Posts Tagged ‘Personal Brand Book Reviews’

Personal Brand Book Reviews: Likeable Social Media and Likeable Business

Thursday, October 25th, 2012

Personal Brand Book Reviews
By Maria Elena Duron
Wondering if you should read “that” book? Our seasoned personal brand strategists offer their in depth reviews.

Likeable Social Media and Likeable Business.

by Dave Kerpen

Likeable Business


Do You Have a Likeable Personal Brand?

These days with a plethora of people we can reach out to worldwide to do business with you not only have to be visible, competent and credible – you must also be ‘likeable’. That old business mantra “people do business with people they know, like and trust” rings true to the online clickable ‘you’.

Dave Kerpen splashed onto the ‘online scene’ with the wedding of the century when he and his then fiancé, now wife, Carrie, had their wedding on a professional baseball field right before a game. They solicited sponsors, created online support and had the wedding of their dreams along with making money at it, too. With their experience, they started their own marketing agency and have grown to the spot of #118 on Inc.’s list of the Fastest Growing U.S. Companies.

I had visited with Dave and Carrie Kerpen several times via phone but it wasn’t until my sister, a student at DePaul University, called with news of her class textbook, “Likeable Social Media: How to Delight Your Customers, Create an Irresistible Brand, and Be Generally Amazing on Facebook (and Other Social Networks)”, that I actually slowed down to read the book. For personal brands, I recommend both of these books. Your online first impression needs to be as stellar and as true to you as your offline one. Here are some great reasons why a personal brand needs to read these because:

  1. Social media cannot make up for a bad reputation – It just can’t. Game the system all you want to place all the “good links” on Google at the top of your page yet that still doesn’t change the overall sentiment. As a personal brand, know that all the ‘heavy lifting’ of brand discovery and creating a communication plan must happen first before you launch onto an active social arena. It’s that clearness in messaging and focus that will make you ‘likeable’.
  2. Social media is not free- without the homework of extraction and brand expression you can waste countless hours and never gain back the share of mind (or time) that someone has already put forth into finding out who you are. People are just too busy, they have little time to do extensive research and without something compelling or unique to draw them to spend more time with or on you, they will move on.
  3. There is an ROI to “Thank You” that most people do not understand. Social tools also allow leaders to more efficiently express gratitude within an organization and social media creates public spaces in which thankfulness can be passed on and paid forward. This is not to take the place of a personal thank you. It is a way to share appreciation beyond full measure with that little bit extra.


Likeable Social Media
was the first book. Likeable Business: Why Today’s Consumers Demand More and How Leaders Can Deliver launched just this week. For personal brands, both are valuable and provide support for the solid personal brand framework we teach at Reach.

Maria Elena Duron is CEO (chief engagement officer) of buzz2bucks | a word of mouth marketing firm – Creating Conversation, Community, Connection and Commerce around Your Brand. She is author of the book, Mouth-to-Mouth Marketing and a columnist for several print and online publications

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Personal Brand Book Reviews: CHANGE-FRIENDLY LEADERSHIP: How to Transform Good Intentions into Great Performance

Thursday, September 13th, 2012

Personal Brand Book Reviews
By Myriam-Rose Kohn
Wondering if you should read “that” book? Our seasoned personal brand strategists offer their in depth reviews.

CHANGE-FRIENDLY LEADERSHIP: How to Transform Good Intentions into Great Performance.

© 2012 by Dr. Rodger Dean Duncan

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CHANGE-FRIENDLY LEADERSHIP: How to Transform Good Intentions into Great Performance

This book contains a lot of information but is very easy to read. Besides taking quite a few notes from the book, I also gleaned information from the website Dr. Duncan keeps referring to: ChangeFriendly.com. As the business world is constantly evolving, once you have purchased the book, you can keep returning to the provided website to obtain updated information.

