Yesterday at the Online Marketing Summit in Minneapolis somebody asked me whether HubSpot encourages its employees to build personal brands.
My answer was unequivocal: Yes. We want our employees to be active on social media. We want them to blog. We want them to grow their reach. And as a company we want to help them do all that. If HubSpot's employees have powerful online presences its message will spread organically and authentically.
But I'm not happy with that answer. There’s a problem with excessive focus on personal brand. I don’t want to work at company full of individuals focused on polishing personal reputations. I want to work on a team. The team can have stars, but the stars need to know how to pass. They need to focus on winning, not being the individual scoring leader.
I think this why, if you look at companies building products changing people's lives, they're not hiring on the basis of Twitter followers or blog subscribers. They're making hiring decisions based on individuals' ability to build -- to build products, to build institutions and to build teams.