Building a personal brand

American Leaders interviews Marjorie Brody

BRODY Professional Development

This is an interview with Marjorie Brody of BRODY Professional Development on unlocking leadership potential in the pharmaceutical industry.

On behalf of pharmaphorum, American Leaders interviewed Marjorie Brody, Founder, CEO, and President of BRODY Professional Development about her views on building a personal brand within the healthcare industry. After having built a successful career as a college professor and trainer, Marjorie brings to us her expertise on self branding and leadership.

Interview summary

AL: What do healthcare professionals need to unlock their leadership potential?

MB: The first thing that healthcare professionals can do to unlock their leadership potential is to see themselves as leaders. That means eliminating any negative messages that they tell themselves. Leadership is more than a position or a title. On some level, everyone can lead. It’s important to look at the attributes of a leader, and then get personal feedback. If there are gaps, look for ways to develop yourself. Having mentors, role models, and a coach, along with receiving continual feedback, are good ways to speed up the learning.

One of the other attributes of being a leader is courage – the willingness to take risks, go outside of their comfort zone. When I coach professionals, I often ask what is a risk that they are willing to take? I then follow up with the next questions: “What’s the worst that can happen?” and finally, “Then what?”

For example, I decided to leave my tenured position as a college professor, to take my part-time training business full time. I discussed this with my father, who said, “You have two children to support, a tenured position and no business experience. Are you crazy?”

What I realized is that some people are fearful their whole lives, and aren’t willing to take risks that may help propel their careers. Others are more negative, and don’t necessarily want you to be more successful – and they project that on you. My father was the former, however I decided that the worst that could happen was my business would fail. But, if I didn’t try, however, I would have already decided that I was going to fail. Then, I asked myself, what would I do next? Apply to another college, go into sales, or get a corporate training job. Most people regret what they didn’t try more than what they did.

I like this quote by Thomas Edison: “If we did all the things we are capable of doing, we would literally astonish ourselves.”

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“…some people are fearful their whole lives, and aren’t willing to take risks that may help propel their careers.”

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AL: Why is the art of storytelling an integral role in climbing the ladder to leadership and what can it do for your brand?

MB: Storytelling is fundamental to human communication. Stories can change the way we think, act and feel. They also remove others’ intellectual defenses. They capture our imaginations in a way that cold, hard facts can’t. They aid in message retention and inspire us to take action. As leaders, we want to inspire and encourage action – and, ultimately, want people to take ownership of a message.

The use of storytelling allows listeners to picture the stories in their minds. Over time, the use of effective storytelling will help improve your personal brand. It makes you more memorable in the minds and hearts of others, and enhances your brand as a more relatable and authentic individual.

For example, I often use the story about my transition from tenured college professor to successful entrepreneur in my coaching and presentations. It gives others hope – that anything’s possible.

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“If we did all the things we are capable of doing, we would literally astonish ourselves.”

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AL: How do women in healthcare step out of the shadows of their male counterparts to obtain the leadership roles they deserve?

MB: Over the years, I’ve noticed that many women in the corporate world are waiting for the right time, the right place, the right job. In other words, they are getting ready to get ready. Their male counterparts, however, just jump in and make it work.

Here are some 10 examples of what women can do to step out of the shadows:

•  They must “own” their accomplishments by letting others know what they do, and not minimizing their achievements.

•  Volunteer for assignments

•  Get more involved in industry and community groups

•  Build advocates (their unofficial “sales” team who can influence, recommend, hire, etc.)

•  Speak up early on at meetings – don’t wait to be perfect.

•  Realize that work gets done in social settings

•  Build their network

•  Communicate clearly and concisely

•  Convey confidence even though they may not feel it

•  Avoiding hedging and qualifying language (“I guess, I hope, maybe, I’ll try,” etc.)

•  Avoid apologizing for things they didn’t do or asking for permission

We, as women, need to take responsibility in being recognized, admired and heard. It’s critical, however, to determine exactly what it is we want, and are willing to do to get it. I believe you can have it all, but not necessarily at the same time.

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About the interviewee:

Marjorie Brody, PCC, CSP, CPAE Speaker Hall of Fame, is president &amp, CEO of BRODY Professional Development in Jenkintown, PA, where she helps individuals from Fortune 100 to 1000 companies achieve their potential through coaching, training and keynoting. Clients include Boston Scientific, Genentech, LifeScan Animas, Pfizer, Roche Diagnostics, and Sanofi. Marjorie’s content-rich presentations and keynotes all delve into the vital characteristics, behaviors and strategies that lead to personal and professional-growth and are centered around accountability … yours and others.

She will be a guest speaker on May 21st during American Leaders Pharma SFE: Translating Strategy into Action. Marjorie is an author of more than 18 books, including Speaking is an Audience-Centered Sport, Courageous Coaching: How to Get Results by Coaching with Courage, Clarity &amp, Conviction, and Market Your MAGIC: A Guide to Reward &amp, Recognition). Marjorie can be reached at 215-886-1688, by e-mail: marjorie@brodypro.com or via http://www.brodypro.com/.

What do healthcare professionals need to unlock their leadership potential?