‘I’ to the Power of ‘We’
But seriously folks, how can you have a team without the diversity of each person, of each ‘I’? In their book The Start-up of You, LinkedIn Founder Reid Hoffman and Ben Casnocha say that ‘I’ versus ‘We’ is a false choice. It’s really both, or what they refer to as Iwe – “I to the Power of We”. They say,
Your success depends on both your individual capabilities and your network’s ability to magnify them.
Personal branding can often be misinterpreted as simply pumping up our egos and placing the interest of ourself ahead of others. In reality, however, our personal brand cannot flourish without the community and network around us. William Arruda says that our brands are held in the hearts and minds of others. I would add to this that our brands are then validated only by the power of others to spread the word.
I tested the Iwe concept last month when I hosted a 30-day Personal Branding Vlogathon on my own blog. Each day a different thought-leader shared a brief video post on the topic of personal branding. Individually each video was powerful. But the power of each video was then raised exponentially by the network of the other vloggers, followers, and supporters who took each video and spread the word. One of the Vlogathon contributors Runa Magnusdottir proved the power of community in her post “A Twitter Success Story: How 1+1 Became 246,999“.
What can we take from this? Obviously community is important, but let me add one more thing. The community you build needs to be genuine. Only genuine relationships will magnify your brand because they believe in and want to advocate for you. The relationships built out of my vlogathon are genuine because the ‘Power of We’ continues even after Day 30 when the vlogathon officially ended. Remember, personal branding is not just about ‘me’ but so much more about ‘we’.
Feel free to visit each vlog post from the 30-day Vlogathon starting with William Arruda’s Day 1 post and continue to spread the word by tweeting, sharing, etc. Or, just go here for a complete round-up of all 30 videos in one place.
To community and beyond!
Peter Sterlacci, combines personal branding strategy with cycling imagery to empower on-the-move careerists in global companies in Japan to shift gears, get out of the saddle, and sprint to career success.