5 CEO's Who "Branded" Their Businesses With Their People
2018 was a HUGE year for SimplyBe. We pushed boundaries in so many ways: moving into a beautiful new office space, launching a new website, growing our client base to include the most inspiring, talented and dedicated leaders and reaching near seven-figures in sales.
It seemed like every month offered the company new, exciting opportunities for growth. I know I say this all the time, and not to sound like a broken record, but every achievement we earned, every new door opened to SimplyBe. was all because of the amazing team of badass women I am lucky enough to work with everyday.
Seriously. The SimplyBe. gals are some of the smartest, kindest, hardest working and funniest people I have been blessed to know. Watching the business expand has been intrinsically tied to watching my team grow, both in number, and as individuals. In fact, probably my favorite aspect of my job is seeing my team members rise to every occasion: gaining confidence, mastering new skills and forming personal connections with clients and each other.
One of my goals for 2019 is for SimplyBe. to continue to foster a culture where every person on my team is free to pursue their passions and remain true to themselves. I am a firm believer that a company can be unified by shared core values without erasing its employees identities, which is why giving my team the time, space and opportunities to grow their own personal brands is so important to me. This is not an idea I’ve come up with on my own, however, it’s something I’ve picked on from seeing the ways that CEOs I admire run their companies; they’re all about people.
These CEOs know who they are, what they care about and how they want that to shape their company’s culture. However, they don’t use this assurance to dominate their business, but rather to empower their teams to build a stronger company and a better world.
Jeff Weiner - LinkedIn CEO
LinkedIn is a powerhouse, not only for the way it transformed social media use, elevating it to the professional sphere (in the word of personal branding this is big), but for its ability to come out of the Silicon Valley bubble without a reputation for overworking their people. The latter is thanks to Weiner’s dedication to building a collaborative and integrated team. He’s explained that when hiring it’s important to feel a certain chemistry with your team’s newest addition. He also emphasizes building a company where people can fill in the gaps and support one another in various ways. This means embracing differences in your employees and developing a culture that not only accepts, but embraces the unique traits that everyone brings to the table. This respect for individuality is what’s helped LinkedIn continue to push boundaries and remain one of the most desirable places to work.
Michael Mente and Mike Karanikolas - Revolve co-CEOs
This fashion industry disruptor has attained powerhouse status through Mente and Karanikolas’ dedication to being different. Both industry outsiders, they sought to break the mold by creating a platform that embraced small labels and new, fresh styles. Paired with Revolve’s partnerships with Instagram models, ranging from fashion heavy hitters like Kendall Jenner, to micro influencers, Mente and Karanikolas have created a brand that has a signature look (think edgy and glamorous) that still embraces new looks and allows its ambassadors to define their personal style. Such a fresh take on fashion has led Revolve to hit the $1 billion mark in annual earnings this year.
Richard Branson - Virgin CEO
Branson has done a seamless job integrating his own sense of adventure and quirkiness into Virgin Group’s many subsidiaries. He has often spoken out about the power of using his personal brand to shape company culture. Positive feedback, an emphasis on active listening and genuinely caring for one another are cornerstones of Virgin’s culture, creating a workplace that is ambitious, hard-working, while celebrating the authenticity of each and every one of its team members. This energy translates to a one-of-a-kind customer experience, with a unique attention to detail, both which are key to the success of a hospitality business.
Vishen Lakhiani - MindValley University CEO
You’ve heard us talk about the epic experience our team had at Mindvalley University this past summer. It was a week of professional and personal expansion where we were surrounded by leaders across all fields seeking to bring more light to the world. This environment was fostered by the Mindvalley team, who for all their unique areas of expertise, are united by their passion for innovation. This culture fueled by curiosity and change is created by founder and CEO Vishen Lakhiani, whose passion for lifelong learning was Mindvalley’s impetus. His desire to break the mold and empower other freethinkers to do the same has trickled down through his entire organization, helping to form the next wave of disruptors.
Aimee Wertepny - PROjECT. Founder
PROjECT, a Chicago-based interior design firm is a company that we at SimplyBe. are absolutely obsessed with. Every designer on their team has a knack for transforming ordinary spaces into dreamscapes with the most unexpected touches. Such unbridled creativity stems from founder, Aimee Wertnerpy, who uses her own powerful style to empower her team members to stay true to their tastes and boldly approach new designs. This leads to a culture of supportive collaboration and some seriously stunning designs.
These CEOs and the selfless and genuine ways in which they lead their (ultra-successful) companies are living proof that leveraging your personal brand is an act of service. They’ve used their passions to build companies that are changing their part of the world and attracting top talent with their unbeatable culture. That’s some New Year inspo, if I’ve ever seen it!