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A Deep Dive and Long Swim into Brand Values


A Deep Dive and Long Swim into Brand Values

Tommy Kim shares an article he co-wrote with Christopher Kim that is all about searching for the most important brand. 

There is little in this world that is completely unattainable. The world is your oyster. As you look through college or graduate school catalogues, researching companies you want to start your career or transition into a senior leadership role, I am sure that you have voices in your head urging you to follow your dreams. On the other hand, you may have even more voices in your head telling you to be cautiously optimistic and choose selectively.

The picture of a Lockheed Martin F35 at the opening of this chapter sends a very clear message. It demonstrates power, pride, quality, dominance, and stealth. Similarly, throughout your life, you will craft a very clear, personal brand for yourself. A brand identity that you want people to identify you with and to remember you by. As you grow and thrive, you will deepen the relationship you have with your brand and it will not only become a reflection of who you are, but also the characteristic by which others will associate with you and everything you do. This includes where you were educated and what you learned from there and who you met along the way that made an impact in your life. Then, where you went to work and what you learned, contributed, and achieved there.

What you do now matters as you build yourself up and begin maintaining strong relationships with those you meet along your journey. Your reward as you do so is a stronger personal brand equity at each junction in your journey. Remember, even “Rome wasn’t built in a day.” Like this feat of this engineering marvel, your career will be built over a lifetime of dedication, incredible perseverance, learning, and using the right talent and tools for the job. Thus, achieving a good fit, even better a great fit between talent needed and talent employed. 

For some of you, your life is just now beginning. And for some of you, you are in your second chapter of schools and careers with a more refined search and focus. You are about to make decisions that will alter your path in ways that you cannot fathom or be certain, something that I am sure causes a great deal of uncertainty and, perhaps, stress. Both of those voices in your head have merit. If you listen to them, really listen to them, you just may be able to make a decision that makes you happy and that knot that has formed in your gut is worth it.

Your dreams are valid. The small, sparkling thoughts that flit through your mind as you think about your future are just as important as spreadsheets depicting industry growth. You probably have these dreams for a reason. You see yourself in your most true form, your strengths and weaknesses with no filter.

For this reason, you, better than anyone else, know what your talents are. You know what you are good at. Anyone can tell Michael Phelps that he is a talented swimmer. But, do you think anyone could have forced him into the pool if he did not have confidence in his ability?


Key points include:

  • Building a strong, personal brand identity
  • The power of dedication
  • Traits that make a good leader


Read the full article, In Search of the Most Important Brand, on LinkedIn.