In his book, “The One Thing You Need to Know… About Great Managing, Great Leading and Sustained Individual Success”, Marcus Buckingham identifies five needs shared by all of humanity; the need for security, community, clarity, authority, and respect. He goes on to suggest that these five needs should command our greatest attention in our quest to become a great leader. As you resolve to elevate your personal brand in 2017, become the Master of Brand You.

Successful personal branding is about identifying the qualities that differentiate you and projecting your authentic self–your goals, vision, purpose and values. By understanding that personal branding goes beyond marketing yourself, the easier it will be to incorporate the process into your professional development plan. It’s about recognizing how you use your personal brand to increase your visibility, facilitate trust and develop credibility.

Of the five human needs that are required to be a great leader, four of these needs are addressed in the personal branding process.

  1. The Need for Community. Identifying your target audience enables you to communicate your message to those who need to know about you so you aren’t perceived as an outsider. Having a strong personal brand helps you to build your community by connecting with those that have a common interest. Another person’s intuition about your shared common interests and values are validated non-verbally. For example, what if the community you wish to build values success. It’s quite possible that others are going to look to associate themselves with successful looking people. Does your appearance and behavior communicate established success?
  2. The Need for Clarity. Developing clarity for who you are and what you want will transform angst for the unknown into confidence for the future. The clearer you are in communicating in the virtual world, in the real world and through everything that represents you, the clearer you will see where you are, and the easier it will be to see (and for others to see) where you’re headed. Without being rigid, a high degree of consistency gives others the opportunity to reinforce your brand in their hearts and minds. Is there clarity and consistency in what you communicate about yourself?
  3. The Need for Authority. Depending on your personality, you may prefer to work for someone who is in charge, but when it comes to your career, you are the authority figure. Being organized will help you to keep chaos at bay and put you in control. Classifying things is a basic human need. Take the time to organize your thoughts regarding your values, passions, vision, purpose and goals. Know your strengths, and identify what you’ll need to know as you give thought to where you would like to be three, five and ten years down the road. Plan ahead. Does your image communicate to others that you are in control of your life?
  4. The Need for Respect. Society places value on individuals who are distinct and have a positive self-image over a negative one. To facilitate trust and develop credibility, you need to be aware of what other people think of you. Your brand is held in the hearts and minds of those who know and experience you. Wouldn’t you want to know if there was something about you that could potentially interfere with you reaching a goal? Making the effort to improve upon a negative impression will be seen as a positive move which will help you in earning the respect of others.

Whether you aspire to become the next great business leader or not, you will want to become the leader and CEO of Me, Inc. to sustain your individual success. Addressing these needs while discovering and utilizing your personal brand requires some effort. The process itself will help you to develop clarity, which becomes the foundation for the strategy that will move you forward.

In today’s world of work, fearing or resisting change will only serve to keep you on the side lines. Make the commitment in 2017 to develop your personal brand and take control of your career.