Hey Brian, I'm a new reader but have been really enjoyed your pieces. Your description of the changing workplace and the reasons behind it especially resonated with me as an Elder Millennial (41 now) who left Big Tech in 2017, came back to it in 2021 and felt like I was taking crazy pills for the disconnect between reasonable younger employees and an increasingly out-of-touch upper management (I've since left again to focus on my first kid and to figure out a different path).

One theme I've been thinking of as I get older is dealing with the temptation to become more (in the non-political sense) conservative, that--like with the newscasters in your piece--is driven by a mixture of not wanting what I'm familiar with to become obsolete, nostalgia for a bygone era, and (personally) feeling like my personality doesn't lend itself to the kind of "personal branding" I see on social media.

Any thoughts on if the changing paradigm to further embrace personal branding will inadvertently favor certain personality types and/or how those who might not seem like obvious fits for it (those getting older, or with more introverted personalities) might keep themselves relevant without a major overhaul of who they are?

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Brian, I think your analysis is spot-on. Having experienced this myself from 2008-2014 while an executive at Ford, I can personally attest to the push-and-pull going on between institution and individual. On the one hand, there was no eclipsing (nor was there an attempt to eclipse) a brand like Ford, with its storied heritage and family connection.

On the other hand, the people with whom I interacted online (customers, dealers, investors, the public) appreciated having a face and a voice to connect with. It was an early example of "humanizing" the brand, and it was very successful.

As you say, this will be a pendulum constantly swinging, and there will be harsh critics and fervent advocates. Those who understand how to harness the power of a personal brand and connect it in a realistic and feasible way to an institutional brand will be the beneficiaries - as will those who interact with them.

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