Welcome!

You will be redirected in 30 seconds or close now.

ColdFusion Authors: Yakov Fain, Jeremy Geelan, Maureen O'Gara, Nancy Y. Nee, Tad Anderson

Related Topics: CRM

CRM: Blog Post

Personal Branding Book Review by Dave Ulrich

Personal brand can be created and evolved

When you have read Hubert Rampersad’s outstanding book Authentic Personal Branding, you will probably wondering “what does this all mean?” It is nearly impossible to retain all the details of four stages of the authentic personal branding model, you will want to remember some of the messages of this book and how they can be applied to you and your personal and professional life. Of course, you may want to refer back to some of the simple and elegant models for personal and company ambition, objectives, critical success factors, and actions. Hubert has a knack for preparing comprehensive frameworks for analyzing important issues. You may also want to reflect on many of the self and organization diagnostic questions that offer you insight into your brand and your company’s brand. These mental models and their related investigative questions will help you know where you are today so you can get to where you want to be tomorrow.

We tend to like books and ideas that confirm and inform our thinking. Both of these are true for me of this book. With my colleagues Wayne Brockbank, Norm Smallwood, and Jon Younger, we have thought, debated, and written about issues related to firm, leadership, and personal brand.[i] We have tried to understand how to help leaders develop leadership within their companies, how to build talent throughout a company, and how to use HR practices to create and sustain value. Many of the themes in this book confirm our thinking. But, this work also informs our thinking and helps us move forward in what we know and do. While each reader will glean unique insights from this book, let me try to capture some of my key takeaways.

1. Personal brand exists

Whether we like it or not, we all have a personal brand. We have an identity that we are known for by those who know us both best and least. This personal identity sends signals about how we want to be treated and filters how others connect, interact, and deal with us. When our personal brand is implicit and unintentional we may be surprised by how we interact with others. When our personal brand is deliberate and disciplined, we can shape how we are treated. Our lives are much less complicated when we identify and act on our personal brand.

When I was leading a mission for our Church, I supervised over about 500 young men and women who dedicated 18 to 24 months of their lives doing community service. During this time, they lived a very monkish existence, abstaining from the normal social and party norms of their generation. They worked to recognize and teach moral principles and they abstained from things would detract them from their mission. At the end of their service, they returned back into the “real” world where they would be tempted to succumb to more worldly patterns. One young man was very worried since on leaving his mission he would be joining the military. In our final interview, he expressed concern that he would be able to continue to live the values that he had assimilated during his mission. We talked about the 4 3’s. I promised him that if he would live his values without fanfare for 3 hours, 3 days, 3 weeks, and 3 months, that he would not struggle to live his values. He tested my ideas. About 6 months later we saw him and he said that he now found it easy to live his values. After 3 months of doing what he felt was right, he had developed a reputation (or personal brand) that others knew him for. His fellow troops had learned what he values and they saw that he lived those values. They honored his expectations and in fact protected him from strangers who did not know him by saying “don’t invite Cody to this activity, it is not something he would be interested in.”

When we are intentional about our personal brand, others will respect us and help us retain our brand. If we are not clear about our personal brand, and our behaviors vary, others will not know how to treat us and we struggle for consistency in our lives.

2. Personal brand can be created and evolved

When I decided I wanted to be a teacher for a living, I recognized that public speaking was not my predisposition. As a strong introvert, I found it difficult to be in front of groups. Yet, I knew that if I was going to be a good presenter, I needed to replace fears with confidence. I wanted to develop a reputation an engaging and thoughtful teacher. So, I observed some of the best professors in the world at the University of Michigan and elsewhere. I took notes less on what they said and more on how they said it. I experimented with teaching styles and approaches. I sought detailed feedback on how my efforts worked. I reflected on what I said and how I said it. I wrote notes to myself on what worked and what did not work in presentations. Over 20 years, I am still somewhat uncomfortable being in front of groups, but I have shaped my personal identity.

