Steve Ballmer’s Personal Branding

Steve Ballmer’s Personal Problems…Personal Branding, That Is

I was reading an article about Steve Ballmer in Business Week and found it very interesting that Ballmer has apparently tripled revenue and more than tripled profit at Microsoft, yet Microsoft’s stock hasn’t risen.  An interesting quote from David Einhorn, a hedge fund manager, gives a hint at the problem. Einhorn states, “His continued presence is the biggest overhang on Microsoft’s stock.”

It sounds like a personal problem.  A personal branding problem, that is.  Ballmer needed and still needs better personal branding.  Now, of course, his monkey boy dance may not have helped (check it out on YouTube), but even that could have been turned around to give him an edge by emphasizing his personality and how it will invigorate Microsoft.  If he and Microsoft had given a little PR effort into his personal brand, it would have helped the company. Instead, not much personal branding has happened until now.

This is the trap we all fall into. Sometimes we care so much about our jobs and our organization that we don’t take time to work on our personal branding.  The interesting problem is that when we aren’t working on our personal branding, someone else is defining us instead.  And that can end up hurting the company.

If you are one that struggles with finding time for personal branding and you care more about the organization you work for than your own branding, remember that it DOES have an effect on your organization.  Even in the workplace, when others are defining you—which usually means it will be in a less negative light, since people unfortunately have problems like jealousy and ego—your lack of positive personal branding can hamper your efforts to accomplish great things at the company.  In extreme cases, it can cause you to no longer be at the company (!), which clearly means you really can’t help the company anymore.

Don’t neglect your personal brand!  It has now become more than just a selfish, ladder-climbing necessity. It’s actually sometimes a selfless necessity for the better of your organization.

Now get out there in your monkey suit and work it, baby.  🙂

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