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Why Building Up Your Organization, Not Your Personal Brand, Is a Better Strategy

Zach Brooke

There’s a lot of talk about engineering your personal brand. But what if individual brand building was wasted energy?​​

Brian de Haaff, co-founder and CEO of product roadmap software Aha! and author of Lovability: How to Build a Business That People Love and Be Happy Doing It, asks the audacious question of whether having a personal brand is worth it. De Haaff spoke with Marketing News a​bout his belief that personal brand building, especially at work, is counterproductive to goals of getting ahead.​

Q: Why are personal brands bad?

A: I don’t think personal brands are bad. It’s a question of focus. We would never say that a personal brand is something to be avoided. All great accomplishments are the result of teams, and you only have so many hours in a given day. The question is where do you want to put your focused energy? In an organization, putting the organization first is important most of the time.


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Zach Brooke is a former AMA staff writer turned freelance journalist. His work has been featured in Chicago magazine, Milwaukee Magazine, A.V. Club and VICE, among others. Follow him on Twitter @Zach_Brooke.