The Leadership Dichotomy

See Saw At Rest, Leadership Dichotomy, like a see saw in motion or at rest?

Yesterday’s LinkedIn post “Where Are You on the Leadership Continuum?” is a must read regardless if you lead people or not. Why?  Because you can be a change agent regardless of job title and how many subordinates report to you.

I’m was particularly struck by the dichotomy  related to authenticity. I believe that personal brand is always rooted in authenticity. Anything else is just not sustainable. Nor does it inspire others to follow you.

On the plus side, most leaders we want to be  seen as approachable and genuine. How could that be bad? Taken to the extreme, others could see this as a weakness. Like all of the leadership qualities — intelligence, inspirational, decisive — Joel Peterson (Chairman of JetBlue and Stanford Consulting Professor) succinctly explains the two sides and their impact on one’s ability to lead.

So, where are you on the continuum?

Leaving the Red Stapler Behind

Personal Brand & the New Small Business Entrepreneur

Most folks have seen the cult classic Office Space, and can relate to the inane and insane antics of office politics, TPS reports, and worrying about pink slips. Silicon Valley is rife with refugees of the economic downturn, shell shocked about losing a job they hated deep down.  For many brave souls, they decided it was (past) time to emerge as a new small business entrepreneur, embrace their passion, or at least rekindle old flames they left behind in their 60-hour work weeks plus commute.

Continue reading Leaving the Red Stapler Behind

Brand, An Invisible Tattoo?

Recently I had a heated discussion about brand with a friend.  Coming from a corporate environment, I learned that brand was an asset you actively protected.  One of the duties of my job at a national bank was serving as “logo police.”   Most of my colleagues thought that it was primarily focused on protecting the company’s brand, making sure the correct colors appeared in print, or on a t-shirt, or whatever.  They felt no real connection to the company brand because it was nebulous, ill-defined, and ultimately it became irrelevant.

My friend challenged that brand was exactly that… a brand… you know the reference to cowboys literally putting a brand on a cow’s rump.  It got me thinking about personal brand and how we find it or at least describe it.  Is it something we carefully craft by using surveys and focus groups to uncover sentiment?  Then we test out our ideas, figuring out what the right combination of logos and taglines? Continue reading Brand, An Invisible Tattoo?