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3 measures of a strong personal brand

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in Leaders & Managers

You already have a personal brand. But how strong is it? Are you using it to make a difference for others?

To determine its strength, measure three things:

  1. How distinctive is it?
  2. How relevant is it to what others consider important?
  3. How consistent is it?

Here’s an excellent example of a powerful personal brand:

Doctors diagnosed Canadian Terry Fox with bone cancer at age 18. His right leg was amputated above the knee. While recuperating in the hospital, he witnessed so much suffering that he decided to do something about it.

He vowed to raise money for cancer research by running across Canada. His goal: $24 million—$1 for every man, woman and child in the country.

He started on the Atlantic coast. Over the next 143 days, he ran more than 25 miles per day, until his journey was cut short: His cancer had returned. Fox died less than a year later, one month before his 23rd birthday.

He not only achieved his fundraising goal, though, he surpassed it, raising $28 million.

Today, Terry Fox Runs are held in more than 30 countries, from Albania to Zimbabwe. The legacy he left has raised more than $500 million for cancer research.

Terry Fox is Canada’s greatest hero.

Check his personal brand against the three-point criteria above: Is he distinctive? Yes. Has he made his distinctive qualities relevant to others? Yes. Is he consistent? Yes.

Has he made a difference? Yes.

— Adapted from Be Your Own Brand, David McNally and Karl D. Speak.

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