In a major review of the literature on nature/nurture (are you born with a set of skills or can you develop them), the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology found that it is about 50/50. About half of who we are (our personal brand) is strongly linked to our genealogy. As we age, we find our parents looking back at us in the mirror. And, about half is what we chose to become. With this in mind, I believe we can intentionally create the brand we want to become. The four stages Hubert lays out are a wonderful step by step approach to making out desired brand explicit. Brands evolve. They can adapt by our intentional reflection and action. While we are beholden to our past, we are not bound to it.

3. Organizations have a brand that becomes its culture

When we ask participants in workshops to fill in the blank, “our organization culture is our _________. ” Most participants answer with words or phrases like: values, norms, beliefs, behaviors, expectations, or accepted ways of doing things. While we don’t disagree with these accepted definitions, we think that there is a better way to define culture. All of these observations focus on the inside, what “we” are known for and do. Elsewhere, we have argued that an organization’s culture can best be defined by starting from the outside in.

When we work with executive teams, we often start with, “given your strategy, what are the top 3 things you want to be known for by your best customers?” This question focuses on the outside customers. What is the identity (or brand) that you want to be known for by those who use your services. When the top team has a unity of identity, when they makes this identity real to customers, and when they translate this external identity into internal management practices, they have shaped a culture that creates value and endures over time.

The four stage model that Hubert suggests proposes an explicit way to turn a desired external identity into something concrete and actionable. When the external brand becomes the internal culture, real value is created. In Leadership Brand, we talk about how successful leadership exists when leaders at all levels of an organization act in accordance with customer expectations. In HR Value Proposition, we suggest that all HR practices (staffing, training, compensation, communication, work design) can and should be aligned with customer expectations.

4. Alignment of the firm brand and individual brand becomes a primary leadership agenda

Leaders lead best when they build the next generation of leadership who does the right things right. We have argued that good leadership is not just about what the individual leader knows and does, but about how leadership becomes an organization capability that is not uniquely tied to one individual leader. A firm brand exists when it is not just a single product or service, but the reputation of the firm through many products or services. When Marriott hotel puts its name on its brand (Residence Inn, Fairfield Inn, Courtyard), consumer confidence goes up. It is not one product, but the Marriott reputation that is branded.

Likewise, leadership brand exists when leaders at all levels act to turn customer expectations into employee actions. As the outside demands of customers become the internal practices of employees, all stakeholders to a firm win. Investors increase share price because of the intangible value of the firm. Customers have confidence not only in today’s product, but tomorrow’s ability to maintain a stream of products and services. Employees can act on an employee value proposition and brand that connects them to the firm.

In the popular organization press, we are told lately to build on our strengths. It is very hard to disagree with this logic. Marcus Buckingham and others have argued that discovering what we do well is a first step to lasting success. Leaders whose strengths are around creativity will be more successful in innovative organizations and work environments, for example.

But building only on your strengths is not enough if those strengths do not create value for those you lead. In college, I majored in English. I developed a knack for reading novels. I could read two or three novels a week and found this easy, energizing and enjoyable. But what I have since found is that few people care about my strength of reading novels. What they really care about is my ability to analyze a situation in ways that help them reach their goals. Reading and interpreting good writing is a sustainable strength when it informs my ability to diagnose and help others work through their problems.

According to a recent movie, “The Bucket List” the Egyptians believed that the gatekeepers of heaven ask new arrivals two questions about their lives on earth: Did you find joy? Did you bring joy to others? The first question is about building on your strengths to find joy. It is necessary, but not sufficient. It is about the self, not others. The second question shifts the focus of joy to helping others find it. Put in terms of our strengths discussion, this means that we should build on our strengths that strengthen others.

Leaders may strive to acquire strengths of authenticity, judgment, emotional intelligence, credibility and other noble attributes. But unless and until they apply these strengths in ways that create value for others, they have not been totally successful. Some in the strengths movement have missed the conclusion Seligman reached in his 2004 book, Authentic Happiness: “The meaningful life: using your signature strengths and virtues in the service of something much larger than you are.”

