All Posts in Branding

April 14, 2017 - No Comments!

Nicole’s Story


SBCo has proven to me how a small team can work together to make a big impact. We are a close-knit, collaborative group that fosters creativity, flexibility in thought and in working logistics. It has amazed me that while we all work virtually, we manage to operate as if we see each other daily. Our small group never seems to miss a beat; both in finding creative ways to help our clients or working together as a cohesive unit. While the nature of our business has ebbs and flows, what remains constant is our commitment to clients and the holding of ourselves to the highest standards.

Published by: Sherry Benjamins in Blog
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April 12, 2017 - No Comments!

Katherine’s Story


Perhaps you can relate. Imagine my surprise when I showed up in corporate life with a burning desire to contribute, bundles of energy to get things done, and an never-ending flow of ideas (at least some of which were even feasible), only to realize the company just wasn’t willing to let me work to my potential. It felt like I was a salmon throwing myself on the rocks time and time again trying to get the company to let me make the contribution of which I was capable!

I finally decided “This Salmon isn’t spawning this year” and moved on. When I met Sherry and came to work at SBCo, I realized this was where people would be allowed to set their bar at the high level everyone wants to achieve in their work. Their ideas would be welcomed, and there would be total integrity, with an unwavering focus on superior client service.  And not one rock in sight! How wonderful. Thank you, Sherry!

Published by: Sherry Benjamins in Blog
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May 25, 2016 - No Comments!

May Newsletter 2016 – Healthy Leaders

I am grateful to have worked for a few “healthy leaders” early in my career; they seem tougher to find today. There are unprecedented challenges in leadership in this chaotic world. Bob Rosen, CEO advisor and founder of Healthy Companies International, knows from his extensive research and hands-on experience that healthy leaders pave the way to healthy companies.

Bob and his Chief Knowledge Officer, Kathie Ross, are joining us for our Great Starts Breakfast Series on June 1st in Southern California to share their perspectives and challenge our assumptions about what it means to be a great leader. I talked with them about their work.


SB: What led you to research healthy leaders?

Bob Rosen (2)Bob Rosen: I was trained as a psychologist and was originally interested in family dynamics. As I began working with families, I was struck that fathers were not showing up for sessions, and I became intrigued with the psychology of successful businessmen and entrepreneurs. That led to working with the business roundtable and watching how larger companies manage or mismanage their human capital. It became clear that leadership was an issue.

I was fortunate to interview Max DePree in the early part of my career and he was my first image of a healthy leader. I began to meet leaders who either cast light or cast darkness. I was interested in understanding this further. The McArthur foundation called and was interested in this subject as well. Since then, we’ve interviewed 500 CEOs of large companies to really get our arms around how great leaders build great companies.

Kathie Ross
SB: Kathie, what led you to the human capital business?

Kathie Ross: Like Bob, I started with a psychology degree. I joined corporate America and found it intriguing to observe the relationships we form and how those relationships impact our effectiveness. Some bring out the best in people, and others are the opposite. After a Masters in Human Resource Management and a PhD in Organizational Behavior and years of fascinating work in HR, Bob and I were drawn to work together because he is rooted in the psychology field and I bring 25 years of experience as an executive inside organizations working to understand behavior.


SB: What have you learned about yourself in this journey?

BR: In my 20’s when I got my PhD in Clinical Psychology, I learned a lot about the importance of personal intelligence. When I went into the business world, and started researching CEOs, I learned about the importance of business intelligence. In my 40’s, I spent time working globally and recognized the importance of cultural intelligence. I think leaders need to connect with and cultivate all three of those intelligences inside themselves.

We operate under a paradigm that what you do defines who you are. But the best leaders have operated from an alternative paradigm that says who you are as a human being drives what you do. I’ve grown into this alternative paradigm more each year and recognize that leadership is a deeply personal act; both for you psychologically and for how you touch other people.


SB: Why are the best CEO’s investing in self-reflection?

BR: The outside world is changing faster than ever and leaders must turn inside to be more grounded and more conscious in terms of who they are. It is the only way to operate in an environment that is more uncertain, more competitive, more transparent, and more global than ever before. Only five percent of our beliefs, feelings, actions and decisions are conscious. Incredibly, 95% of our mind’s activity is unconscious. Lack of self-awareness, then, is the greatest obstacle to strong leadership. Increasingly, CEO’s understand that if they fail to see the reality about themselves and their leadership, then they are less likely to be successful in building their organizations. Those operating with outdated mental models are simply under pressure to change.

