From the fore word of Dr. Hubert Rampersad’s new best selling book “Authentic Personal Branding: A new blueprint for building and aligning a powerful leadership brand’ (Information Age Publishing, USA; Pearson Malaysia; Sarabooks, New Delhi; Knowledge Resources, South Africa; Alphina, Vietnam; Olympus Business, Moscow; 2008 ).
I had the privilege of serving on the Board of the Peter Drucker Foundation (now the Leader to Leader Institute) for ten years. Peter was a pioneer in understanding the impact of knowledge workers in the new economy. He simply defined knowledge workers as ‘people who know more about what they are doing than their boss does’. In a world where knowledge workers are the key to value in most corporations, personal brand management becomes critically important. Professionals at all levels will need to be able to communicate their unique brand within and across organizations – and be able to communicate effectively to decision makers who may not have their level of technical expertise. One of the great ironies that I regularly encounter in the workforce, is the fact that many technically trained professionals have spent years ‘honing their craft’ and developing their expertise – yet have spent almost no time in learning to communicate this expertise.
In Authentic Personal Branding, Dr. Hubert Rampersad has provided a sorely needed guidebook for knowledge workers. He shows us all how to build our own personal brand – and just as important – how to persuasively communicate this brand to the world. In today’s world of global competition, increasing pressure and constant communication, most professionals that I meet are working harder than they have ever worked in their entire lives. If you are working 60-80 hours a week – not enjoying your work and not feeling psychologically connected with what you are doing – you are living in a very painful place called ‘new age professional Hell’. There are too many professionals living there today! Dr. Rampersad continually reinforces the connection between personal and professional well-being.
I love Hubert’s focus on authenticity. Given the incredible expectations and demands faced by today’s professionals, commitment has to be real. ‘Faking it’ for that many hours is just too painful! Making an authentic connection between the values that we profess and the values that we live will not only make us better people, it will enable us to live happier and more productive lives.
Finally, professionals need to connect and integrate personal brand and company brand. Far too many companies have ‘value statements’ on the walls that have nothing to do with the behavior of their leaders. Companies need to hire professionals whose values and behaviors are consistent with their desired brand. Professionals need to work in companies whose ‘lived’ values and behaviors are consistent with their personal brand.
My request to you, the reader, is – make this book part of your life. Don’t just read this book for its ‘interesting’ content. Don’t be content with a few ‘aha’ moments. Make it part of your life planning – and ultimately part of your life! If you do, you can become a more integrated and successful person – and better enable your company to help you make a positive difference in our world!
Author of What Got You Here Won’t Get You There, a New York Times bestseller, Wall Street Journal #1 business book and the Harold Longman Award winner for Best Business Book of the Year for 2007