For leaders, this means that it is not enough to do our work well. We must also use our strengths to deliver value to others

Conclusion

These four takeaways are not dramatic, but they shape how I think about organizations where I consult, work, and learn. They help me know that my personal reputation should be tied to the desired organization reputation. This book offers an architecture to turn these ideas into action.

Dave Ulrich
Professor, University of Michigan
Partner, the RBL Group
Co-author of Leadership Brand. Boston, MA: Harvard Business Press, 2007.
Co-author of HR Value Proposition. Boston, MA: Harvard Business Press, 2005.

More Stories By Hubert Rampersad

Hubert K. Rampersad, B.S., M.Sc., Ph.D. is a Leading Expert on Personal Branding, Bestselling Author, and Keynote Speaker. He is president at TPS International Inc. and Personal Branding University in the US and author of the bestselling books “Total Performance Scorecard” , “Personal Balanced Scorecard”, “TPS-Lean Six Sigma”, and “Authentic Personal Branding: A new blueprint for building and aligning a powerful leadership brand' which have been published in many languages.

Dr. Rampersad is member of the Editorial Advisory Board of the journal Training and Management Development Methods (UK), journal Measuring Business Excellence (UK), TQM Magazine (UK), and Singapore Management Review. He is also a member of Marshall Goldsmith's prestigious Thought Leader Advisory Board (San Diego), and selected by The Marshall Goldsmith School of Management as one of the 35 distinguished thought leaders in the US in the field of leadership development. His views on happiness in life and work were published in BusinessWeek.

