6 Degrees Of Separation: Make Kindness Part Of Your Personal Brand And Watch It Explode


There is a lot of talk about personal branding these days, but what exactly does it mean and why is it important? It may help to understand what a “corporate” brand is. A corporate brand is much more than just a logo. A corporate brand is the promise it makes to it’s customers. And the success of corporate brand amounts to:

1) Is it useful
2) How well they deliver upon their promise
3) Do people like it

Understand this and you will understand why your personal brand is so critical. A personal brand is pretty much the same thing, just replace customer with: friends and colleagues. Now let’s assume like most people you have #1 and #2 covered. You have a job, help people from time to time, do pretty much what you say you will do and don’t tell a whole lot of lies. #3 is where kindness can get you a fair amount of traction.

You have heard of the concept of 6 degrees of separation right? Or at least 6 degrees of Kevin Bacon. 6 degrees of separation shows that each person on the planet is connected to everyone else by only 6 steps. It’s pretty mind blowing if you think about it. Through a friend of a friend of a friend of a friend of a friend of a friend you can reach anyone in the world from Barack Obama to Kim Jong-un.

Now this is where it gets interesting. The 6 degree network exists for everyone in the world, but some people have an easier time traveling along it. If you are nice to people, helpful and generally kind; people will talk about you, keep you in their address books, invite you to parties, put you on email lists and friend you on Linkedin and Facebook. As a result you will hear about jobs, meet your soulmate and make many friends. By just being nice to people you will glide along that network with ease and life will be much more fun for you.

On the other hand, if you are a jerk, people will delete you from their address books, un-friend you and not invite you to any parties. If you are cut off from the 6 degrees network, life gets pretty miserable.

6 degrees of separation is an amazing thing, so be kind and watch your personal brand explode!

Photo by Andrew Ferguson