Life is one big series of interviews- are you ready for your next interview?

by | Sep 21, 2023 | All, Women in Leadership | 0 comments

By Dr Patricia Murugami [Global Growth Catalyst and Leadership Educator]

Late last year I had the humbling and exciting opportunity to co-teach a class with Fred Swaniker of The Room and ALA on the generous invitation of my friend and mentor, Joyce-Ann Wainaina at Yale Jackson School of Global Affairs.

It was so exciting seeing an aspect of my vision board coming alive. I was thrilled to learn and share my experiences in this top learning environment.

But more importantly, it was the fact that getting to teach at Yale all happened because of a combination of what I call a series of interviews that didn’t come looking like interviews. These included formal and informal conversations about how Africa can rise, our mutual passion & purposeful mission to elevate leadership & investment in Africa as well as the results of each of our professional and personal work. It was also due to the generosity of the strategic networks that we have each built and continue to nurture.

Contributing to the learning of a global class of brilliant minds in an Ivy League school at a time when leadership lessons & investments from Africa are beginning to shed light to other parts of the world and helping them shape their personal brands & impact was deeply meaningful.

Ultimately, as I reflected on that insightful class and the questions the learners asked us, I realised that opportunities will come our way because of how prepared we are, how we ask for them, how we serve others & how we intentionally help others grow as a result.

Personal branding is a topic and theme that never goes out of fashion because it is deeply connected to the impact of what you do for your chosen stakeholders. It is said that a brand is a promise kept.

And that’s the crux of the matter.

  1. What do you do and how intentional are you?
  2. Who are your chosen stakeholders?
  3. Which problem are you aiming to solve for them?
  4. What is the promise you are making to help them grow as you grow?

If I were to ask you to name strong personal brands you know, who would come first to your mind? Would your own name come up in your list?

This is because in the digital and current era, we think of personal brands as big brands who are verified on IG or have a big following.

That is not entirely true.

We each have a personal brand, whether we know it or not. Whether we manage it or not. The question is who has been managing your brand in the past?

So how can you grow your personal brand this year ( Be proactive)?

  • Audit your current personal brand – you can engage a leadership coach to help you get a 360 degrees viewpoint. I encourage you to be open to receive all types of feedback- positive and constructive – and shed light on your blindspots. Be humble.
  • Clarify your vision of who you want to become and who you want to serve. Be courageous.
  • Invest in developing your renewed personal brand through leadership programs, new growth experiences, coaching, mentorship, strategic networks and leadership sponsorship ( all available from us at Breakthrough Leadership Transformation – BLT Group and Rise School with Dr Patricia Murugami). Be a perpetual learner.
  • Ritualise one thing you learnt from your learning investment above and commit to act on something that builds your character brand daily. Be consistent.
  • Help others succeed. Rise as you lift many. Be generous
  • Celebrate others achievements. Don’t give in to envy.
  • Develop a personal board of directors through a wide network like our Africa Risers Network – Be wisely vulnerable & accountable.

Whatever work you are doing, no matter how minor or insignificant you feel, do it with excellence, strengthen your character brand and remember that someone ( or more than one person) is watching and consciously or subconsciously interviewing you for a current or future opportunity.

After all Jeff Bezos said: “Your Brand is what other people say about you when you are not in the room.”

And I say and suggest to you:

“In 2023, own & grow your personal brand inside -out by asking: Who am I stripped of all my titles and achievements? Then work diligently on that person. “

This will form your enduring personal brand.

The points of view expressed by the authors of videos, academic or non-academic articles, blogs, academic books or essays (“the material”) are those of their author(s); they in no way bind the members of the Global Wo.Men Hub, who, amongst themselves, do not necessarily think the same thing. By sponsoring the publication of this material, Global Wo.Men Hub considers that it contributes to useful societal debates. Material could therefore be published in response to others.

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