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Why it is vital to work smart, not always hard

In an excerpt from ‘Brandvantage’, authors Trupti and Arvind Bhandari show how leaders can build a better brand

It’s important to build a practice of evaluating how you are working and feeling. (iStock)

It’s not often that managers look at their well-being, in all respects, as they are submerged into building themselves and their brand. To stay ahead in the brand, however, it’s important that you need to be professionally and personally in control of your life. A few watch-outs are important.

It’s important to build a practice of evaluating how you are working and feeling. Once a day, sometimes, take a break (happens naturally to smokers, but not others). This allows the muddle of mounting pressure to settle down, allowing your thinking and composure to show up, naturally. Give yourself the space to combat difficulties or become creative so the situation neither bogs you nor prevents you from thinking differently.

Focus on what matters, let go of what doesn’t. Develop the distance to evaluate the impact of your activities on brand building with objectivity and then proceed to stop doing what is wasteful and accelerate what matters. It’s important to not do what one likes, but what matters. Often managers can end up chasing a futile cause because they feel a sense of heroism in taking on a daunting task when the returns are rather poor. Energy and time are scarce resources that managers need to deploy judiciously. Recognizing when to quit is as critical as staying doggedly on the task.

Build your support system to counsel you when in doubt or when you are down. Office seniors, mentorship with cross-functional colleagues, or friends with no political agenda can be useful conduits for letting out steam and drawing invigorating ideas.

By Trupti and Arvind Bhandari
By Trupti and Arvind Bhandari (Courtesy Penguin)

Finally, keep an eye on personal gain from professional ways. Ask if a certain brand success will help grow your career. Have the conversation with seniors and establish the boundaries of awards and recognition when you start to contribute positively to the company. This is not to advocate a constant self-serving agenda behind professional moves but an enduring awareness of the spin-off of work on your personal life. You don’t want to be left behind as others are walking away with credit for a less spectacular performance than you. Personal growth is important for developing your confidence and motivation to contribute to brand management.

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