KR: The work we have been doing with CEO’s most recently is in how they and their teams change. We know why the world is changing so quickly, and there are many opinions about what we need to do differently to deal with this, but it’s the how. How do we accelerate transformation? What are the personal and organizational accelerators and hijackers that move us forward or hold people back and undermine their success?


SB: How are younger professionals learning leadership?

KR: I think that is an issue. We are in a period of transition. We make a lot of generalizations about millennials that I don’t think are very accurate because I see a lot of variations. Many millennials have grown up with leaders early in their career with the traditional mindset, and so they are struggling with this as well. It is not easy just because they are younger.

BR: We see four or five generations in the workplace today. It is time to appreciate differences and yet recognize that human beings are fundamentally the same and they want to learn. Leaders at every level want to be in touch with their purpose, values, and passion. They want to contribute. So this means it starts with the leader seeing a bigger picture, and understanding how their leadership impacts others.



Leading is courageous work. Bob and Kathie see this as a time of choice for all of us. We can focus with intention on the healthy roots of leadership and be the person we are truly meant to be, or hope to get there someday.

You can learn more about Bob and Kathie and their leadership philosophy at our June 1st, 2016 Great Starts Breakfast event where they are presenting"GROUNDED: How Leaders Stay Rooted  in an Uncertain World" at the Center Club in Costa Mesa. Visit for more details. 

February 20, 2016 - No Comments!

Brand is the “Why” of your Business – Candidates Want to Know

This past week we hosted a Great Starts Breakfast, SBCo's learning forum in LA on the topic of "Why Brand Matters."  Our guests were heads of HR, Talent Management leaders and those managing the Talent Acquisition function.  It was a lively discussion about branding, which is one of the most misunderstood concepts in business. What does it mean to create a compelling brand message that lines up with your culture?  Our experience is that messages and experiences on the inside don't always connect to those on the outside for your customers.  We are far better at capturing the hearts and minds of our customers and still struggle with that experience for candidates.

What we are seeing now is the intersection of HR and Marketing.   Here are some definitions from our guest speaker, Krysta Masciale (owner and founder of Big Deal Branding in Los Angeles):

  • Marketing is anyone in the organization who is responsible for creating, maintaining and communicating the brand's message internally and externally.
  • HR is anyone in the organization responsible for attracting, selecting and retaining top talent to carry out the brand promise.Sherryand krysta

We have not seen enough collaboration in these two domains.  That is changing.  There is a need to holistically look at strategy for finding those scarce high performing talents.  Many companies have resorted to hiring a search firm to tackle this work (something that SBCo enjoys doing and has excelled in) AND there must be an expanded focus in this work that ensures greater probability of long term success and candidate fit.

In our session, we explored the realities and misconceptions of “Brand”.  Krysta Masciale reminds us that brand isn’t solely a fancy logo or high tech website. Brand is the “Why” of your business. Why do you exist? Why should customers choose you over a competitor? Why should talent come work for you?

To get to the “Why” piece, you must first define these five things:

1. Values- Identify 4-5. Define meaning for your organization. Claim these values in your daily work.

2. Strengths- Find the sweet spot of what you are good at and acknowledge what your organization is not good at.

3. Goals- Establish a yearly theme. Set quarterly goals. Assess goals and theme regularly.

4. Messages- Clarity and commitment is key here - take the step to clarify two words that describe your organization and commit to those words/message.

5. Ideal Clients- Identify this group so that you can speak to the wants and needs of this group.

When these five steps are done right, profits rise and employees see the "why" to stay, production increases and candidates learn more about new opportunities. These steps can easily be utilized by a Marketer creating the company story or the Recruiter and his or her Marketing/Communications partner to develop the talent story.

In 2016 our firm is committed to expanding this work with our clients in order to create a talent brand and message that ensures ideal candidates see "their wants" in the hiring company.  If they don't see themselves in this picture, then it is probably not for them.  Candidates also want to experience interviews and realistic job previews that reflect the organization and leader values.  Here at SBCo we already focus on that when crafting a "marketing specification"  that is entirely beyond the traditional job description.  Clients value the time and effort we place on getting the story right and asking questions that uncover the "DNA" and culture of a firm as well as the opportunity to contribute in cool ways.  (p.s. we love using micro sites, podcasts and other non-traditional ways to relay the story).