As Socrates stated: Know Thyself. Dr. Duncan suggests that in order to implement change, you need to start with yourself. He guides you step-by-step on how to accomplish this. The book never takes a condescending tone. In fact, a calm tone is clearly heard throughout the book. Dr. Duncan uses a conversational style as if he were talking with you face-to-face. Not only is the text methodical, but many stories are told as illustrations to drive the point home.

After you have changed, you can start working on the people in your department. Once again a step-by-step system is described. The book is divided into three sections with each chapter intelligibly illustrating how to accomplish this change-friendly leadership.

Dr. Duncan exhaustively talks about

  1. Think-Friendly
  2. Talk-Friendly
  3. Trust-Friendly
  4. Team-Friendly

Employees, managers, and executives should all be invested in and committed to the organization’s goals and objectives. The entire book is about how to bring your staff to that point. One way, of course, is to lead by example. If you have too many people retired and yet still “on the job,” you need to be able to turn them around. You engage them into conversations by posing questions that cannot be answered with monosyllabic words. You pose questions that draw your staff out where they have to express their ideas and attitudes.

Since dealing effectively with change is an organic process, change will not occur overnight. But if people feel important to the organization and feel they have something to contribute, change can and will occur no matter what the industry or field. People will be happier at work which will allow them to become more creative and productive. A recurring theme is leadership must engage the heads, hearts, and hopes of the people whose genuine “buy in” is critical to the successful change. This is not leadership by title and certainly not leadership by command or control.

Another obstacle to overcome is that people are resistant to change. As you learn to manage–and even welcome–resistance, you develop a key ingredient of effective leadership while keeping it simple and going back to basics.

As an entrepreneur, I learned a lot to apply in my own business so I heartily recommend this book.

Myriam-Rose Kohn is known as the “passport to international career success.” She has an unmatched blend of career credentials, experience, language, and cross-cultural skills. Her vast credentials can be found on her website: Jeda Enterprises.

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Personal Brand Book Reviews: Knowing Your Value

Thursday, August 9th, 2012

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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Personal Brand Book Reviews: You, Inc.

Friday, June 15th, 2012

Personal Brand Book Reviews
By Paul Copcutt

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



 
 

 
 You, Inc..

© 1996 by Burke Hedges and Steve Price

You, Inc.


 
10 Simple Principles to Dramatically Increase Your Fair Market Value!

  1. Take responsibility
  2. Dare to Dream
  3. The Power of Belief
  4. Courage to Take Action
  5. Attitude is Everything
  6. Develop Productive Habits
  7. Manage Your emotions
  8. Prepare for success
  9. Balance Your Life
  10. Change – or be Changed


5R Score: 26/35

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? – 4
  • Real – does the personal brand come through? – 4

Would you pick it up?

My local second hand bookstore never ceases to uncover the occasional gem for me. I have a list of books that are not at the top of my list but would like one day to read. So I just keep an eye out for them at the store. But every now and then I come across a total surprise. This was the case with You, Inc.

The title grabbed me of course, after all it was the title of the original 1997 Fast Company article by Tom Peters that many thought was the first reference to personal branding and it was (at least as far as I know). But I looked inside this book and found its publishing date was a year EARLIER! However there happens to be no mention of the term personal branding, but everything in it absolutely applies.

Relevance:

While this book does not mention personal branding, it is a step by step guide to what I would recommend as a foundation for defining and developing your personal brand.

The current ‘wave’ of personal branding experts that define it as your online brand are sadly missing the true value of personal branding. This book delivers this with ease and constant examples. Your online brand is important for sure. No mention of it in this book, however, is not a drawback. There are plenty of good books out there that can do that, but this book gives us the MUCH needed beginning.

Resonance:
For anyone seeking some insight, ideas and concrete steps to take in their own personal development, this book would be a good addition. Even for those seeking a personal branding starter they could do a whole lot worse for sure.

This is a quick couple-hour read but also a book that can be picked up, read in snippets and heavily highlighted and written in. I see it as more of a manual than a book.

Relation:

There are far too many good, pithy examples for it not to make sense to most people. The author gives a wide spectrum of stories and instances to highlight how You, Inc. can apply to anyone in most situations. The book is written generally enough that it can apply to both careers and self-employment.

