S2 EP23 Building a Personal Brand Inside of a Business with George B. Thomas

December 03, 2019

What is a Personal Brand?

It's always helpful to start at the beginning. Dan and George break down what a personal brand is and what it means to businesses and employees both.

According to Wikipedia, personal branding is the practice of marketing people and their careers as brands. It is an ongoing process of developing and maintaining a reputation and impression of an individual, group, or organization.

Dan and George talk about how a personal brand is the packaged reputation you put forth through your actions. 

"Personal branding is packaging up who you want to be in the world." - George B. Thomas

It's a managed reputation. It's what people say about you when you're not in the room. 

George also says that personal branding has zero to do with what you do or where you do it. For instance, it's not necessarily your job and the company you work for. Those things matter, but it matters more who you are.

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Why Personal Branding Matters for Businesses

In this digital age, relationships matter more than ever. People do business with people they get to know, like and trust. Now more than ever, they have the opportunity to find their tribe wherever they want and trust whom they want to trust. "Birds of a feather flock together," George says. If a business promotes personal brands within the company, it's more likely to find its tribe. 

A rising tide lifts all vessels. As the personal brands within a business gain momentum, that business reaps the rewards through better relationships. 

Conversely, as the business builds and grows, personal brands improve. 

Personal branding within businesses matter because people matter. 

Are Personal Brands Risky for Businesses?

Sure, a powerful personal brand could put your business at risk for losing great employees. The more attention a person gets, the more people know them and the more offers they may receive. 

But here's the question to ask yourself: Would you rather help your employees improve at the risk of losing them? Or would you rather keep your people mediocre so they stay?

The reward outweighs the risk. Create a culture where your people don't want to leave, and let them build the personal brand to help your brand grow. 

Let the stallions run free. With fencing.

George talks about letting your people grow and get creative, and more than just loosening the reins. Let them run free and when they hit that fence, let them know. 

For those of you building your personal brand, know that when you hit that fence and you're kept in check, it's not personal. Just find new ways to keep building your brand. 

Your Personal Brand Compass

Speaking of building your personal brand, George offers up the idea of a Personal Brand Compass.

Happy, Humble, Helpful, Human. That is George's compass. 

Everyday he strives to live in happiness and humility. He works hard to be helpful. And he tries to be more human (compassionate and empathetic and real). 

They act like core values against which George measures each day. When you start your day with your compass, you set the stage. Then as you end your day and see if your choices and actions align with your compass, you can rest knowing you tried and you can get better every day.

Get to Know George B. Thomas

Listen to the 15-Minute Strategy Podcast George referenced on personal branding:

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