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Piercing through all of the noise

Your Team Brand Is Only as Good as The Individual Brands on Your Team

An organization’s brand is brought to life through the personal brands of the individual team members.

A brand is all about emotion. The inanimate objects – office space, website, marketing collateral – which form the basis of the organization’s brand radiate absolutely zero emotion. It is the individual brands of the team members which bring the organization’s brand to life – or kill it.

If you’re a sports fan you have no doubt heard about the horrors that have taken place at Michigan State (MSU) over the last decade and which have led to the University’s President and Athletic Director stepping down and the state launching an aggressive internal investigation of who knew what and when. http://collegefootballnews.com/2018/01/michigan-state-you-broke-my-heart.

It wasn’t the University’s buildings, website, logo or athletic facilities that brought this shame. Rather, it was the bad acts of a few, very bad individuals. It is amazing how just a handful of bad actors, in a matter of days, can nearly ruined what millions of great Spartans had built up over the previous century.

If there is one important lesson to draw from the MSU fiasco it is this, be very careful who you allow to represent you and your organization and never assume that everyone cares about you and your brand as much as you do.

We alone are the protectors of our brands – company and personal. We must guard our reputations with the intensity of a sentinel on night watch in the battlefield.  Never let your guard down.

If you have a team you should be diligent about asking yourself, “What have I done to ensure everyone on the team is conducting themselves in a manner that reflects positively upon the team?”

A simple and impactful way to ensure everyone is operating from the same playbook is to craft a set of team Standards for Success. IBM was great at this. So effective were they that others began to say, “I want my team to be like IBM.” They didn’t really mean “like IBM the company.” What they really meant, whether they realized it or not, was they wanted their people to conduct themselves with the same level of professionalism that IBM employees did.

I can hear a few clamoring, “That doesn’t work today. We can’t create robots.” I am not suggesting that your organization create robots. Professionalism means different things to different people. But, you must decide what professionalism means for you and then how you are going to reinforce this message.

Remember, your team members are your best bet!

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