Creating your Leadership Brand – Cultural Differences

The idea of creating one’s own leadership brand seems so US centric to me.

We live in a highly individualistic culture where focus on my career, reputation, or brand is sometimes more important than the needs of the group.

Even when people hear leaders say “Take one for the team” or “Don’t focus on your career plans but the needs of the company” or “learn to be a servant leader”  most individuals in our culture listen to that advice with one ear.

At the end of the day, most leadership development plans I work on with people focus on their own development needs. Granted, these plans contain implications for the team or the company but they are still individual plans with individual metrics and consequences.

Those are mostly the facts in our culture.

But if I  were writing “Creating your Leadership Brand”, possibly for a Japanese audience, your would be in the plural. The needs of the group would trump those of the individual.

Maybe, just maybe, the antidote to an individualistic cultural bias in developing a brand is to focus on the bigger picture, how a personal brand impacts the group/company.

So my point is that in developing a personal leadership brand the focus should not be all about “me” but also all about “us“.

Note the words of Benedictine monk Thomas Keating

“The American way is to first feel good about yourself, and then feel good about others, but spiritual traditions tell us that it is the other way around-that you develop a sense of goodness by giving yourself”

Question: To what extent does your leadership brand peg you as a giver?

What are your thoughts on the cultural implications on personal versus group brand development?


About cedricj

I am a licensed psychologist and management consultant and have always been intrigued by how leaders can inspire people in their organizations. The bottom line is that people are not always motivated by material rewards, the use of the carrot or the stick, fear and intimidation,and command and control, Five human needs inspire and drive us. Kristine S MacKain, Ph.D and myself describe these inspirational forces in our book "What Inspirational Leaders Do" (Kindle 2008)
This entry was posted in Cultural factors in developing a leadership brand. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Creating your Leadership Brand – Cultural Differences

  1. Cultural leadership should enable a brand to penetrate culture in some kind of deeper, more resonant way.This only enables spectacle.Cultural leadership should make people go, “Wow. Cool. I mean, you kind of expect Pepsi to be in business with a Beyonce or some other huge pop star. But it also seems like wasted resources. And it’s not necessarily leadership. After all, it takes no courage for a brand to get into business with a pop star like Beyonce. In a brand-building-by-committee world of corporate marketing, she’s someone everyone could agree on.

    • cedricj says:

      Brand building is a day to day activity of less public figures who seek to distinguish themselves through their signature strengths and unique contribution to their organization and customers.

      Thanks for your comment


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