Personal Brand Book Review – One Piece of Paper

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One Piece of Paper – The simple approach to powerful, personal leadership.

© 2011 by Mike Figliuolo, 237 pages, Hardback

5R Score: 30/35

The Leadership Maxims Approach

  1. Leading Yourself
  2. Leading the Thinking
  3. Leading Your People
  4. Leading a Balanced Life
  5. Making it Real

On a scale of 1-7   

Relevance – is it right for personal branding? - 6

Resonance – does it make sense to the reader? - 6

Relation – is there a connection for everyone? - 6  

Remarkability – does it stand out, will it get noticed? - 6

Real – does the personal brand come through? – 6

Would you pick it up?

This book is one of the early runners for me as my book of the year for 2012 and carries one of my highest ever ratings. It’s both that good and I believe a must for anyone looking to do work and define more clearly their personal leadership brand.

I actually chanced on picking it up, the sub-title ‘personal leadership’ was what had caught my eye as this is a hot topic at the moment in terms of requests for my speaking services from Fortune 500 companies. I am glad I did pick it up. Once I had I could not put it down or stop recommending to anyone prepared to listen!


This book is all about your personal leadership, which ultimately is your leadership brand. The author does not make any direct reference to personal branding, but the book is liberally sprinkled with many of the approaches, exercises and discussions personal brand strategists have with leadership clients.

Certainly going forward for any client wanting to communicate their leadership brand to their team etc., I am going to be adding this to the ‘must read and implement’ list.


For those not familiar with the personal branding term or approach they do not have to worry. This book and the approaches that are recommended are intuitively evident. In fact it is likely that a lot of your leadership maxims are already in place, it is more of a case of being consciously aware of them

Once you have your maxims then sharing those with others becomes the easy part and communication flows after that. It really is a simple but highly effective approach.


Regardless of it you are in a people management position or not you can still be a leader. So that makes this book even more useful and relevant. You do not have to wait for that role that actually has people reporting to you to define now what your leadership style is and will be.

This book might be especially useful for those aspiring to be leaders but feel it is a few years away. With your maxims defined you can be ahead of the game and even start to be trying them out in less risky environments away from work in volunteering for example.

Also for the many of you who are in solopreneur type roles the one piece of paper could prove in=valuable in helping you get clear on your thought leadership and ensuring you stay true to it regularly.


I really loved the simplicity of the book and approach. Like an over blown business plan your leadership does not have to be described in impersonal, lengthy and ultimately boring documents that end up on the shelf and never used.

The one piece of paper concept makes it easy to share, post, reach for and refer to all the time. You could even reduce it down in size and make a pocket version of it if you like. I love the simplicity and quick ease of use and relevance.


Mike shares his own leadership mantras at the end of the book. Also throughout the book he gives many personal and client examples to make the points and share the value in the approach

But as he points out there are not like the 10 commandments, they are not set in stone forever. They can and will change depending on many factors. That for me really makes this book realistic and the process workable and actionable.



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