links for 2009-12-05

  • All leaders have a brand. Whether that term is used or not, leaders have an identifiable persona that is a reflection of what they do and how others perceive them. I call this the leadership brand.
    When it comes to cultivating a leadership brand, look no further than Oprah Winfrey, who recently announced that she would be ending her popular talk show in 2011. In a perceptive analysis, New York Times media columnist David Carr suggests that Winfrey’s brand and the key to her longevity is a combination of things she didn’t do as well as things that she did do. On the “don’t do side,” she did not over-merchandize nor take her company public; she kept control of her products and thereby her image, unlike Martha Stewart. On the “do side,” she always stayed true to herself. As she told her business partner Gayle King years ago, “I don’t know what the future holds but I know who holds it.”
  • Hey, Personal Branding, I have something to tell you:
    I don’t care.
    I just don’t care anymore. You have prevented me from having fun for the last time.
    I bought my URL domain and secured a couple of social media profiles. Your job is done, I’m moving on now.
    Because really, all that you’ve ever really taught us is stuff we already knew. Did we really need someone telling us how to be authentic or respectful?

  • It’s holiday party time. And, if you are a boss, you need to pay attention to the natural laws of parties and leadership.
    Natural Law 1: The party changes when you arrive. It changes again when you leave. What you see is not the real party. It’s “the party when you’re there.”
    Natural Law 2: You’re still the boss. Do not suffer from the delusion that you’re just one of the team. You’re not. Everything you say or do will influence the people who work for you, just like every other day.
    Natural Law 3: The people at the party would rather hang out with their friends and relax a bit than listen to speeches from you or anyone else. Let the party be their party. If you must speak, consider a two minute time limit. Thank people for their contributions this year, wish them a good time, and shut up.
    (tags: leadership)
  • Raising venture capital financing–as a first-time founder in particular–is a difficult task, even in the strongest of financial markets. At a recent conference, a panelist opined that over 95 percent of entrepreneurs decide not to raise venture capital. The response from another panelist: “Just like over 95 percent of my friends have decided not to date supermodels.” Knowing what to expect can often be half the battle. The following are a few common misconceptions entrepreneurs often have when seeking early-stage venture capital financing.
    Myth No. 1: “By demonstrating the tremendous value of my idea, I will be able to demand a high valuation for my new company.”

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