Does Your Company Allow Your Personal Brand to Grow?

Marcus SheridanBy Marcus Sheridan, President, The Sales Lion and 2017 Keynote Speaker of the upcoming TMSA Logistics Marketing & Sales Conference June 11-13 at the Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort near Jacksonville, Fla.

We live in such an amazing time period. One where, assuming they are motivated, anyone can absolutely build their individual brand and bring more value to the world.

Of course, the most prominent way this can be done is through all the social media and digital platforms available to each of us at a minimal cost.

But as I’ve traveled the world as a speaker and chatted with thousands of employees these past few years, I’ve noticed something disturbing: Many companies don’t want their employees to build their individual brands.

Sure, it’s fine if the company (or CEO) brand grows, but not that of the individual worker-bees. Yep, it’s as true as it is disturbing.

A Culture of Fear
It’s also why I’ve received so many emails over the years from employees of other organizations who feel stuck, overshadowed, and un-empowered to do that which they know would not only help market themselves, but their company in the process.

Of course, the reasons for this vary.

Often times, the leadership team has an ego the size of Texas and simply can’t imagine one of their own employees outshining their “greatness.”

Then of course there are those that feel like allowing (and promoting) the brands of their employees will lead to higher attrition rates as employees “outgrow” their role within the company and move on to their next phase.

And finally, there are those organizations that are so morbidly afraid of headhunters coming in and stealing their employees that the thought of them even posting their name (much less other content) online or on the company website is absurd.

But experience tells me that not only do these beliefs lack merit, but they kill company culture and morale in the process.

Employees + Individual Branding = Better Culture
The fact is, when we help our employees build their brand, they sense a greater, not lesser, connection to the organization.

Furthermore, when we find ways to shine a light on our employees, they in turn develop a stronger sense of self-worth, impact, and their entrepreneurial appetites are significantly more satiated.

With my company, The Sales Lion, we require employees to build their brand. We look for ways to highlight them, promote them, and help them grow. And because of this, we’ve got a rich culture of intrapreneurs that are building value for themselves and the marketplace.

For me, as president of the company, this is what owning a business is all about. And for those that say, “Yeah, but what happens when they leave?” my response is simple:

Then they leave. But at least I know I helped them become their best selves in the process.

That’s the big picture I believe every brand and organization should have.

It’s also why I’ve had to tell many, many employees of other organizations who have emailed me over the years that, if they couldn’t fulfill their desire for personal brand growth with their existing company, then it was time to move to another organization with more of a “big picture” outlook and culture.

So if you’re in an organization and you feel like your talents are being intentionally overshadowed, my suggestion for you is this: Don’t settle. 

Build the company and build your brand. If you’re not allowed to do both, and your intentions are truly pure, then it’s time to move on. The opportunities and organizations are out there, you just need to be willing to find them.

Heck, they may even find you.

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