Profile: PARKER GEIGER
Name Parker Geiger III
Where do you currently work? CHUVA Beyond
What is your current role? CEO and Founder
CHUVA Beyond offers image and brand development services to all levels of business professionals. Chuva means “Rain” in Portuguese. And like rain, CHUVA is about helping clients adapt new form and meaning. Parker Geiger III is the president and founder of CHUVA Beyond. Industry professionals recognize Mr. Geiger as one of the most innovative and experienced Image Training and Professional Development leaders in the country. Since 1986, he has developed and implemented training solutions and effective results for companies and individuals, including WICT.
Your company, Chuva Beyond, helps individual business people create personal brands. Can you talk about what personal branding is and why it is vital to advancing one’s career?
Your personal brand is simply your reputation. Everything you do and say produces an emotional connection with other people. Therefore, you should be in control of that to define how you want to proceed. If you don’t someone else will, especially on social media. It’s very vital that one manage how their brand is seen.
How do you start thinking of yourself as a brand?
Know who you are. That’s where it all starts. People get very overwhelmed, but it’s a development process because you will be building your brand until you retire. So, don’t try to develop it overnight, you must be fluid with how your brand changes. There are lot of different tools out there to help you get there.
Name a famous leader with a great personal brand and tell me why?
Oprah Winfrey. She has a brand that when you hear her name, it’s respected. Look at the things she has gone through as a child, very traumatic, and she just persevered and built a brand over time.
What’s the first step you need to do to create a strong personal brand strategy?
To be successful, you must manage three things: your visibility, your image and your performance. One of the first steps I suggest to my clients is for them to make a list of questions for each of those segments; then, email a questionnaire to colleagues for their constructive feedback. You could just ask them 2 questions: “what do I do well” and “where could I grow within my profession”. When building a brand, focus on your strengths. Understand there are challenges that can hold you back, but don’t make them a priority.
What are the top branding mistakes that hold people back?
The biggest mistake that people make is that they give too much weight to one thing. For example, they focus solely on performance, image or networking and they don’t create a balance.
How can your personal brand increase visibility?
There’s what I call the off-line and on-line visibility. On-line is, of course, is social media, but also LinkedIn. LinkedIn is becoming your resume, so you don’t want it to be static. Post pictures and video to bring some life to your profile so it sets you apart from other people. For off-line visibility, you could volunteer to work on projects. But make sure you don’t over promise. Get involved in the community to gain visibility. Find the organization that might be of value to you and help them, so it’s a win-win for everyone.
Talk about why image is important to career development.
You’ve got to look the part. We’ve becoming so relaxed with image that we have let fashion dictate how we dress for work. You can incorporate fashion into your image, but you don’t incorporate image into fashion. Stay updated. If your look is unkempt or dated, the perception is that your skillset and approach is outdated or sloppy. Your image should be reflective of your position, your organization and your customers because it’s the first thing people see.
What are the biggest wardrobe mistakes that you see people make?
Pay attention to the fit and styling so it looks good on you. The biggest mistake that women make is the length of their jacket and shirt sleeves. For men, it’s their hem, which can look too baggy and looks sloppy.
WICT’s theme this year is “Be Fearless”. In what ways do you find that “being fearless” has helped you or helped your clients? How would you advise emerging leaders to incorporate these lessons into their approach?
Don’t listen to other people’s opinion and follow your instincts. We get fearful when we listen to other people.
For more information about Parker Geiger and Chuva Beyond programs, go to chuvabeyond.com. Also, if you’re in Atlanta on Tuesday May 23rd, get more tips on how you can refine your image by attending the WICT SE’s Empowerment through Style seminar