For anyone at any level who is yet to embark on working on their personal brands this is a book they can easily relate to.

Remarkability:

I had never heard or seen this book before, which suggests that perhaps it was just way too early to be picked up in the growth and impact of personal branding. It is still in print and the author has gone on to publish many more books with many copies sold so it’s certainly appealing to certain markets.

It is certainly not going to provide all the answers needed to manage your personal brand in today’s day and age, but then again I do not believe one book has accomplished that yet.

Real:

Many of the examples and insights provided I have read elsewhere. I’m not sure who came up with them first, but it never hurts to have them reaffirmed. There is little mention of his own brand from the author but that does not really detract from the books effective message.

I find this a fitting conclusion to my contributions to this column as this will be my last book review for YOUnique. The more that I work in this field the more I am convinced that the core foundation work is imperative to live an authentic personal brand – after all it is PERSONAL.

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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Personal Brand Book Reviews: Steve Jobs

Thursday, May 10th, 2012

Personal Brand Book Reviews
By Paul Copcutt

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



 
 

 
 Steve Jobs.

© 2011 by Walter Isaacson, 630 pages, Hardback

Steve Jobs


 
Steve Jobs’ Branding Manifesto

  1. Focus
  2. Do not sell
  3. Launch
  4. Memorable Messaging
  5. Go one step further
  6. Impressive service


5R Score: 28/35

On a scale of 1-7

  • Relevance – is it right for personal branding? – 5
  • Resonance – does it make sense to the reader? – 5
  • Relation – is there a connection for everyone? – 5
  • Remarkability – does it stand out, will it get noticed? – 6
  • Real – does the personal brand come through? – 7

Would you pick it up?

At first glance you might think this a strange choice for a personal branding book review. However, Steve Jobs’ personal brand was the key factor in developing and growing the Apple product brand and ultimately the corporate brand has his stamp all over it – at least for now.

Another one for the must read list. The impact that the products and services from Apple have in our lives make this a fascinating read. It will appeal at all levels for all types – careerists, entrepreneurs, junior, senior and certainly for personal brand leadership.

Relevance:

Obviously being a biography, much of this book is all about personal leadership, which ultimately is Steve Jobs’ leadership brand. Before reading this book, your insight into his brand is likely from his public displays at product launches. Upon finishing the book, you will know him intimately – the author held nothing back, which apparently was Jobs wish.

This is as much a book that helps you understand the impact of negative brand attributes as much as positive. Jobs was by nearly all accounts a difficult person to deal with but his vision, passion and focus were the drive behind much of Apple’s and Pixar’s success.

Resonance:

Like me, you may be shocked when reading the accounts about how he dealt with people. It likely is not going to be the style you want to adopt for your brand. But many of the challenges he faced in business and life will resonate.

The brand manifesto list at the top of the article is what I gleaned from the book. While these are really focused at his approach to product development, they can easily be applied to your personal brand.

Relation:

The lessons from this book can be useful to anyone at any level. For those looking to develop their leadership style, this can be a manual for the right and wrong things to do in business.

Also for those of you with soon to be college and university children, this is a great book to pass on – although Jobs dropping out of school is probably not the message you want to send there are many other good take ways.

Remarkability:

I was impressed with the level and depth of this book. I am sure it will be an award winner. It was not written for personal branding or product branding, but in the end it can easily be a reference book for both.

Real:

In the plastic world of celebrity branding we can easily believe that we really know a brand by what we see. Steve Jobs would never have called himself a celebrity, in fact his minimalist lifestyle was in many ways anti-celebrity.

By reading this book I really feel that I know him as well as many of my clients, or actually even better! This book offers a rare and in-depth insight into one of the icons of the latter 20th and early 21st century – a genius for sure, but also many other things – some not so nice!

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

Thursday, April 12th, 2012

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!

Relevance:

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.

Resonance:

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.

Relation:

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.

