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I was given the book, ‘Mae West She Always Knew How’ A Biography by Charlotte Chandlerat Christmas and I am only just beginning to dip into it now. The ‘Come up and see me some time’ lines of her character Diamond Lil are universally recognised but I was fascinated to read about Mae’s philosophy and career.  She says her mother advised her not to let her intellect show as men don’t like women who are brighter than them but as Mae says, her mother lived in different times. So Mae, in the earlier part of the 20th century set out to do things differently and become a powerful woman in her own right.  The book title comes from the quote, ‘Some Women know how to get what they want. Others don’t. I’ve always known how.’ In Mae’s case you might assume that what she wanted was often diamonds and sex but she was also very clear about developing and protecting her personal brand and the power that that contained.

Leadership brand is something that women and probably many men don’t always spend time or energy reflecting on. Your brand is the distillation and embodiment of those values, vision and purpose which run through you like writing through a stick of rock. A few questions to help you focus: What do you stand for? What do you want people to say about you? What do you want to be known for? Just as Mae had her brand – and wouldn’t dream of being interviewed without full make up, costume and pack of adoring men – what is your brand and how hard will you work to maintain it in every situation?


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