Personal branding isn’t new. It is a concept that’s been around in the business realm for a couple of decades, but before it was even articulated – its coinage credited in a Fast Company article by Tom Peters in 1997 – it was happening both in corner offices and around town.
Back in the late nineties, there was a mass realization among business leaders that everything around us was branded, from the clothes we wore and the pens we used, to the coffee we drank and the technology we adopted. By attaching ourselves to those brands, we were also saying something about us as individuals and as business leaders.
The savviest leaders quickly understood that they had their own marketable brands, distinct from those of the companies they worked for. Their personal brand was mobile, and it could be carried from the office to out on the town, and from one organization to another. Business leaders began to nurture their brands, shape them and attract brand followers. They sought out brand coaches to help strengthen them and they won new opportunities because of their clearly recognizable and increasingly desirable personal brands.
Fast forward 20 years and we find ourselves in a new era of global business. Our society has transitioned from analogue to digital and the accelerated growth of technology has created a business climate of lightning-fast speed and constant change. There is a premium on top talent and fierce competition for executive-level jobs worldwide. Practically everyone has their own digital presence and today’s business leaders must differentiate themselves from the competition to be successful. To do that, it’s critical they understand their personal brand and how its narrative thread is carried out through all that they do