How many times have we heard the expression, “There is no I in team!”

But seriously, how can you have a team without the diversity of each person, of each ‘I’? In their book The Start-up of You, LinkedIn Founder Reid Hoffman and Ben Casnocha say that ‘I’ versus ‘We’ is a false choice. It’s really both, or what they refer to as – “I to the Power of We”. They say:

“Your success depends on both your individual capabilities and your network’s ability to magnify them.”

I to the Power of We

Personal branding is often misinterpreted around the world as simply pumping up one’s ego and placing the interest of oneself ahead of others. In reality, however, our personal brand cannot flourish without the community and network around us. Personal Branding guru William Arruda says that our brands are held in the hearts and minds of others. I would add to this that our brands are then validated only by the power of others to spread the word.

I tested the “I to the Power of We” concept twice last year when I hosted two separate 30-day Personal Branding blogathons on my own blog in June and September. Each day a different thought-leader from around the world shared a blog post or brief video post.

Individually each post was powerful. But the power of each post was then raised exponentially by the network of the other bloggers, followers, and supporters who took this content and spread the word. One of the contributors from Iceland, Runa Magnusdottir, proved the power of community in her post “A Twitter Success Story: How 1+1 Became 246,999”.

Build a Genuine Global Community 

What can we take from this? Obviously community is important, but let me add one more thing: The community you build needs to be genuine.

Only genuine relationships will magnify your brand because they believe in you and want to advocate for you. The relationships built out of my blogathons are genuine because the ‘Power of We’ continues even months after they ended.

Remember, personal branding is not just about ‘me’ but so much more about ‘we’.

To experience an example of the ‘power of we’ in action and the community that grew out of it, click here and enjoy 30 thought leaders sharing amazing content via video.

To community and beyond!

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.