By: Malcolm Levene
I’ve been a Personal Branding expert for more than 20 years. Clients have included former PM Tony Blair, politicians Ed Vaisey and Michael Gove. I might add, these particular clients were wanting to improve their Outer Brands. In addition, M&G Investments, BP, Deutsche Bank, Volvo, numerous universities, colleges and Business Schools, European Parliament (Brussels), CBI Casablanca. My position as Visiting Professor of the London Metropolitan university, has given me the opportunity to teach a vast array of younger people the how tos of how to thrive in the real world.
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My thoughts on Best Practice:
*Ensure your appearance is always the best you can make it.
*Listen twice as much than you talk (that’s why we have 2 ears).
*Make good eye contact (do not stare).
*Express genuine empathy.
*Shoulders back, head held high.
*Smile when appropriate. (it increases happiness/dopamine).
*Shake hands well (not like a wet fish or a vice).
*Always undersell and over deliver.
*Endeavour to employ humility (don’t think less of yourself, think of yourself less).Understand the potential power of your EQ (Emotional Intelligence).
*Avoid being too personal, but always be personable.
In short, when I teach I explain in detail how to be convincing and authentic. I believe these points are a must-have for anyone in business where others are involved.
Reinvention is relevant in these challenging times. I’ve reinvented myself 5 times – yes 5 times! And here we go again. Since the pandemic began. Corporate businesses are much less likely to hire a coach, public speaker or expert. So I’ve decided to become an experienced expert. Right now I’m continuing to explore the most lucrative ways to do this. I will begin by coaching/teaching Russian executives how to behave in the UK. Apparently, there’s a big demand for this, fortunately for me.
No matter what you think Personal Branding is, my approach is very different from the norm. Each one-on-one session begins with me understanding if the client is more Right or Left brained. Easy to find out: by interlacing your hands, if your left finger resides on the right, you are more right brained. To understand what this means go to: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/basics/left-brain-right brain.
My personal reinvention, in part, is due to being diagnosed with vascular-Parkinson’s. Therefore my ability to present to very large audiences can be challenging. I might add, as the timbre of my voice has changed speaking with enough clarity is also a challenge. So in a way, I’ve been forced to explore new/different ways to remain in business. For me, the more challenges I encounter, the more my determination to succeed is aroused. Anyway, enough about me. Time to discuss attitude, which can determine your altitude. So ask someone who knows you how they would describe you to someone you don’t know – I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
Don’t know about you, but for me reflection is a good way to discover how much improvement we are making, or have made. However, never indulge as it tends to hinder one from moving forward with expedience. Never, ever consider giving up, as the most successful people are always moving forward with a positive attitude. I’m not suggesting one ignores the challenges we are facing. Am saying focus on what you want more of, and much less time spent on what you want less of. Too much of our time is spent beating ourselves up, which is damaging and pointless. Better, consider your achievements, that way your mindset is poised to achieve more.
Life is a combination of good, not-so good, happiness, sadness, regret, celebration, love, hate and much more. So hoping for perfection is a waste of time, perfection is impossible. So stop moving the goal post, and learn to embrace the ups and downs. Don’t try to control that which you cannot control and focus on what you can control. Never seek or aspire to be perfect, that’s because aspiring to be perfect is a delusion. Better, take actions that motivate you to improve every aspect of your life .
As Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon, has said: “Your Personal Brand is what people say about you, when you are not in the room.”
Malcolm Levene teaches business leaders and political figures how to improve their communication skills and develop positive personal brand values. Malcolm’s client list has included Tony Blair, Alastair Campbell, Michael Marks CBE, and Michael Gove. In a previous business life, Malcolm owned and ran the Malcolm Levene retail fashion business in London’s West End. His retail experience enables him to understand and to explain the supreme relevance of the customer experience and how important it is for an organisation for it to earn long-term loyalty and trust.
Malcolm has created the Power of One: Personal Development for Business Success programme as a response to the business-world’s quest for something different. Power of One is designed to spark and to fuel change – real, sustainable, measurable change. The goal is to enable people to be the best, most effective person they can be. He can be reached at email@example.com
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