From The Conversation
A few years ago, I overheard two of my MBA students talking after class about their “personal brands.”
At the time, I was amused. But then I kept hearing more about this notion of “my brand.” I noticed it was the subject of articles in Forbes and Harvard Business Review. Suddenly, I saw book upon book devoted to the topic. The conversation centered around bolstering your personal brand by tweeting the right things, highlighting certain attributes in your LinkedIn profile and ingratiating yourself with other powerful personal brands.
Frankly, I bristle at the phrase “personal brand.” We are not products, we are people. The way we present ourselves should be authentic, not part of a sales pitch or advertising campaign. But then I got to thinking: is there a way to apply branding’s best practices to develop greater leadership?
By that, I don’t mean some fabricated Kardashian-type “personal brand” but rather a better understanding of how the decisions we make as leaders are affected by labels and their associations. And how that understanding can in turn make leaders more mindful of diversity – to build inclusive environments and maximize performance.
Renée Richardson Gosline is theZenon Zannetos 1955 Career Development Assistant Professor of Marketing in the Management Science group at the MIT Sloan School of Management.