Came across a terrific blog post today from Jordan Furlong (Editor-in-Chief at CBA’s National magazine) today on his Law21.cablog entitled “We are all solos” about the rising importance for lawyers of cultivating a personal brand as we move increasingly towards a milieu in which lateral movement and declining loyalty between firms and lawyers (both directions) is a fact of life.
I was struck by the intersection of this thought with an article that appeared in the Vancouver Sun today entitled “Self-promotion may be key to getting more women on boards.” The basic tenet of this latter article is that women are continuing to be under-represented on corporate boards in Canada in part because they are under-exposed to the executives doling out board positions. In the article lawyer Elizabeth Watson of Watson Advisors inc. attributes this to women being less-inclined to blow their own horn as it were, and choosing instead to attribute success as a team effort. As a result, a website has been established (womeninthelead.ca) to identify and profile women in Canada suitable for consideration for board positions – a list which which has grown to include over 850 individuals.
But the message that emerges from both these sources is clear – male or female, lawyers need to start doing more thinking about their own individual brand than has historically been the case. If you don’t, who will? And Furlong is bang-on when he points to the web (blogs, social networking sites like LinkedIn and other online applications (podcasts, Twitter feeds, etc.) as the place where this brand-building is increasingly going to occur.
September 18, 2008