Are You A Career Commander?

Whether you are new to Personal Branding or have been at it for a while, Dan Schwabel’s book ME 2.0 is a must read. His concept of being the commander of your career really resonates with me because it assumes a high degree of personal responsibility. According to Dan, to be a career commander means (pp. 37-38):

- To be an active leader in and out of the workplace
- To learn from mistakes and failures, while never holding grudges and always putting bad experiences behind you
- To know no bounds and persist against all odds
- To stand tall and have a memorable presence
- To be an agent of change who seeks to lead by example
- To care for others, show respect, and follow the Golden Rule
- To take pride in yourself and your accomplishments
- To always give back and support those you cherish most

I’ve written extensively at my blog about leadership and followership, and in my view the very foundation of healthy leadership is personal responsibility. I am convinced that if more people would assume responsibility for asking themselves each and every day “what can I do today to make a difference?” that our organizations would experience radical transformation.  Committing to making a difference each and every day at work, regardless of what others around you are doing, is one of the most effective things you can do to enhance your personal brand.

Bret L. Simmons: Be A Career Commander from Bret Simmons on Vimeo.

In my opinion, most of your peers are not going to follow Dan’s advice for becoming a career commander. That’s good news for you. If you can find the courage to give yourself permission to do the things your peers are not willing to do, you have the opportunity to become truly remarkable.


Bret Simmons is an Assistant Professor of Management in the College of Business at the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR), where he teaches courses in organizational behavior, leadership, and personal branding to both undergraduate and MBA students. He has a Ph.D. in Business Administration from Oklahoma State University. Bret practices personal branding at his website Positive Organizational Behavior where he blogs about leadership, followership, and personal branding. His purpose is “to change your mind about the value of partnering with others to build healthy, responsible organizations where everyone can thrive.” You can also find Bret on Twitter, Facebook, and Linkedin.

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2 Responses to “Are You A Career Commander?”

  1. [...] most recent post at The Student Branding blog is entitled “Are You A Career Commander?“  It’s a very timely post for me because tonight a begin teaching a new class in [...]

  2. Hey Brett, thanks for the post. Being a career commander is hard work, but its really the only way you can get to where YOU want to be. Most people let things happen to them, rather than being proactive and doing the things you mention.

    Nobody is going to find your dream job for you, and your company isn’t going to bend over backwards to find your strengths and match them with a position. Its all up to you and its not easy.

    I wrote a post not too long ago that compliments this nicely.

    Why do A students have C filled lives?


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