The Power of a Personal Brand
If you’ve read this blog more than once, you’ve come across the term “servant leadership.” I’ve written about the “Nine Qualities of the Servant Leader,” and last year we covered those principles in detail through some great panel discussions on the “Aim Higher” podcast. It’s one of the most important concepts in my own personal leadership journey, and it’s something you simply can’t do without if you want to be a truly transformational leader.
It may come as a surprise to some people—though not to my guest on this week’s “Aim Higher” episode—that the term can also apply to personal branding.
Build A Reputation
Along with his wife, AJ Vaden, Rory is co-founder of Brand Builders Group. They are leaders in the study of reputation management. Rory and his team work with entertainers, business leaders, influencers and entrepreneurs to find their true voices, and become the kind of people that, as he says, “everyone wants to do business with.” He’s written a great book, Take the Stairs: 7 Steps to Achieving True Success, that talks about how you have to do all the little things right, all the time, to be successful. And I interviewed him previously about his book, Procrastinate on Purpose: 5 Permissions to Multiply Your Time. Rory has so much to teach anyone looking to be more successful, but today I want to quickly link the idea of personal branding and servant leadership.
A lot of people hear the term “personal branding” and kind of wrinkle their noses—like it’s corporate jargon for “professional bragging” or “planned vanity.” In one quick moment on today’s podcast, though, Rory takes the air right out of that argument. He makes the point that people only fear being vain when they’re thinking about themselves. And so, when personal branding—which he defines as “the digitization of reputation”—is only about personal gratification, you’re right to fear it. But when your focus is on others and the audience you serve? Then personal branding is never inauthentic or offensive.
Personal Branding and Servant Leadership
“If you had the cure to a disease,” Rory asked me, “and someone you knew was dying, would you hesitate to tell them about it? Would that count as being intrusive or prideful?” The answer? Of course not. That’s not vanity. That’s service. And if your personal brand is about how you can serve others—answer their needs, connect them to their goals, help them achieve their dreams—then it’s simply another part of being a good servant leader. It’s the reputation you cultivate to help you connect in ways that can make a difference.
He’s a good friend, a great writer, and an inspirational speaker. I hope you’ll take 30 minutes and hear what he has to say on this important—and often misunderstood—subject.
Rory Vaden: Build a powerful personal brand
On a recent trip to Nashville, I got a chance to sit down for a great talk with my friend Rory Vaden. He invited me into his home for our discussion, which is a great metaphor for something he and I both believe and teach—that people inherently want to do business with people, not companies. We want real, personal relationships not just business contacts. He’s a living example of that ideal, and it was great to catch up with him and get his thoughts on personal branding, which he summarizes as “the digitization of reputation.” Along with his wife, AJ Vaden, Rory is co-founder of Brand Builders Group, a leader in the study of reputation management. Rory’s team works with entertainers, influencers and entrepreneurs to find their true voices, and become the kind of people that, as he says, “everyone wants to do business with.” If you’re looking to improve your personal brand, you couldn’t spend a better 30 minutes than listening in.