The Encouragement Of Personal Branding

Gold, brandOne trend in organizations today that I am not sure existed even ten years ago is the freedom employees have to promote their personal identity on company time. Companies today seem to allow and actually encourage employees to brand themselves separate from the organization.  Whether it is with a personal blog or through authoring a book, employees can have a larger personal following and name recognition than the top leadership of the organization and at times even greater than the organization.  This is true in the corporate world and the church world.

There are obvious fears or concerns for organizations with this trend.  The more a team member becomes known the more likely it is that he or she will be recruited by another organization.  Also, a concern would be that the increased popularity of the individual could distract from his or her responsibilities to the organization.  Furthermore, though probably not admitted by most senior leaders, there could be a jealousy factor if a subordinate becomes better known and gets more recognition than the leader.

Personally I welcome this change in organizations.  When we started Grace Community Church our worship leader Daniel Doss already had some national recognition and we encouraged his continued growth and success independent of the church.  This sometimes meant we had to adjust schedules to accommodate his outside interests, but I always felt it was for the overall good of the church. Today I am excited about the potential several of our staff members have in creating their own personal brand through their blog and influence and I want to encourage their efforts to market their ministry on a broader scale, even independent of the church.

While I recognize the concerns and know I ultimately have the responsibility to see that the ministry of Grace Community Church is realized, I see several advantages for organizations in allowing personal branding:

It allows great leaders to stay with the organization longer.  If a leader has potential, he or she will naturally look for more opportunities to express his or her leadership skills.  Personal branding allows an avenue for personal growth, while the employee remains with the organization.

It creates a win/win for the organization. As a team member grows personally and he or she receives recognition independent of the organization, the team member’s personal growth means he or she has more to offer the organization and brings more attention, insight, and expertise to the organization.

Allowing personal branding creates a healthier and more rewarding environment within the organization that allows it to occur, which can help the organization attract and retain better leaders to the organization.

Do you see this trend? Can you think of examples of organization where this is happening?  Do you agree or disagree with an organization encouraging personal branding?

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Ron Edmondson

Author Ron Edmondson

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Join the discussion 7 Comments

  • […] not saying that’s wrong. It is certainly one option. I even encourage personal branding in THIS POST. And it often […]

  • […] Personal branding – I have always kept my resume up-to-date and encouraged others I work with to do the same, but today requires far more than a resume. Today it is easy and therefore important to develop your own identity…your own brand. (I wrote a post about personal branding HERE.) […]

  • Very interesting Ron. I would not have ever connected the dots between personal branding and a Church. But after reading the article it is exactly the same as the corporate world. Thanks for the retweet as I missed this post the first time around.


  • Great insights, Ron.

    When I started my personal branding business almost a decade ago, companies were threatened by the thought of their employees building their brands. Now, the largest part of my business is focused on talent development inside companies. Companies realize that when their employees recognize what makes them exceptional and use that to support the corporate objective, everyone wins. Personal branding is now a part of many (if not most) Fortune 500 companies.

    Thanks for the excellent post.

    .-= William Arruda´s last undefined ..If you register your site for free at =-.

  • Rosa Say says:

    Very well said. I think encouraging your staff and peers to build on their personal brand also serves to help them become ever more aware of their strengths – as a manager, it also will help you appreciate them for what is most important to them.
    .-= Rosa Say´s last blog ..Time to Seize Control. Be Commanding! =-.

  • Cheryl Smith says:

    Fantastic post! The reasons you’ve outlined are right on target. In surveys, people list professional development high on their list of reasons to stay with their employer (or move to another). Professionals in every field, ministry and for-profit, who continually sharpen their skills, get noticed. Their brand equity is high. Organizations are lucky to retain professionals of such caliber.

    Thanks for speaking to this issue, as a person in a C-level role. Hope many other leaders see this and encourage growth for their folks (rather than squelching opportunity, based on fear).
    .-= Cheryl Smith´s last blog ..Friend Vs. Client: The Facebook Fan Page Challenge =-.

  • Dan Schawbel says:

    Ron, nice article about personal branding. A lot of people think that personal branding hurts corporate loyalty, yet it does just the opposite. By allowing and empowering employees to build their brands, in support of their companies, they can contribute more value and be happier.
    .-= Dan Schawbel´s last blog ..Tips to Develop Your Personal Brand from Michael Port, Marketing Guru =-.

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