Personal branding for people who hate personal branding

THE LEADER

We have been primed to think of leaders as fast-charging pep talkers, but it turns out that introverted leaders deliver better results than extroverts, according to research by psychologist Adam Grant, a management professor at Wharton.

THE CURATOR

Introverts are able to spend a lot of time with an area or activity of interest. They are repositories of specific knowledge, ready to travel the world to obtain a coveted item or experience, and passionately talk about their latest acquisitions. Born in Vancouver, Kevin Ma says he grew up far from the hubs of youth culture. He started Hypebeast as a sneaker blog from his bedroom in 2005. Fast forward to 2019, and the company, now publicly traded and with diversified revenue streams, is the ultimate global destination for streetwear, fashion, and culture.

THE OBSERVER

Introverts’ inclination is to listen rather than speak. This makes them sensitive to the nuance and complexity of life situations, and it gives them time to think and process aspects that may go unnoticed by extroverts. Their comfort zone is writing vs. talking, and social media offers them a platform to build a personal brand around their astute and often witty observations. It gives them the ability to reach a number of people on their own terms — in the solitude of their office, for example — without having to be physically present and active in large social groups.

THE EXPERT

Kawhi Leonard is a three-time All-Star and a two-time NBA Defense Player of the Year. He’s equally famous for his reclusive behavior, monosyllabic press conference answers, and avoidance of social media. He built his brand thanks to mass media and thanks to his single-minded focus on honing his skills.

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