An ominous title? Yes.
But in the world of politics, issue advocacy and public relations, it’s also the truth.
Don’t get me wrong – we all possess unique “brands”. It is who we are, what we have done and what we can do that demonstrates our professional persona – and corresponding value. Our “brand” must always be kept in a positive light; one that projects the very image that we seek.
However, when we effectively suit up and put on our uniforms to enter our chosen field of battle, it is often easy to place our preferences, our beliefs and our ideals on a pedestal that inadvertently eclipses that of the principal, the client or even the team. After all, we are human.
But it is not about the individual’s self-interest.
It is about the interests of the team, the candidate, the cause or the client.
The interests of the principal/client and the credibility of the team must become our top priorities, our core mission. We are often reminded of the political operative’s credo “do no harm” – knowing that if you are becoming the focal point at the expense of the team, candidate, cause or client, it requires an immediate course correction that will likely come at your expense.
We will never fully and personally agree with every issue, tactic or message being derived or offered. There will be times that we will be asked to publicly defend a component of the team’s message that we may have a slight personal disagreement with. But by putting on that uniform, we agree to serve the best interests of the team, the candidate, the cause or the client.
The ultimate success of our core mission – and corresponding public success of our candidate or client – is what ultimately builds and fortifies our individual brands, adding the very value that only blazes future pathways to continued success for each and every one of us.