Remarkability:

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.

Real:

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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Personal Brand Book Reviews: Build Your Own Life Brand!

Thursday, March 8th, 2012

Personal Brand Book Reviews
By Paul Copcutt

Wondering if you should read “that” book? A seasoned personal brand strategist offers his in depth reviews.
Build Your Own Life Brand! A powerful strategy to maximize your potential and enhance your value for ultimate achievement

© 2001 by Stedman Graham, 245 pages, Paperback

Build Your Own Life Brand!

7 Rules for Building a Quality Life Brand

  1. Your brand can’t be all things to all people
  2. Keep stretching for everything within your grasp
  3. Think long term when building a life brand
  4. Market your brand, but then let it sell itself
  5. Fortify your brand by teaming up
  6. The strongest life brands are those that lift others up
  7. Build joy into your life brand


5R Score: 26/35

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? – 5
  • Remarkability – does it stand out, will it get noticed? – 5
  • Real – does the personal brand come through? – 4

Would you pick it up?

This is one from ‘the archives’! But I thought it rather timely because just this past month I had been keynoting at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana and the author Stedman Graham (best known for being Oprah’s life-partner) was a Masters graduate from the school, along with David Letterman (although not at the same time).

Published 10 years ago this book was one of a number that came out in the early days of personal branding, and probably suffered because of it, or the title!

But don’t let that put off. After people have embarked on or gone through the personal branding process they often remark that they didn’t realize how much of their personal brand was in fact all about their whole life. Personal branding is not just about your work brand and certainly not just your online brand.

Relevance:

Although perhaps not immediately evident that this is a book about your personal brand it absolutely is. It is packed full of suggested exercises. Chapter 4 entitled “Brand Value With a Capital YOU!” is particularly an excellent set of exercises to complete and get really connected to your core personal brand foundation.

And the Chapter 5 process of ‘Success Circles’ really helps you hone in on not just what you are good at, but also what you really like doing. Something that the recently reviewed book ‘Standout’ does with great focus.

Resonance:

If you believe that your personal brand encompasses everything in your life and is not just a tool to advance a career then this book will make absolute sense to you. If you are seeking something more professionally focused there are others that will get the job done for you, faster.

Relation:

Personally I feel that this can apply to everyone. Graham’s particular focus is geared toward the student – high school, through to university. The book is based and connected loosely to his patented 9 Step Plan for Success model and therefore has relation to this group as well as others.

However many of the questions asked of the reader are quite deep or introspective, so do not expect an easy time of it! I notice he has a new book coming out soon called Identity, which appears to be again mainly focused at his main target group – the student. 10 years on this might prove to be a better purchase or be more relevant for more people.

Remarkability:

At the time I can imagine that amongst the others available on the subject this may have stood out more. The challenge would have been getting noticed with an approach that had not been readily embraced. The notion of personal branding was a little before its time perhaps.

Many of the books published on personal branding since have covered many of the same areas that this book does. However, I did find that this one has a much more emotional connection than many others. That emotional intelligence connection is what makes it remarkable for me.

Real:

The author has dedicated the book to Oprah and there are the ‘mandatory’ references to celebrity brands. In the main though the author weaves in many more ‘normal life’ examples as well as instances of his own brand development and work. His own successes and bodies of work do appear to stand-up well on their own, so it’s certainly not a coat tails tome.

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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Personal Brand Book Reviews: 18 Minutes – Find Your focus, Master Distraction and Get the Right Things Done

Thursday, February 9th, 2012

Personal Brand Book Reviews
By Paul Copcutt

Wondering if you should read “that” book? A seasoned personal brand strategist offers his in depth reviews.
18 Minutes – Find Your focus, Master Distraction and Get the Right Things Done

© 2011 by Peter Bregman, 263 pages, Hardback

18 Minutes – Find Your focus, Master Distraction and Get the Right Things Done by Peter Bregman


5R Score: 28/35


The 18 Minutes

  • Part One – Pause
  • Part Two – What is This Year About?
  • Part Three – What is This Day About?
  • Part Four – What is This Moment About?

