The myth is: All I need to do is tell them…but what many leaders miss is that just giving people facts and figures doesn’t cut it.” To make a case for change, people need to feel the heat of the burning platform.

Simply put, people don’t make decisions on data and information alone. They want passion.

Contrary to Romney, Newt Gingrich might be boot-strapping his campaign together, but he clearly understands the critical importance of emotional appeal.

For any initiative to be successful, whether it’s organizational change or a political campaign, people must feel a sense of urgency and have emotional momentum. Otherwise, you just have an empty sandwich.

The third and most important hurdle is trust. While information and emotion count, trust is critical. Without it a leader is paralyzed. It will be interesting to watch which candidate can truly capture the trust of Republican voters.

Now… Who’s hungry?

 

7 Traits Of High Impact Leaders

1.  Have vision
2.  Translate vision into an actionable-plan
3.  Set cultural tone, pace and direction
4.  Inspire action among followers
5.  Guide, nudge, nurture and develop others
6.  Build raving fans
7.  Are constantly Kaizen-focused and always accountable even when it’s not fun
If you want to amp up your leadership skills in 2012 — do a quick self-assessment and see where you fit in these categories on a scale of 1-5.
This past year, I have worked with a variety of leaders. Some got it. Some simply didn’t.
One leader had tremendous vision, set a cultural tone and inspired others, however he severely lacked the ability to develop an actionable plan and be accountable for results.
Another leader also had vision and thought he was a great leader. However, he never checked over his shoulder. If he had, he would have seen that he had few followers and no raving fans.

Is a head honcho a leader just because of the big chair and title?

If you have no vision, no plan, no culture, no fans, and most of all no accountabilities… perhaps you are in a state of comfortable apathy. Obviously, this model isn’t sustainable for the long-term.
On the other hand, this past year I have had the privilege of working with some phenomenal leaders. Despite every hardship imaginable (and some you could not fathom), they have stayed the course, been consistent, stuck to the plan, inspired and encouraged others and set a vision for the future which they are actualizing in 2012.

Make 2012 the year that you become a High Impact Leader.

Take the mystery out of great leadership.
Work with the Gilchrist Group’s team of professional coaches and trainers to achieve your goals. Contact us today info@gilchristgroup.com to learn how we can help both you and your organization.
 

Great Leaders Have Presence

Presence is earned by hard work, authenticity, integrity and commitment. The right presence delivers game-changing results.

Clients sense it. They may not be able to articulate what the “it” factor is — but they know it when they see it. And, they are drawn to it  — like moths to a flame.

So what is Presence? It’s trust, excellence, dependability, consistency, credibility and confidence based on experience. It’s quiet guidance and a steady hand

Your presence is the outward evidence of your internal self.

 

Lead generation simply isn’t as hard or scary as it looks… Oftentimes, all we have to do is ask. The result? We find that people are eager and willing to help us because they believe in us personally and respect the quality of work that we do. Sharing some tips here from NYT Best Selling Author Dr. Ivan Misner.

How many times have friends, family, and associates said, “If there’s anything I can do to help you, let me know”? How often have you said, “Well, now that you mention it, there are a few things you could do.” If you’re like most people, you aren’t prepared to accept help the moment it’s offered. You let opportunity slip by because you haven’t given enough thought to the kinds of help you need. You haven’t made the connection between specific items or services you need and the people who can supply them. But when help is offered, it’s to your advantage to be prepared and to respond by stating a specific need.

Don’t let the next opportunity for others to help slip through your fingers! Being prepared with some simple requests can make a real difference in the success of your business. Systematic referral marketing requires that you determine, as precisely as possible, the type of help you want and need. There are many ways your sources can help you promote you and your business by generating referrals. Here are 12:

