Building Your Brand IRL (In Real Life)


Carla Harris' Makers keynote has been spreading around my office.  We're taking note of Carla's explanation of Performance Currency versus Relationship Currency.

We build Performance Currency by producing high-quality, timely, and valuable work.  This currency builds our reputation and may even lead to a promotion.  However, once you're known as a high performer it becomes your new normal.  That's when Performance Currency has diminishing returns.

At a certain level it is assumed that you have equal Performance Currency as your peers.  The differentiator at that point becomes your Relationship Currency.  Relationship Currency is generated by the investments you make in the people in your environment.

This is where we have to work, work, work, work, work.  (Can you tell I have a song stuck in my head?)  Here are my three strategies for contributing to your relationship bank.

  1. Connect the people within your network.  Make a karma investment by helping others build their relationships.  It always comes back around.
  2. Speak highly of the talents of others.  Colleagues are more likely to support you if they know you've got their back, too.
  3. Build relationships for no other purpose than the camaraderie of a diverse group of people.  Not everything needs to be strategic!

I'm in the middle of Jack Killion's appropriately titled book Network: All the Time, Everywhere with Everybody.  Jack advises how our networking ability is the single biggest factor in determining the quality of our careers and our lives.  Networking is the means.  The end is the rich friendships, interesting perspectives, and shared experiences that we enjoy.  Not only is networking crucial for your career, but it also makes life worthwhile.