As we head into this New Year, we thought we'd reach back into the archives from the original book and share the attributes we consider vital to the long term success of a BrandFace. I’m sure you’ve heard the saying, “It’s much harder to stay number one than it is to get there”. I believe there are a lot of people who can get there; some by hard work, others by sheer luck. But longevity is the magic, and those who remain at the top demonstrate these 10 traits that we know to be present in almost every true BrandFace we have encountered.
Dedication: The confidence of every BrandFace starts with your knowledge and expertise in your respective field. This education requires discipline and dedication, exactly the qualities your competitors may lack.
Equilibrium: When you put yourself ‘out there’, your actions are on display everywhere you go. That means every decision you make, every action you take, could be witnessed by your community. Great BrandFace stars keep their cool and maintain balance. If they receive poor service at a restaurant, they remain courteous and respectful. They may never return to that restaurant, but they realize that one unsavory display of bad attitude on their part will last much longer than the taste of an over cooked filet.
Generosity: Every genuine BrandFace I’ve ever met is a generous soul. They give back to their community. They treat their employees and teammates with great respect and give credit to them consistently for their efforts. They are the first to reach out to those in need because they have likely experienced a need themselves in the past. With great success comes great responsibility, and they take it to heart. For this reason, this trait can also become a weakness when people take advantage.
Loyalty: The world is made up of powerful leaders and the loyal followers who support them because they believe in an ideal, a dream and the leader who carries that torch. However, you can’t be a great leader without first demonstrating loyalty to those closest to you, those who help you achieve success. What you give, you get. Just as children subconsciously long for discipline, followers long for someone to teach, inspire and motivate.
Authenticity: There are many BrandFace imposters out there, but those who live genuine lives at work and at home will persevere where others fall short. When they support a cause (while they realize the importance of sharing philanthropic efforts for marketing purposes) they do it because they truly care, not for the publicity. And sometimes they forgo the publicity because it’s the right thing to do. Without this trait, a slick image or presentation is just a facade and the foundation a house of cards.
Commitment: I proclaim this as the number one trait that a BrandFace must demonstrate. Without commitment, you may achieve marginal success. But with true commitment, you will undoubtedly rise to become the authority in your industry. Time stands still for no man, but it’s the one who realizes that the time taken to share and distribute your unique knowledge is time well spent in order to elevate your industry and rise to the top.
Fearlessness: I’m speaking of a specific type of fearlessness with regard to sharing knowledge. It’s the ability to let go of the fear that a competitor will steal your knowledge and materials for their own advancement. The true BrandFace actually wants that to happen because imitation is the best form of flattery, and the original source of content is easily provable.
Confidence: I’m certain this trait is of no surprise to you. It takes great confidence to be the face of your brand. Ego is like power. It only becomes a negative if you allow it to consume you. My favorite definition of ego is ‘the enduring and conscious element that knows experience’. In my opinion, confidence comes down to exactly that—experience. The more experience you have, the more confident you are in your authority and expertise.
Care ‘less’ ness: When you ‘care less’ about the negativity and jealousy of others regarding your BrandFace status, you have achieved a goal few others will in a lifetime. Many talented and knowledgeable people have fallen prey to the negativity of others. It’s imperative that we surround ourselves with people who will give us honest feedback, but from a place of inspiration and support.
Responsibility: With BrandFace status comes great responsibility. It means you are willing to live or die by your own sword. Putting your face, image and personality out there means that everything good or bad will fall at your feet and rest on your shoulders. When you are faced with questions laced with mockery regarding your marketing efforts, remind the one questioning you that you put yourself out there because you believe in everything your company stands for, and you’re willing to take the fall should things go awry.