Personal branding: why the executive team needs to lead by example

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The CEO and executive team is expected to set the tone that the rest of the company follows.

But is that the case when it comes to personal and executive branding?

People typically understand the importance of a company brand and the need to proactively manage their external reputation but does this understanding stretch within the organisation to personal brands? If not, it should do because with an estimated 40 per cent of the global population using social media, you can pretty much guarantee that at least a couple of those 3 billion users are working in your company right now.

What do I mean by personal and executive brands?

Personal brand

A personal brand refers to a combination of offline and online elements that include your career path, your interests and your reputation. Over time these elements come together to build your image – an image that is not static but changes according to your activities, passions, and behaviour.

Executive brand

An executive or professional brand is a combination of your personal brand and your work. As a leader, it’s important to define your leadership style and embody a keen awareness of what you are doing, why and the impact that work has. The more your team shows up individually online as a representative of your company, the broader your reach and future opportunities for growth.

Your employees are the single most powerful stakeholder group you have and if the company is not supporting them to craft and build strong personal brands, then the C-suite is missing a valuable opportunity.

Every person in the company was hired because of their expertise, experience and authenticity. From an internal perspective, there is no better way to affirm just how important your employees are to you than to position them as thought leaders and increase their confidence by showing them how to best showcase their personality and expertise. Your employees feel valued and the world gets to see what an amazing company they work for.

Personal and Professional branding has the potential to reshape the leadership landscape. It has the power to bring hidden talent to the forefront, to get your business noticed by new audiences and although the company brand is an essential part of business strategy, imagine the impact a company full of personal branding experts all aligned with the company’s values could have. It’s a win-win situation.

About the author

Sallee Poinsette-Nash is passionate about her work as a brand builder – where she gets to combine experience, creativity, intuition & design thinking to craft authentic personal, professional and company brands for clients around the world. Sallee is 6’2, a writer, speaker and a co-host on Awake Ones TV. Having spent over 20 years navigating the world of high-level business and brand building – holding interim CEO and COO positions, heading up international projects as well as delivering brand strategy and advisory board roles to a high-profile client list – Sallee enjoys sharing what she knows at interactive workshop days, webinars, events and retreats.

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