04/12/2012

By Alexia Leachman, Founder of www.headtrash.co.uk


Many business leaders have built their own personal brands on great business brands. But every now and then, a great business brand needs the help of a personal brand to get back on track. Reconsider for a moment the BBC drama. Once Mr Entwistle had resigned, the BBC was swirling around in a black hole its reputation in tatters. Then the new leader, Tony Hall, was announced. What followed was a surge in positivity with several key BBC figures rejoicing; David Dimbleby tweeted “A brilliant choice. It feels like being in the Royal Navy when they were told, "Winston is back!"

Alan Yentob was quoted as saying “He is very thoughtful and has got good judgement – this is a great day for the BBC.”
The BBC Middle East Editor Jeremy Bowen, tweeted to welcome him back “Excellent appointment,”

All of a sudden, the dark cloud that had been battering the BBC was lifting. That is not to say that they are out of the woods yet, but there has most certainly been a collective sigh of relief. Mr Hall has reinstilled hope and confidence that the BBC can get through this. It’s incredible really, that such a fine institution as the BBC can be helped by the personal brand of a single man. But then again, not surprising given that it was the abhorrent actions of a single man that nearly brought it down. It’s a fine lesson for those who doubt that how we choose to show up in the world has any impact on the organisations we choose to be part of.

So what was it about Mr Hall’s personal brand that helped the BBC?

It’s his solid, positive reputation that is firmly based on the great things that he has already achieved elsewhere. Remember what Henry Ford said – you can’t build a reputation on what you’re GOING to do. Mr Hall has implemented some credible changes at The Royal Opera House and given his success there, it is assumed that he can do the same for the BBC. His strong journalistic track record as a former chief executive of BBC News and editor of the Nine O’Clock News no doubt helps given the nature of the recent cock-ups.

But let’s for a moment think about what the BBC need more than anything right now: to rebuild trust. Remember what the online dictionary told us that trust was:

“Reliance on the integrity, strength, ability, surety, etc., of a person or thing; confidence. Confident expectation of something; hope.”

And there is the WHY in this case, a business brand needs a personal brand. Mr Hall has provided hope: a confident expectation that he can sort this out based on ability, strength and integrity. Businesses are just a collection of people after all, so it stands to reason that the personal qualities of those at the top colour the whole organisation.


Alexia Leachman is a Mojo-hunter and helps business leadersto find their mojo by helping them to clear their head trash, tell their story, raise their profile, build their digital presence and manage their reputation. Alexia is also the founder of www.headtrash.co.uk, the home of the most powerful head trash clearance technique in the world. She regularly speaks and writes, and has authored a chapter on Online Reputation for a book on Internet Marketing. You can follow her on Twitter at @AlexiaL and find out more at www.alexialeachman.com