Get started on the "why."  It will make a big difference.  If you need help along the way and are committed to raising the stakes in competing for talent; call us here at S. Benjamins & Company and we will bring our brand strategist and amazing search team into a new conversation.  Let me know your thoughts at and Krysta Masciale at


June 24, 2014 - No Comments!

The Next Influential Brand is YOU

Our team is always striving to keep up with the latest trends in all aspect of search. We recently tuned into to a webinar hosted by Glassdoor and found out some compelling statistics:

  • 51% of candidates have “buyer’s remorse” due to inaccurate picture of the job
  • 70% of people trust online reviews for product and brands
  • 95% of candidates are influenced by brand reviews when taking a job
  • Glassdoor has 300,000 employer profiles and 15 million jobs posted

There’s no doubt that the number of jobs posted on Glassdoor is stunning, but we were really fascinated by the fact that 95% of candidates were influenced by brand reviews and brand perceptions. We know that this stat could be transferable to the organization’s perception of a candidate as well. At S. Benjamins & Co. we approach the candidate as their own brand. Sadly, we don’t find many candidates thinking that way when they go through the search process. The number of half-done LinkedIn profiles and non-existent Google results can be mind-numbing for our sourcers. Imagine if a company like Walt Disney didn’t have a logo, never updated their websites, stores, and theme parks with new and relevant products/accomplishments, and never responded to customer reach out. Our guess is that Disney wouldn’t be the industry powerhouse that they are today.

Our team believes in building an online personal brand that delivers the greatest Return on Relationship and helping our clients, colleagues, and network find their ROR quickly and effectively. Each time we work with a client to build their personal brand, we customize a launch plan and maintenance strategy to help them attain their professional goals now and in the future. Often, those goals involve transitioning to a new role, becoming an industry leader that generates original content, or shifting into a new career path.

Personal Branding Social Network

We think it is time for working professionals to see themselves as a brand worth marketing for.

 Are you your greatest brand advocate or do you have room to improve personal brand?

Interested in learning more about our Personal Branding service?

Learn more here:

Published by: admin in Recruiting
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April 15, 2014 - No Comments!

It’s called Personal Branding For a Reason

What is the first thing you do after you meet a new influencer, co-worker, or industry colleague? Most people start by Googling them, which leads to a LinkedIn profile, then an outdated Twitter (with one post), and maybe an association they add their name to at some point in their career (exceptions to this sequence apply).  A Personal brand is the sum of experience that others have with who you are. Less than 15% of leaders know how to develop their personal brand according to leadership surveys conducted by Forbes. Many of us have witnessed the catastrophe that typically occurs when a leader makes an attempt to develop a brand; they’re likely to unintentionally launch into self-promotion that taint their professional reputations and make their colleagues begin to question their objectives.

The important thing to remember with a personal brand is that you are the only one that can completely manage your brand’s progression (positively or negatively).  The people you do business for/with, the mentors you seek guidance from, the companies you work for- all influence your aptitude to strengthen or aid in weakening your personal brand.

Often, when leaders don’t want to or don’t know how to control their personal brand they let colleagues, office culture, and/or client relationships define their personal brand. Too often a leader ends up being defined as "That guy who works for XYZ Company" and personal characteristics are replaced with organizational characteristics. A leader may actually be tenacious and relatable, but if they let other people and factors (i.e. a recession, company cuts, etc.) define them, the leader could turn into money-driven and intimidating quickly and permanently.  This counters the very premise of a personal brand because you are putting your reputation development in the hands of others. Of course, external factors are important and play large roles in personal development, but you know your ideal types of workplace cultures, the networks you should and would like to belong to, and how you can best support the improvement of others while feeling personally fulfilled.

Authenticity goes the longest way in personal branding. Perfection in an individual is too unattainable and others know it, so don’t strive for the illusion of perfection. Strive for authenticity and a personal brand that you would feel confident endorsing. The majority of people we talk to through our HRoundtable groups and other outlets want to be led by those who are relevant and reachable, but also honest and with strong intentions.  It is easy to get lost in your organization’s brand or the culture that your immerse yourself in daily, but there is power in taking control of how others understand you as a leader.

Are you managing your brand or allowing your organization to direct its path?

Idea spurred by: ForbesPersonal-Brand-Jeff-Bezos

Published by: sbcoadmin in Communication
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