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? – 5
  • Real – does the personal brand come through? – 5

Would you pick it up?

For me there is always one book each year that has the most impact on the way that I think or act and what I say. At the end of last year this was the one.

There are far too many books out there that espouse the very latest ways, ideas and ‘simple’ systems to implement and make your life easier. I have tried many of them and found that most of them require a PhD to understand or operate.

What I like about 18 Minutes is that it boils things down to the core basics of what is most important to you and ‘forget’ the rest.

As you slip out of all the good intentions you had at the start of the year, this book can get you back on track fast.

Relevance:

It’s not immediately evident that this is a book about your personal brand. But once you have clearly identified what your personal brand is and who needs to know about it, then you have to get on with living and communicating that brand. The challenge is remaining focused and not getting distracted. This book and its easy-to-follow 18 Minutes a day looking at the 5 most important areas of focus for the year make staying on brand much more effective. It also means at the end of the year you are going to be much further forward.

Resonance:

I found the 18 Minutes approach easy to understand, implement and in most cases stick to regularly (a failing in many of the more complicated systems – one I have followed has almost 20 pages to act on – weekly!).

For me though the most compelling part of the whole system is that when I have not followed it for a day or I find my day got away from me, I can check back in and identify right away where I was falling down AND find a quick solution to getting back on track.

Relation:

In today’s world of multiple demands on seemingly less and less time we can all relate to the desire to want to take back control of our lives and simplify them. But deep down we also want to know we are making a difference (whatever we define that to be), 18 Minutes gives us the framework to focus on what is most important.

Remarkability:

Because the approach is so simple there is a danger that people do not see this as remarkable. That would be a shame. We do not have to complicate or over think things to have them make us more effective or successful.

Just the simple suggestion of setting a one-hour alarm to do focused and concentrated work has made a huge difference to my productivity. This book review and one other article were effectively completed in one of those 60-minute bursts.

Real:

The author is constantly using personal and real life work as well as client examples to communicate his points. His blog posts do the same. The book is broken down into bite size 2-4 page chapters that get one key point across. This makes for easy reference and more likely I’ll pick it up again. But once ingrained it’s certainly one to keep on the bookshelf.

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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Personal Brand Book Reviews: Stand Out – The groundbreaking new strengths assessment

Thursday, January 12th, 2012

Personal Brand Book Reviews
By Paul Copcutt

Wondering if you should read “that” book? A seasoned personal brand strategist offers his in depth reviews.
Stand Out – The groundbreaking new strengths assessment by Marcus Buckingham

© 2011 by One Thing Productions Inc, 227 pages, Paperback

Stand Out by Marcus Buckingham



5R Score: 25/35

On a scale of 1-7

  • Relevance – is it right for personal branding? – 7
  • Resonance – does it make sense to the reader? – 6
  • Relation – is there a connection for everyone? – 5
  • Remarkability – does it stand out, will it get noticed? – 5
  • Real – does the personal brand come through? – 2

Would you pick it up?

Since getting involved in the whole personal branding area, one of the core pieces of work that I use and refer to on a regular basis has been “Now Discover Your Strengths” by Marcus Buckingham and Clifton and other updated versions of the work. That is until now.

I have always enjoyed the work of Buckingam and he has been personally branded as the “Leader of the Strengths Revolution”. He is a joy to watch and listen to as a speaker. But what I really like is his continued efforts to make understanding your unique strengths, simple. With this book he has taken it all a step further.

Now you just need to know your top two strengths, and there are only 9 strengths in total, so it’s also easier to understand others as well.

Relevance:

One of the core foundation pieces of personal branding is to understand your strengths. If you cannot immediately identify what those are then you need to invest in a book like ‘Stand Out’. Each book comes with a unique code to take an online assessment and Buckingham has obviously spent a lot of time and resources in getting this working optimally set to provide best results.

