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Kevin Goodwin

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When the brand others have made for you overwhelms the real you, how do you re-brand yourself as yourself?

Anyone who has been successful, at any level, lives for a time with a Halo Effect (a public brand) around them. Some people shake that brand off quickly, others choose to relish in it for a time, for a while, and some for a lifetime. This question is for those who have lived with that brand and internalized that brand for some period of time. If you have taken the steps to re-brand yourself, how did you do it? If you are in the process of re-branding, what are you doing now? If you haven't yet started the process, what do you think it would take?

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  • Mar 12 2012: I am not sure that re-branding can be done in it's entirety through a shift in physical environment alone. In my opinion, the first step to re-branding is to try to remove the idea that you have anything to lose by doing so. One of the most frustrating things about success is that instead of giving you confidence it can also make you feel more pressurised to continue on a certain path to more of the same kind of success even though that may not be what you desire.

    At a certain point, success of a certain kind begins to shift from wholesome and empowering to controlling and at that stage it needs to be seen as a poison. Not recognising this shift is ignoring the natural urges of re-branding simply because we become too comfortable in existing success and we allow fear to spawn self-doubt.

    Also, I want to question the importance of the term 're-branding'. Any change in perspective, activites etc of a person that come from sincere personal development in a person will show through and the way you are perceived will change. Instead of approaching it externally as a process of re-branding, I want to suggest personal growth and development be the main issues here. How do we use success constructively as a growing force rather than an eventual constricting force?
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      Mar 13 2012: I like your take on the discussion. The constricting aspects of success are rarely discussed. The whole "if it ain't broke" mentality belies that the reality that we are evolving and growing beings and what worked for a situation or an individual in one iteration or period may not suit them later. We may have diverged somewhat in the personal development discussion. When dealing with relationships and organizations, it is important to remember that we cultivate our role and changes don't simply effect us but everyone. In many situations, though the relations be varied and valued, there is a need for a gradual re-branding to assist their acceptance. Unless you are willing to detach from all relations previous, you run the risk of alienating those closest to you by undergoing significant changes without bringing them along.
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        Mar 13 2012: Becoming something different is not quite the same challenge, I think, as giving others the impression of having changed or of now being different from people's former impression. I took your question about rebranding not as a question about changing yourself but rather as being recognized by others as different from their former impressions. I believe those in the discussion who have recommended a change of scene or associations were thinking that first impressions are powerful and that coming across in a new way is easiest when you are coming across to people with out prior ideas of who you are and what you are like. But changing your context, as you say, will not change who you actually are. Changing how you actually are and behave toward others- personal development, perhaps, is not quite the same problem. As an example, I can think of two people I have known in leadership positions who were, in fact, highly controlling, and received that way by others, who wanted others to take them as collaborative and egalitarian. Rebranding themselves without actually changing did not work for them, because who they actually were could not hide. Using that example, I understood your question to ask more what if you are truly one way but you have been wearing a mask professionally because you had concluded that the culture of the organization demanded it? Now what if you want to be authentic at work and convey to people that this you is the real you?

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