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October 17, 2005
You, Called the Brand
We’ve heard so much over the last few years about developing your own personal brand, yet so many people are unaware of how their day-to-day actions effect the brands they work for.
A recent experience only highlighted the issue. I was flying to Los Angeles last week, sitting in an isle seat. As the door was closing, a woman got on the plane with three carry-ons, her lunch from McDonalds and magazines under her arm all the while talking loudly on her cell phone.
Instead of hanging up the phone and taking her seat, she tried to throw the magazines and McDonalds’ bag onto her seat while yelling at her assistant on the phone. Not surprisingly, the magazines and the Big Mac ended up on my lap! And, she wasn’t even aware of anything that was happening because she was so focused on her call.
While the woman took her seat, the stewardess had to remind her twice to turn off her phone.
Just when I thought things would mellow out, she turned to me and launched into a diatribe about how she was overworked and underappreciated, while eating her Big Mac and flipping through her magazines.
The only thing I could think about was my loss of respect for the Fortune 500 Company she worked for. The company had just lost a potential customer because of one executive’s unrelated actions.
Whether we like it or not, everything we do reflects on the companies we work for and either attracts repels customers.
Not to my surprise, as the plane landed, my neighbor once again was on the phone yelling at her assistant!
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