Resonance:

Strengths are just one part of your personal branding puzzle, but a key one, so do not underestimate the need to do this. The book is mostly made up of chapter explanations of each of the 9 strengths, so on first read you might skip a lot. But if you go further with this, familiarize yourself wtih others strengths, it’s the type of book that should almost be on your desk versus a bookshelf.

What is really excellent about this book is that it helps you understand how you can maximize your strengths in various situations;

  • You are at your most powerful
  • How to describe yourself (in interviews and performance reviews)
  • How to make an immediate impact
  • How to take your performance to the next level
  • How to win as a leader
  • How to win in sales
  • How to win in client services

There is also a team strengths version that is very interesting and well done.

Relation:

I firmly believe that if you are going to live any type of life you love then understanding and playing to your strengths is key, so this book and its approach and principles applies to anyone at any level.

Remarkability:

In much of my work with personal brands I would say the most underplayed element of most peoples personal brands are their strengths. It is what you do naturally and so well that it’s almost a sub-conscious action. Many people might look at this work and think it rudimentary, but I will bet most of them are not leveraging their strengths anywhere at the level they could be, so there are many lessons from this.

Real:

Buckingham has one of the most amazing strengths based stories about his personal brand, but apart from a few anecdotal personal pieces you are going to have to go somewhere else to find out more, since most of the book is specific to understanding the strengths. I wish there were more examples of strengths and how they are applied – that is the most disappointing part of the book.

Having said that this is a must read for all.

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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Personal Brand Book Reviews: You, Inc. The Art of Selling Yourself

Thursday, December 8th, 2011

Personal Brand Book Reviews
By Paul Copcutt

Wondering if you should read “that” book? A seasoned personal brand strategist offers his in depth reviews.
You, Inc. The Art of Selling Yourself.

© 2007 Harry Beckwith and Christine Clifford Beckwith – 316 Pages Hardback

You, Inc. by Harry Beckwith and Christine Clifford Beckwith



5R Score: 21/35

On a scale of 1-7

  • Relevance – is it right for personal branding? – 5
  • Resonance – does it make sense to the reader? – 5
  • Relation – is there a connection for everyone? – 4
  • Remarkability – does it stand out, will it get noticed? – 4
  • Real – does the personal brand come through? – 3

The ‘Steps’

  • What people buy
  • Planning and preparing
  • Communicating
  • Listening and speaking
  • Relating
  • Attitude and beliefs
  • Tactics and habits
  • Successes and delightful failures

Would you pick it up?

Probably one of the more instantly recognized books on personal branding, this book left me a little disappointed or rather confused. In the Introduction the former husband and wife team comment that this is really a fusion of three books that they were working on at the time – hence I suspect the resulting confusion.

Having said that, there is a wealth of nuggets to be gleaned that can be applied to personal branding. What is really missing is a true process, there are steps but the content just seems to be haphazard. Harry Beckwith’s other books seem to have better structure.

Relevance:

This is a personal branding book that has more sales emphasis than most. In part caused by one of the authors being very sales focused, in the instances that this area is covered it almost seems disconnected from the rest of the book.

Resonance:

If you are looking for a personal branding book with structure and step-by-step instructions and actions this is not the one. There are a number of others published that are much clearer and simpler.

This book reminded me strongly of Tom Peters’ original personal branding book, The Brand You 50. The ideas and tips are in short 2-3 page format. So punchy and quick. This makes it a good book to pick up and put down numerous times in the week, or to dip in to when you need something specific.

Relation:

There are many references to the world or product/service marketing and branding, naturally given the authors line of business and backgrounds. Much of the advice is very applicable for the company employee, perhaps less so for the small business owner – although the sales aspects may be more appealing to that group.

Remarkability:

I liked the fact that I could pick up and put down this book, especially as I normally have two or three books on the go at the same time! The entire tactics and habits section is the best part of the book, with lots of common sense ideas and good etiquette reminders too!

Real:

The personal brands of the writers do not really come through at all, although there are some good final examples of delights and failures of other personal brands at the end of the book.

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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