Personal Brand Book Reviews: Knowing Your Value

Personal Brand Book Reviews
By Wendy Mantel

Wondering if you should read “that” book? Our seasoned personal brand strategists offer their in depth reviews.

Knowing Your Value.

© 2011 by Mika Brzezinski

Knowing Your Value

Before reading Knowing Your Value by Mika Brzezinski, an MSNBC anchor and co-host of Morning Joe, I had high hopes of a fresh perspective on the connection between personal branding and personal value.

Unfortunately, this book is almost entirely focused on repercussions of not knowing your value in the workplace. There are some useful insights, but they are generally about lessons learned the hard way. For me, the essence of the issue–how you discover, promote and defend your true value in the workplace and outside–is hardly touched. That’s where the book misses a great opportunity.

In Knowing Your Value, “value” is professional (experience and training) and financial (compensation). The author is almost apologetic in her discussion of how women lose out in compensation by believing that they 1) can’t ask for what men get in compensation for equal work; 2) don’t know how to defend a request for equal or better compensation based on true worth; and 3) compromise motherhood and family for the sake of the corporation.

This last belief is alive and well by example of Yahoo’s new CEO, Marissa Mayer, quoted recently in the NY Times as saying she was just going to take a few weeks off after giving birth to her first child and would be working through all of it.

This book concerns poor choices women make and what they sacrifice as a result of fear, social beliefs and misperceptions of their worth. It does not provide solutions or suggestions. By the end I felt that, despite interviews with high-profile executive women, the author remained ambivalent about how to get what she truly wanted and deserved.

Having now discouraged you about what might have been a great business guide, I’d like to offer hope.

There are excellent resources for businesspeople in general and women in particular regarding compensation and building a strong career brand. Earn What You’re Worth by Nicole Williams is down-to-earth and directly addresses “how to invest in your career and yourself”. The Female Vision by Sally Helgesen and Julie Johnson discusses women’s power in the workplace and how women can nurture and sustain their greatest gifts.

Online, the TED site is a wealth of information in general and has some notable features in its TED Women section, including a great speech by Sheryl Sandberg, the COO of Google and one of the interviewees in Knowing Your Value. She talks about the lack of women leaders at the top and provides three key pieces of advice to promote this. There are other related presentations by women.

As a certified professional coach, President of Mantel Coaching, Inc. and a Master Personal Brand and Career Strategist, Wendy L. Mantel provides insight, inspiration and ingenuity that helps others profit from their passions.


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