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Revalidating Your Personal Brand During the Pandemic

Recently a former colleague and I were reflecting on an unexpected consequence of the Covid-19 pandemic. We have seen an increase in retirements, both voluntary and involuntary of experienced leadership and we expect this trend to continue.

A classic case of being penny wise and pound-foolish, given that the institutional knowledge and experience is discarded as opposed to being reinvigorated and/or refocused. In the medium term many heritage financial service organizations are reimagining their respective organizations (please refer to our research paper on Digital Transformation) and face funding challenges as they try to execute these transformations.


A corollary effect of these departures is surviving executives and middle managers are losing not only friends, but also mentors and career champions. For many a new vulnerability is surfacing, a realization that their career may have overly relied on support from one person rather than a broad network of support. An awareness that perhaps previous promotions and high-quality assignments may have come from the leaders who have now departed. What should you do if your sensei leaves the organization?


If you remained in the organization, your first step should be to review what your career aspirations are, identify what role your mentor played in your career, and how best to adapt to the new management environment. You need to work on winning over your new manager, start branching out at work and gain visibility within your company. Whilst easier said than done, this is a great opportunity to learn, instead of spending all your time freaking out about the changes to come.


For those who were involuntarily separated from their companies and who are not able to retire, their first step should be to re-establish their profile.


So, when was the last time you took stock of your own personal circumstances and invested in your personal brand within your organization? What is holding you back?


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[Contribution by Jim Collins, Global Financial Services Executive]


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