@ThingsExpo Stories
"Akvelon is a software development company and we also provide consultancy services to folks who are looking to scale or accelerate their engineering roadmaps," explained Jeremiah Mothersell, Marketing Manager at Akvelon, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"MobiDev is a software development company and we do complex, custom software development for everybody from entrepreneurs to large enterprises," explained Alan Winters, U.S. Head of Business Development at MobiDev, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Events announced today that CrowdReviews.com has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5–7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. CrowdReviews.com is a transparent online platform for determining which products and services are the best based on the opinion of the crowd. The crowd consists of Internet users that have experienced products and services first-hand and have an interest in letting other potential buye...
"IBM is really all in on blockchain. We take a look at sort of the history of blockchain ledger technologies. It started out with bitcoin, Ethereum, and IBM evaluated these particular blockchain technologies and found they were anonymous and permissionless and that many companies were looking for permissioned blockchain," stated René Bostic, Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Conventi...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Telecom Reseller has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Telecom Reseller reports on Unified Communications, UCaaS, BPaaS for enterprise and SMBs. They report extensively on both customer premises based solutions such as IP-PBX as well as cloud based and hosted platforms.
Large industrial manufacturing organizations are adopting the agile principles of cloud software companies. The industrial manufacturing development process has not scaled over time. Now that design CAD teams are geographically distributed, centralizing their work is key. With large multi-gigabyte projects, outdated tools have stifled industrial team agility, time-to-market milestones, and impacted P&L stakeholders.
"Space Monkey by Vivent Smart Home is a product that is a distributed cloud-based edge storage network. Vivent Smart Home, our parent company, is a smart home provider that places a lot of hard drives across homes in North America," explained JT Olds, Director of Engineering, and Brandon Crowfeather, Product Manager, at Vivint Smart Home, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Coca-Cola’s Google powered digital signage system lays the groundwork for a more valuable connection between Coke and its customers. Digital signs pair software with high-resolution displays so that a message can be changed instantly based on what the operator wants to communicate or sell. In their Day 3 Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Chambers, Global Group Director, Digital Innovation, Coca-Cola, and Vidya Nagarajan, a Senior Product Manager at Google, discussed how from store operations and ...
"Cloud Academy is an enterprise training platform for the cloud, specifically public clouds. We offer guided learning experiences on AWS, Azure, Google Cloud and all the surrounding methodologies and technologies that you need to know and your teams need to know in order to leverage the full benefits of the cloud," explained Alex Brower, VP of Marketing at Cloud Academy, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clar...
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Carl J. Levine, Senior Technical Evangelist for NS1, will objectively discuss how DNS is used to solve Digital Transformation challenges in large SaaS applications, CDNs, AdTech platforms, and other demanding use cases. Carl J. Levine is the Senior Technical Evangelist for NS1. A veteran of the Internet Infrastructure space, he has over a decade of experience with startups, networking protocols and Internet infrastructure, combined with the unique ability to it...
It is of utmost importance for the future success of WebRTC to ensure that interoperability is operational between web browsers and any WebRTC-compliant client. To be guaranteed as operational and effective, interoperability must be tested extensively by establishing WebRTC data and media connections between different web browsers running on different devices and operating systems. In his session at WebRTC Summit at @ThingsExpo, Dr. Alex Gouaillard, CEO and Founder of CoSMo Software, presented ...
"There's plenty of bandwidth out there but it's never in the right place. So what Cedexis does is uses data to work out the best pathways to get data from the origin to the person who wants to get it," explained Simon Jones, Evangelist and Head of Marketing at Cedexis, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
WebRTC is great technology to build your own communication tools. It will be even more exciting experience it with advanced devices, such as a 360 Camera, 360 microphone, and a depth sensor camera. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Masashi Ganeko, a manager at INFOCOM Corporation, introduced two experimental projects from his team and what they learned from them. "Shotoku Tamago" uses the robot audition software HARK to track speakers in 360 video of a remote party. "Virtual Teleport" uses a multip...
Gemini is Yahoo’s native and search advertising platform. To ensure the quality of a complex distributed system that spans multiple products and components and across various desktop websites and mobile app and web experiences – both Yahoo owned and operated and third-party syndication (supply), with complex interaction with more than a billion users and numerous advertisers globally (demand) – it becomes imperative to automate a set of end-to-end tests 24x7 to detect bugs and regression. In th...
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, whic...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Evatronix will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Evatronix SA offers comprehensive solutions in the design and implementation of electronic systems, in CAD / CAM deployment, and also is a designer and manufacturer of advanced 3D scanners for professional applications.
Leading companies, from the Global Fortune 500 to the smallest companies, are adopting hybrid cloud as the path to business advantage. Hybrid cloud depends on cloud services and on-premises infrastructure working in unison. Successful implementations require new levels of data mobility, enabled by an automated and seamless flow across on-premises and cloud resources. In his general session at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Tevis, an IBM Storage Software Technical Strategist and Customer Solution Architec...
To get the most out of their data, successful companies are not focusing on queries and data lakes, they are actively integrating analytics into their operations with a data-first application development approach. Real-time adjustments to improve revenues, reduce costs, or mitigate risk rely on applications that minimize latency on a variety of data sources. In his session at @BigDataExpo, Jack Norris, Senior Vice President, Data and Applications at MapR Technologies, reviewed best practices to ...
An increasing number of companies are creating products that combine data with analytical capabilities. Running interactive queries on Big Data requires complex architectures to store and query data effectively, typically involving data streams, an choosing efficient file format/database and multiple independent systems that are tied together through custom-engineered pipelines. In his session at @BigDataExpo at @ThingsExpo, Tomer Levi, a senior software engineer at Intel’s Advanced Analytics gr...
When talking IoT we often focus on the devices, the sensors, the hardware itself. The new smart appliances, the new smart or self-driving cars (which are amalgamations of many ‘things’). When we are looking at the world of IoT, we should take a step back, look at the big picture. What value are these devices providing? IoT is not about the devices, it’s about the data consumed and generated. The devices are tools, mechanisms, conduits. In his session at Internet of Things at Cloud Expo | DXWor...