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Personal Brand Heuristics

David Sherry
2 min read
Personal Brand Heuristics

A brand isn't a destination. It's a continuing process that evolves over time. So you've never made it, and you're always nurturing it forward. Here are some ideas to keep in mind as you keep pushing to a new space for yourself.

Own Your Edge

What's your edge? This is what your unique advantage is, be it by skill or interest. How is it different to those in your network?

How can you lean into your edge, letting it be fully seen, working yourself into places where this edge is rewarded?

Take Responsibility

Most people want to hide.

Picture this: You’re sitting in a circle with a team that’s planning a big conference. Someone comes in the door and says, “Bad news, the keynote speaker just dropped out, I have no idea what we’re going to do.”

Everyone shrinks back, not wanting to be seen.

The tension of the moment is about responsibility.

Suddenly, someone speaks up:

“Alright, everyone else stick to the plan you already have for the event, I’ve got this. I’ll book us a speaker by next week.”

Think about the gravity shift of credibility that occurs after that for that person.

When you take responsibility, you are helping remove it from someone else's shoulders, and it’s almost always the case that this person is up the chain from where you are in terms of power within an organization or community.

The only way to accrue new opportunities is to take on new responsibilities.

And almost everyone is always trying to give up responsibility and have someone else there to support and step up.

Responsibility + edge is a formula by which creates a whirlpool like gravity pull towards a person.

Everything is made up and malleable.

Those that express their edge and take responsibility create the paradigms by which other people live and work.


It’s all about playing the long game.

It takes time to develop your edge. Mostly from lack of clarity of just what that is.

But if you stop looking, you’ll never be in a position to take new responsibility, and you’ll burn out or stay stagnant. This will happen slowly but the benefits compound, so time is your friend.

This commitment means staying in the game long enough to reap the rewards, and own your abilities.


It takes a ton of courage to own your edge. You have to be self aware. You have to lean into something that you fear, because you think to yourself… “What if people don’t like me? What if people think I don’t fit in? What if they kick me out and I get rejected?”

And this might be true for your existing circle, but in a global setting there are always others who will certainly be grateful that you owned responsibility and shared your unique edge.

The world is full of leaders, full of potential.

Organizations are great vehicles for creating the structure that maximizes this potential.

A Brand is built over time.

Learning your edge.

Having the courage to share it.

Seeing new responsibility.

Having courage to take it.

Playing the long game.

And doing it over and over and over again.

xx David

Brand Building