Debunking Personal Brand Cultural Myths: Part 3

This is part 3 of a monthly series where I am sharing ‘myths’ of personal branding. While these myths are typical within Japanese culture, they can easily be debunked in other cultures around the world as well. Make sure to also read about myth #1, “I have to give up my group identity” and myth #2, “Personal branding goes against values of humbleness and modesty

Personal Branding Cultural Myth #3: “Only executives and managers need a personal brand.”

Debunking Personal Brand Cultural Myths: Part 3 image shutterstock 122643094 300x212ManagersMany Japanese I talk to seem to think that only managers and executives need to have a brand. Their view is that only after years of experience can you develop the skills needed to legitimately have a personal brand. I have actually had people say to me “I do not believe I have a personal brand because I do not have enough experience.”

How to Debunk this Myth

Everyone has a personal brand but we may not be sure exactly what our brand is because it is held in the hearts and minds of others.

Our brand does not come out of our years of work experience. Rather, we bring our brand, whether we realize it or not, into our work and daily lives. Only by uncovering our brand can we then consciously use it to our advantage.

To uncover your brand you need to combine self-analysis with external feedback from others. Using the 360Reach personal branding survey you can discover your brand attributes, skills, strengths, and competencies. Teaming up with a trained and certified personal branding coach, you then analyze your results and establish a firm belief in your brand. I recently had the 360Reach tool translated into the Japanese language which has helped my clients in Japan see that you do not need to be an “executive” to have a personal brand

Stay tuned for part #4 next week!


Peter Sterlacci is known as “Japan’s personal branding pioneer” and is one of only 15 Master level Certified Personal Branding Strategists in the world. He is introducing a leading global personal branding methodology to companies and careerists in Japan and adapting it for the Japanese culture. In a culture where fitting-in is the norm, his mission is to pioneer a ‘cultural shift’ by helping Japanese to stand out in a global environment. His background spans over 21 years in intercultural consulting, international outreach, and global communication coaching.

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