by Karin Hurt and David Dye |
New year, new you? Not necessarily. You've already built up great momentum. Time to leverage your accomplishments and take your game to the next level. The new year is a great time to refresh your brand and ensure you're being recognized for all the strengths and contributions that you are bringing to the table. 

If your brand could use a power boost, take a step back and give your brand a Winning Well refresh using these seven approaches.

1.  Rock Your Role
If you're not knocking your current job out of the park, start there -- even if you're looking for something else. There's nothing better you can do to enhance your brand than having a long track record of success. 

2.  Mind the MIT (Most Important Thing)
Pick something extraordinary to accomplish and prioritize getting it right. If there are 27 metrics on your balanced scorecard, trust us, they are not all created equal. Pick one or two that matter most and be known as the guy or gal who cracked the code. 

3. People Before Projects
Of course projects are important (see above) but results without relationships leave people burned out, frustrated, and unlikely to give you their best effort. Take the time to establish genuine connections with the people you work with. Yes, you have time, because it will save you time later, not to mention building a reputation that will attract "A players" to want to work with you the next time, which of course, makes everything easier.

4. Prioritize Peers
Most managers understand the importance of supporting their team and making their boss look good. But to build a brand that lasts -- have your peers backs and go out of your way to make their lives easier. Your boss may want you at the top of the stack rank, but your boss' boss wants a team of people working together to accomplish the bigger picture. A high tide rises all boats. Do what you can to be helpful.

5. Expand Your Expertise 
If you want to build your brand, get very, very good at something important. When everyone tells you, "You're the best," that's a great sign, but keep learning and work harder. AND work on broadening your knowledge. It pays to be a "utility player" with deep knowledge in at least one arena.

6. Channel Challengers
One of the best ways to improve your brand is to know what people are saying behind your back. Ask for feedback. Say thank you. Work to improve. If you want to be the best possible version of you, surround yourself with people you respect who will tell you the truth.

7. Own the Ugly
Here's a secret: When you screw up, your team already knows. If you want to foster respect and build a trusted Winning Well brand, admit your mistakes and make it right (see our article on other career mistakes in Fast Company)

There are no shortcuts to a strong personal brand. It's showing up consistently day after day oriented in confident humility with a laser focus on results AND relationships.

Karin Hurt and David Dye are keynote speakers and the award-winning authors of Winning Well: A Manager's Guide to Getting Results Without Losing Your Soul. Karin is a top leadership consultant and CEO of Let's Grow Leaders. A former Verizon Wireless executive, she was named to Inc. Magazine's list of great leadership speakers. David Dye is a former executive, elected official, and president of Trailblaze, Inc., a leadership training and consulting firm.