Reading List: The Image of Leadership by Sylvie Di Giusto

Why read this book? In her book, The Image of Leadership: How leaders package themselves for the right reasons, Di Giusto does a masterful job with a very difficult subject — your professional image in the workplace. The author, a Personal Branding Strategist and Image Expert, describes her work as “people packaging” and her book goes deep on all aspects of how one’s appearance speaks volumes about their abilities and potential for leadership.

The Image of Leadership

Di Giusto uses the term, “professional imprint,” which is far superior to “personal brand” in a professional setting. In my book, Career-ology: The Art and Science of a Successful Career, I wrote a chapter titled, “Your Personal Brand” and I struggled with the vague and varied definition of that term, as well as, the seeming contradiction of the idea of a “personal” brand in a “professional” context. I considered other chapter titles including “Professional Brand” and “Personal-professional Brand,” but neither seemed to work. I like “professional imprint” because it includes it clearly refers to a professional context and emphasizes the enduring aspect of this concept.

Di Giusto summarizes the concept of professional imprint with a great analogy involving product packaging. From the book:

Chips packaging is always fascinating. . . Not one word, even not a lot of talking and describing the chips can do as much on the package as the picture does. It shows what you get. Period. . .

Yes, there are chips inside, but not those we saw on the outside. Inside, they seem more ordinary, and there are usually many that are broken into little fragments. But we still like them. . . What’s the lesson here? With a perfect appearance on the outside, people are willingly buy into you and might still accept you if you’re not as perfect on the inside. The other way around is invariably much harder. #imageofleadership


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