The Newest New Normal…
As we start to emerge from the pandemic, I’m hearing the phrase “the new normal” a lot and I don’t like it. What does that even mean? The “new normal…?” To me, it means a nice blouse, jewelry, and makeup (for the webcam frame), and pajama bottoms and foofy slippers off-camera. Now that feels normal!
But still, we have to consider that some of us may be putting on real pants and heading back to our pre-pandemic workplaces. What will that be like? Will it resemble the “old normal?” (Probably not.) But the fact is that no matter where we end up, all of us will be a part of creating the new “new normal” through our behavior. As leaders, what we do and say will establish the new norms.
Now ask yourselves: What do we want those norms to be? Our actions and behaviors are both conscious and unconscious, and as leaders, the culture will be created or cemented by what we model, reward or correct. Thus, we need to act and speak with purpose and intent.
As you start to define the culture you want to create, you must consider your professional brand. Periods of transition, while stressful, are loaded with opportunities, including an opportunity for you to take your leadership to the next level.
What do you want your leadership brand to be moving forward?
Once defined, how do you make it real?
And finally, why should you be thinking about this now? (Hint: Your brand will define itself with or without your help, so you might want to take a purposeful approach here.)
Reflect on these three questions over the next weeks and months, and remember: Just as the new norms will establish themselves purposefully or accidentally, your brand can evolve purposefully or accidentally.
You can choose.
By the way, there’s a whole chapter on the what, how and why of branding in my book. For a very small investment of time and money, you can create your own “new normal” and be exactly who you want to be in the future.