Certain personality traits are prerequisites for climbing the ‘proverbial’ corporate ladder. Those in the C-suite or senior management don’t have exclusivity on these traits. These personality traits are crucial to building your brand in whatever industry you choose.


This may seem like a no brainer, but exhibiting loyalty to the corporation for which you work is important. I don’t mean that you have to stay there for your entire career! You’ll build your brand if you remain loyal to your employer while there, and afterwards. I’ve reviewed articles recently denouncing loyalty – the tone of the article indicated they wanted their loyalty rewarded financially. Loyalty truly affects your future earnings, keep that the focus rather than a few bonus dollars now.

Those that spend the majority of time networking with competitors at tradeshows while badmouthing their current employer are unwittingly destroying their brand. Networks abound….rarely is badmouthing kept quiet. The best way to exhibit loyalty is to keep your passive job-seeking confidential and buy into the prevailing corporate culture. A prospective employer will also make note of how you respect your employer’s time when scheduling an interview.

Also, champion your company as you would your spouse or partner, accept your company’s faults and make an earnest effort to aid in solutions. Your participation isn’t overlooked when others are complaining at the water cooler/coffee station.

Absolute Honesty

Dishonesty is a career killer. Not just the obvious hand in the cash register type, but the whole concept of your word and your integrity is everything. Scrutiny increases as you rise the corporate ranks,. There is nothing more toxic to your personal brand than when the smallest acts of dishonesty rear their ugly heads. Being perceived as dishonest is brand-killing.

Little white lies are everywhere. Saying “I do not know anything” rather than “I am not at liberty to discuss it” is one example. Even pilfering stationery will erode the foundations of a personal brand before it is even established. Don’t be caught stealing your companies time either! If you are the hardest working minion in your division, I guarantee that the one time you take a breather to play solitaire, your boss will come trolling through your department.

Success Magazine: https://www.success.com/how-to-stay-true-to-your-personal-brand/


Another pillar of your brand will be to take responsibility for your actions and the actions of your subordinates. If you accept responsibility when things go wrong you are much more likely to be seen responsible for the times when things go well. I have seen managers and executives go to ridiculous extremes to distance themselves from some error or lapse of judgment when the best course of action would have been to simply say “my fault, won’t happen again”.

A large portion of accountability is to be accountable for your job, do not over promise and under deliver. Become known as the person who always delivers on time and under budget. You will, no doubt, be given greater responsibility when your brand includes this level of accountability. These larger projects will enhance your brand further.


“Discretion is the better part of valour.” Falstaff meant this as a supporting argument for his general cowardice, but Shakespeare hit it out of the park with this statement. When in doubt, keep your trap shut. It is human nature to gossip, to share personal and private information in some attempt to make ourselves appear connected or bigger. If you are seen as being indiscreet, you will never rise in the corporate world.

“Gossip is passing on information when you are neither part of the problem nor part of the solution.” Rick Warren

The best way to avoid being labelled as indiscreet is to err on the side of caution and never speak about someone else’s personal affairs. Also, keep your own personal affairs to yourself, and give the gossipers little to comment on. This is difficult in today’s social media environment. Never talk negatively about your boss no matter how much of a demon they may be. Your boss is the contributing editor of your brand whether you like it or not. As the saying goes “loose lips sink ships” or, in this case, “loose lips sink careers”.

Building a strong personal brand is like climbing a mountain, every single piton is important. If you can take every opportunity to demonstrate these traits you will build the foundation of your brand and be on your way to the upper echelons of Canadian executives.

Check out blog article Bad Choice Can Lead to Good Ones.

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