Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Discover Your CEO Brand - book review

I have been thinking a lot lately about my brand - specifically, my CEO brand. I developed it over a 30 year period during which I was much younger and less experienced. Some parts of my brand may not serve me as well as they once did. Partly due to circumstance, location, age, and what I want to do and be.

My brand includes things like highly creative (from a business view), high work ethic, time management guru, reader/constant learner, passionate about self development and maximizing people to be the best they can be, health guy, tech nerd, investor, social media expert etc.

So of course I turned to a book. Discover Your CEO Brand - Secrets to Embracing and Maximizing Your Unique Value as a Leader by Suzanne Bates. She is a best selling author of Speak Like a CEO so must spend a lot of time studying CEOs.

I was surprised there was a big enough market for CEO Branding but it really is about leadership branding in general so the potential audience is much larger.

"Your Brand is in essence your reputation. It is not who you are, it is what others believe you are".

The book cites many examples of great CEO Brands. Using real life examples helps with the impact.

It has a number of exercises to help discover your brand.

It also has a number of possible brands you can add to your list. The one I loved and can identify with and think all CEOs need on their list is Healthy Leader Brand. She is referring to physical health so eating right and exercise although she also has one for emotional health too.

There is a chapter on Social Media and Brand. It does tackle the tough question any leader needs to ask - value vs time trade off. It could have touched more on efficiency (how to get the value without the time) but that is not the purpose of the chapter.

The book is scattered throughout with great business quotes which of course I love. One of them by an acquaintance of mine - Jeff Bezos - founder of Amazon:

"A brand for a company is like a reputation for a person. You earn reputation by trying to do hard things well"

When I read a book, I always like to ask before reading "what do I hope to get from this book?" In this case, I wanted more clarity into what my brand should be. The book helped although like Bezos says now I need to "do hard things well" myself. The book can inspire though and help with some tools but now I have to do it.

I enjoyed the book.


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