The handwriting is on the wall–you have to pivot or reinvent yourself to remain relevant.
Author S. Renee Smith
As I talk with my inner circle of national leaders who are scrambling to identify solutions for America’s challenges, I’m clear that the time is now to be intentional about who you are, how you show up, and the work in which you decide to engage.
Even before coronavirus, America has had a pandemic and experienced an economic depression. And we have marched for equal rights. However, to my knowledge, NEVER have we faced all three at the same time. This is a peculiar time but many opportunities await those who intentionally package, position, and promote themselves.
Takeovers, mergers, market movement, and new leadership can come in a wave, storm, or tsunami. We are in the midst of a tsunami.
Therefore, you have to decide whether the direction of the company you work for is still a good fit for you. Most companies in transition will want to minimize the loss of valued employees, but they know everyone isn’t built for unstable, turbulent environments that transition often creates. If you decide to stay, position yourself so that leadership can see your commitment, stability, and faith in them and the organization.
This is how to navigate change, position yourself, practice executive presence, and increase your brand’s value:
Keep your eyes on your target. During drastic change, transition, and transformation, it’s typical to feel as though you don’t know what your next step should be. It’s traumatizing to feel disconnected, vulnerable, and at risk of losing your job and all that you’ve invested. Decide on your target and keep your eyes on it.
Know the focus of the organization. We are creatures of habit, but change is upon us. The people, the rules, and the system are in the midst of transformation. Clearly, what you’ve done over the last 20 years isn’t necessarily needed for the next 20 years. It doesn’t align with the new paradigm. Remember, when you were hired you were a part of the team who implemented a new way of doing business. Organizational change isn’t personal; it’s a deliberate attempt to keep the company relevant and competitive in the marketplace.
Staying in the past will only frustrate leadership and cause you to sabotage your career. Ask questions to understand why the leadership team believes the decisions they’re making are necessary. As best you can, stay out of the emotional pit, and put what you hear into context so that you see where you are, where they want to go, and how you can help them get there.
Realign your brand. Based on what you learn by being attentive, asking questions, and realigning your brand, here are some foundational basics:
During a transition, company leaders work to strengthen the infrastructure by streamlining processes, increasing efficiencies, and managing the negative impact of change. Leadership will tell you what they can when they can so remain alert and agile by keeping the following in mind:
Minimize distractions. Rumors will fly, and the volume of the noise will rise. Dial into your frequency, and find your guiding light. You may be on a need-to-know basis until leadership has a clear understanding of its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Don’t spend time on anything that doesn’t work for your benefit.
Control what you can control. Focus on what you’re accountable for each day and deliver. You’ll have strategic goals to meet. Push hard, meet the objectives, and the rest will take care of itself.
Brand positioning allows you to control your narrative. According to an article in USA Today, among the most common and up-to-date phrases in business, politics, and savvy American life is “‘controlling the narrative.’ That is, telling it your way before someone else gets to tell it—and possibly tell it better— their way.” The way you show up and what you say when you do, determines what people hear and respond to—even if you don’t whisper one word.
© S. Renee Smith helps employees and small business owners become more likable, marketable, and credible so that they can increase their income and influence. A branding and communications expert and author of six books, this blog is an excerpt from Harness the POWER of Personal Branding and Executive Presence. Check her latest free webinar: REINVENT YOURSELF: Build a Brand That Gets Results