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Sep 3, 201301:28 PMOpen Mic

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Leading through the economic tsunami without drowning: Become a distinct leadership brand or extinct generic

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This required getting employees to discover the passion they had for their personal brands. They then had to take charge of their brands and take a leadership approach to their careers. In terms of helping employees discover their true aspirations, I prepared them to be “fit to fight.” They needed to determine what they aspired to be, both inside and beyond the company. Employees then needed to understand their unique value proposition and communicate it both to customers and their superiors — “proof points” that would help them get to the next levels of their leadership careers.

I also made sure I constantly reminded employees not to get distracted by the competition or any other outside influences and to instead stay laser-focused on their aspirations. I also had them develop winning pitches that sold themselves and their brand value before they focused on developing pitches to sell products to customers.

To help employees stay invigorated, I reminded them that staying invigorated even during the worst economic periods was critical to developing the kind of personal brand image that customers would be willing to invest in regardless of uncontrollable outside influences such as fluctuating oil prices. Furthermore, I worked with employees to omit any negative feelings and instead focus on positive activities like interacting with customers and growing their personal networks.

Finally, individual brands were not part of the culture at the Fortune 5 company, but after seeing the results of employees developing and then nailing their personal brands to enhance their leadership capabilities and standing, many of the company leaders become advocates for the process and asked me to share the Fresh PASSION process with the broader organization. 

Michael D. Brown is the author of Fresh PASSION: Get a Brand or Die a Generic. For more information, go to

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