  1. Provide you with referrals
    The kind of support you most want from your contacts is referrals—the names of specific individuals who need your services. They can also give prospects your name and number. As the number of referrals you receive increases, so does your potential for increasing the percentage of your business generated through referrals.
  2. Introduce you to prospects
    Your contacts can help you build new relationships faster by introducing you in person to people they think need your services. Furthermore, they can provide you with key information about the prospect. They can also tell the prospect a few things about you, your business, how the two of you met, some of the things you and the prospect have in common, and the value of your services.
  3. Arrange a meeting on your behalf
    When your contacts tell you about a person you should meet, they can help you immensely by coordinating a meeting. They can help even more by setting up and attending the meeting.
  4. Invite you to attend events
    Workshops and seminars are opportunities for you to increase your skills, knowledge, visibility, and contacts. Members of groups you don’t belong to can invite you to their events and programs. This gives you an opportunity to meet prospective sources and clients that you wouldn’t normally be in contact with.
  5. Endorse your services
    By telling others what they’ve gained from using your services in presentations or informal conversations, your sources can encourage others to use your services.
  6. Display your literature and products in their offices and homes
    If these items are displayed well—such as on a counter or bulletin board in a waiting room—visitors will ask questions or read the information. Some may take your promotional materials and display them in other places, increasing your visibility.
  7. Distribute your information
    Your contacts can help you distribute marketing materials. For example, if they publish a newsletter, they can include a flier for you or your business in it.
  8. Make an announcement
    When attending meetings or speaking to groups, your contacts can increase your visibility by announcing an event you are involved in or a new service your business provides. They can also invite you to make an announcement.
  9. Nominate you for recognition and awards
    Business professionals and community members are often recognized for outstanding service to their profession or community. If you’ve donated time or materials to a worthy cause, your contacts can nominate you for relevant service awards. You increase your visibility both by serving and by receiving the award in a public expression of thanks. Your sources can pass the word of your recognition by word of mouth or in writing.
  10. Follow up with referrals they have given you
    Your sources can contact prospects they referred to you to see how things went after your first meeting, answer their questions or concerns, and reassure them that you can be trusted. They can also give you valuable feedback that can help you close a deal with the prospect.
  11. Serve as a sponsor
    Some of your sources may be willing to fund or sponsor a program or event you are hosting. They might let you use a meeting room, lend you equipment, authorize you to use their organization’s name, or donate money or other resources.
  12. Publish information for you
    Your contacts may be able to get information about you and your business printed in publications they subscribe to and in which they have some input or influence. For example, a source who belongs to an association that publishes a newsletter might help you get an article published or persuade the editor to run a story about you.

 Keep this list with you and add to it as other needs occur to you. Knowing how to match your needs with the right sources is the key to obtaining the type of help you need. You’ll be amazed how much easier it is to spot opportunities and find sources of support. You’ll also be better prepared to respond when someone says, “Let me know if there’s anything I can do for you.”

But remember—it’s a two-way street. These support activities are also things you can do to help your contacts promote their businesses and generate referrals. Helping your sources achieve their goals goes a long way toward building effective and rewarding relationships.

Finally, it’s good practice to develop a list of ways to reward referral sources for helping you. Once a referral has become a client, be sure to recognize and reward your source appropriately. Doing so encourages them to send you more referrals. Distinguish between tangible (e.g., cash) and intangible (e.g., a public “thank you”) rewards. Estimate the cost and set aside some money to pay for your recognition program. It’s important to find a unique, memorable way to say thank you and to encourage your colleagues and friends to keep sending you referrals that turn into business.

One small business owner I know sends a fine pen with a personal note of thanks to each colleague who makes a referral that leads to a sale. Another sends a gift basket and a thank you note. In either case, recognition is provided for the effort of passing the referral.

It may take a while, but if you have selected and trained your sources well and you use the system to its best advantage, you will speed up the process of turning the ever important referral into business.

Called the father of modern networking, Dr. Ivan Misner is a New York Times bestselling author and Founder of BNI, the world’s largest business networking organization. His latest book, Truth or Delusion, can be viewed at www.TruthorDelusion.com. Dr. Misner is also the Senior Partner for the Referral Institute, an international referral training company. He can be reached at misner@bni.com.

RainToday

 

The 2011 Ohio Society of Association Executives (OSAE) FEAR NOTHING conference is in full swing. Speaker Pam Gilchrist shares tips on managing social media. She will lead a crisis communications workshop for the group on Thursday.

 

Pamela Gilchrist, chief strategist at Gilchrist Group, will present “NO FEAR: How To Successfully Survive A Crisis” at

Professional Speaker Pamela Gilchrist To Present "NO FEAR" Crisis Communications Workshop At OSAE Conference

the 2011 Ohio Society of Association Executives (OSAE) Annual Conference and Marketplace. Her session takes place Thursday, July 28 at 1:15 p.m. at the Cincinnati Marriott North in West Chester, Ohio.

The interactive session will focus on the essentials for associations when managing a crisis — and most importantly how to plan for and avoid crises in the first place.

“You don’t build reputation during a crisis. That’s the time when you withdraw on the bank of goodwill that you’ve built up over time with your stakeholders,” Gilchrist said

Gilchrist’s Top Three Crisis Tips:
1. Regularly engage with key constituents both online and off
2. Continuously monitor your ecosystem inside and out
3. Failure to plan is planning to fail — don’t wing it

Pam Gilchrist is a professional speaker and international-award winning, Fortune 500 communications and leadership expert. As chief strategist and CEO at the Gilchrist Group™, she advises organizations on how to have more impact by focusing on breakthrough business strategies, brand identity and influencer engagement.

She has guided organizations through crises ranging from reputation to tragedy for more than 25 years and is “on call” for numerous organizations. Gilchrist is accredited (APR) by the Public Relations Society of America where she is a member of its Counselors Academy. Gilchrist also serves as operations director for the National Speakers Association Ohio Chapter and on the public relations committee for the Nothern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce.

The Gilchrist Group is a strategic business consulting firm specializing in business growth, executive leadership and high impact communications. The firm has special expertise in guiding organizations through times of significant growth and change.

When you want impact – choose the Gilchrist Group™.
We build businesses. gilchristgroup.com