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Piercing through all of the noise

A Company’s Brand Is Only As Good As It’s People

The ladies of Delta Flight DL454 from JFK to LAX are living proof

Let’s start with the definition of a brand. One of the best definitions I have read was from fellow personal branding expert, Peter Montoya. As Peter describes it, a personal brand is…

 “A personal identity that stimulates a meaningful emotional reaction in a target audience about the values or qualities for which you stand.”

Companies are inanimate. A company’s mere existence does not and cannot stimulate an emotional response in any target audience. The actions (or inactions) of its people is what brings the company’s brand to life.

The most a company can do is provide the platform for its people to shine (e.g. the products and services, website, brochures, social media campaigns, etc.).  The rest is up to its people.

My experience on Delta last month is a great example. I was traveling back from NYC to LA after two days of training. Due to my own stupidity, I misread the departure time of my flight (I thought the boarding time was 7:15pm, when that was the departure time!)

When I got to the gate the door was closed. The next flight was the next morning. I was full of anguish and I am certain the gate attendant, Nakiesheu Bonadie, could see it on my face.

I asked (no pleaded) “Is there anyway you could call down to the cabin and ask them to make an exception?”  I must admit, at first Nakiesheu was reluctant, “I am sorry the cabin door is closed.”

I wouldn’t relent, “Please? The plane is still connected to the Jet Bridge. I even threw in a little sugar “I just want to go home and see my children.”

Nakiesheu relented. She called down to the cabin and apparently the ladies who oversaw passenger boarding on the plane made the call to let me on! I was elated. I sprinted down the Jet Bridge to show my spirit of cooperation only to be met by the three smiling faces of Phroncene Veizhans, Jennifer Boereau and Rehana Hamza.

The first words out of their collective mouths was “Slow down, relax. You are good.”

I cannot tell you how grateful I was to all four ladies and how lucky Delta is to have four smart women who could have easily said, “Sorry, too late” without any consequence at all.” Instead, they had the presence of mind to exercise good independent judgement.

For the efforts of these four women, Delta is, for me, so much more than just a plane. Delta took care of me. For this I owe them my loyalty. Whenever possible I will always fly Delta.

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The 10X Networking Group (10XNG) is a select program for Rainmakers earning more than $500,000 per year.

Participants must have strong personal brand credibility AND be willing to leverage that credibility to make introductions for other members of the network.


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