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3 Aug, 2012

Low Self-Confidence Hurting Managers – Australian Personal Branding Survey Shows


(PRWEB) August 02, 2012 — As Australian business people face increased work pressures because of the softening economy, a survey has found many managers and leaders lack confidence in their personal brand.

The survey by the Australian Institute of Management VT and Image Group International found that 38 percent of Australian business people rated their personal brand as average or worse than average. Just five percent of survey participants said their personal brand was excellent.

According to the survey, the skills that build an individual’s personal brand are:

  •      Negotiation skills
  •     Networking
  •     Leadership development
  •     Presentation
  •     Creative thinking and problem solving
  •     General communication
  •     Self leadership
  •     Assertiveness techniques
  •     Business etiquette
  •     Dress and grooming
  •     Time management
  •     Sales and customer service.

Ninety three percent of those surveyed said personal branding skills were necessary to be an effective manager. Further, 90% of participants said improving their personal branding skills would be important for their career advancement.

Of the 1,023 business people involved in the ‘Personal Branding’ survey, those most likely to have a negative view about their personal brand were aspiring managers or team members. Fifty eight percent of this group of survey participants described their personal brand as average or below average.

CEOs did not fare well in the survey findings. Almost one third (32%) of survey participants rated their CEO’s personal branding skills as average or worse than average.

Team members or aspiring managers were the ones most likely to be critical of their CEO with 38 percent of them labeling their boss’ personal branding skills as average or below.

The CEO of Image Group International, Jon-Michail said: “Organisations frequently trumpet that employees are their greatest asset. But the truth is some bosses don’t invest enough in their people to make that boast a reality. How can you have a vibrant workplace culture and be a ‘can do’ organisation when more than one third of your managers and more than half of your team members say their personal brand is average or below?”

“You are the CEO of Me Unlimited and from the employee’s perspective, in the current economic environment, it’s essential that your personal branding skills are highly regarded. I recommend that you do a self assessment and evaluate your skills against your colleagues in areas such as leadership, assertiveness and communication. Then make it a personal goal to fill in any capability gaps that you discover,” he said.

“It’s a real concern that so many business people don’t rate their personal brand more highly. Employers can’t maximise profits and performance if managers and team members don’t have confidence in who they are at work and what they can bring to the job,” said Ms Susan Heron, CEO of the Australian Institute of Management VT.

“The survey findings are also a warning to CEOs to make sure they don’t have an overly inflated view of their personal brand,” Ms Heron said.

‘Negotiation skills’ was rated by survey participants as the personal branding skill they needed most to boost their careers (selected by 60% of participants). Second on the ‘must have’ list was networking skills (59%) ahead of leadership development (53%), presentation (53%), creative thinking and problem solving (52%) and communication (49%).

Other key survey findings:

  •  Women are much more likely than men to have a negative view of their personal brand. 45% of women rated their personal brand as average or below compared to just 35 percent of men. 93% of participants said their personal branding skills were either important or very important in shaping how they were viewed by work colleagues.
  • Only 44% of organisations provide training and development to enhance the skills that build a manager’s personal brand.
  • Although 90% of participants said improving their personal brand would be important for their career advancement, 37% said they currently spend ‘little time or very little time’ developing their personal brand.

The Australian Institute of Management is the nation’s major provider of management development, executive insights and research services. AIM is a non-profit organisation with 25,000 Professional Members and 5,000 Corporate Partners across Australia. Image Group International (IGI) is an Australian  personal brand image advisory and coaching organisation that supports individuals and organisations to grow and monetise their personal and corporate brand.