When I was a kid, one of the favorite games to play in the neighborhood was called “IT”. The premise of the game was a simple one. One person was “IT” and had to cover his eyes and count to twenty. During this time, the rest of the players would hide. After the “IT” person reached twenty, he would announce, “Ready or not, here I come!” The “IT” person would run around the area looking for kids who were hiding, and after finding one would tag the player and state, “You’re IT”.
Such a simple game would go on for hours in our neighborhood. Even though the object was to avoid being caught, everyone eventually wanted a turn being “IT”. I was reminded of this game during a talk I attended last week and I thought about how this game represents how many of us manage our personal brands. We all want a turn at being “IT” – to be found others and hearing the announcement that you have been selected. However, many of us hide from opportunities – sometimes unintentionally – and hurt our opportunity at being found by others. Even though the purpose of the children’s game is to stay hidden, our personal brands should never stay hidden. One should work to ensure one’s personal brand is known and understood by others.
As the year draws to a close, this is an opportune time to recommit to being found by others. Commit to meeting a contact for lunch once a month. Commit to participating in a local networking event in your community. Commit to offering insights and beginning discussions on a professional blog. Let 2014 be the year you step out from your hiding place and take your turn being found. Then you can tell everyone, “I’m IT!”