Personal Brand Book Reviews: One Piece of Paper – The simple approach to powerful, personal leadership.

Personal Brand Book Reviews
By Paul Copcutt

Wondering if you should read “that” book? A seasoned personal brand strategist offers his in depth reviews.

One Piece of Paper – The simple approach to powerful, personal leadership.

© 2011 by Mike Figliuolo, 237 pages, Hardback

One Piece of Paper - The simple approach to powerful, personal leadership.

The Leadership Maxims Approach

  1. Leading Yourself
  2. Leading the Thinking
  3. Leading Your People
  4. Leading a Balanced Life
  5. Making it Real

5R Score: 30/35

On a scale of 1-7

  • Relevance – is it right for personal branding? – 6
  • Resonance – does it make sense to the reader? – 6
  • Relation – is there a connection for everyone? – 6
  • Remarkability – does it stand out, will it get noticed? – 6
  • Real – does the personal brand come through? – 6

Would you pick it up?

This book is an early front-runner as my 2012 book of the year and carries one of my highest ever ratings. It’s both that good and I believe a must for anyone looking to work on and clearly define their personal leadership brand.
I actually chanced on picking it up. The sub-title ‘personal leadership’ was what had caught my eye as this is a hot topic at the moment for requests for my speaking services from Fortune 500 companies. Once I picked it up I could not put it down or stop recommending it to anyone prepared to listen!


This book is all about your personal leadership, which ultimately is your leadership brand. Although the author does not make any direct reference to personal branding, the book is liberally sprinkled with many of the approaches, exercises and discussions personal brand strategists have with leadership clients.

Certainly going forward for any client wanting to communicate their leadership brand to their team etc., I am going to add this to the ‘must read and implement’ list.


For those not familiar with the personal branding term or approach they do not have to worry. This book and the recommended approaches are intuitively evident. In fact, it is likely that a lot of your leadership maxims are already in place. It is more of a case of being consciously aware of them.

Once you have your maxims then sharing with others becomes the easy part and communication naturally flows. It really is a simple but highly effective approach.


Whether you are in a people management position or not, you can still be a leader. So that makes this book even more useful and relevant. You do not have to wait for people to report to you to define your current or future leadership style.

This book might be especially useful for those aspiring to be leaders but feel it is a few years away. With your leadership maxims defined now you can be ahead of the game and even start trying them out in less risky environments away from work.

For those of you who are solopreneurs, it could prove to be invaluable in helping you to be clearer about your thought leadership.


I really loved the simplicity of the book and approach. Imagine being able to explain your leadership philosophy on only one piece of paper! Like an over-blown business plan, your leadership does not have to be described in an impersonal, lengthy and ultimately boring document that ends up sitting on a shelf.

The one piece of paper concept makes it easy to share, post, and refer to anytime. You could even reduce it down in size and make a pocket version of it if you like. I love the simplicity and quick ease of use and relevance.


Mike shares his own leadership mantras at the end of the book. Throughout the book he gives many personal and client examples to support his points and share the value in his approach.

But as he points out these are not like the 10 commandments – they are not set in stone forever. They can and will change depending on many factors. That for me really makes this book realistic and the process workable and actionable.

Paul Copcutt, Personal Brand Architect, is a sought after speaker and coach who uses real client stories and practical applications to help successful professionals and executives get clear about their uniqueness.


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