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A recent blog in Forbes identified personal branding as one’s “responsibility” rather than “self-promotion” and in doing so defines personal branding as (Llopis, 4.08.2013):

… making a full-time commitment to the journey of defining yourself as a leader and how this will shape the manner in which you will serve others. Your personal brand should represent the value you are able to consistently deliver to those whom you are serving.

This definition is grounded in the traits of the Level 5 Leader (Collins, audio clip):

who operated first and foremost with a genuine humility; but it was humility as defined as a burning, passionate, obsessive ambition for the cause, for the company, for the work—not themselves.

In a meeting this week with leaders from my division as well as leaders from the company, including the President and CEO and CFO, I heard each individual around the table describe why they do what they do and what it means to do purposeful, worthwhile work, and make a difference in healthcare and education.

In education, teachers want to make a difference in the lives of their students. Indeed, teachers enter their classrooms with the goals of helping their students find their sense of purpose and do worthwhile work. Using evidence from our company’s work, we can safely surmise that teachers can reconnect to students’ eagerness to learn when they create a classroom culture built around the core principles of “purpose, worthwhile work, and making a difference” (Studer, 2003).

Students long for teachers to spark a fire in them. When that occurs, teachers make a difference in their lives. Teachers (and leaders) make a full-time commitment to those you serve by developing your principles of purpose, worthwhile work, and making a difference.

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Collins, James. What is Level 5? Available online here: audio clip.

Llopis, Glenn. 4.08.2013. Personal Branding Is A Leadership Requirement, Not a Self-Promotion Campaign. Forbes. Available online here.

Pilcher, Janet, and Largue, Robin. 2012. How to Lead Teachers to Become Great. Gulf Breeze, FL: Fire Starter Publishing. To read the Introduction and Chapter 1 of the book click here.

Studer, Quint. 2003. Hardwiring Excellence: Purpose, Worthwhile Work, Making a Difference. Gulf Breeze, FL: Fire Starter Publishing.

Our mission at Studer Education is to provide students with a great place to learn, teachers with a great place to teach, and parents with confidence that their children are getting a great education. Visit us online at http://studereducation.com. Studer Education is a division of Studer Group, ranked for the fifth straight year on the Best Small and Medium Workplaces by Great Place to Work® and a recipient of the 2010 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award.