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Author Details How to Build a Personal Brand in His Award-Winning Book

Dave Gordon also highlights the importance of taking personal responsibility for one’s reputation and results.
  • Lori Chordas
  • October 2021
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TIP: A Simple Strategy to Inspire High Performance and Lasting Success

When it comes to creating a reputation and results, personal accountability is imperative, said Dave Gordon in his book, TIP: A Simple Strategy to Inspire High Performance and Lasting Success, which garnered an American Book Fest Award in 2020 and a gold medal Axiom Business Book Award this year. While it's important for individuals to take responsibility for their decisions and actions, and to identify what they stand for to a variety of audiences, he said the keys to creating a successful personal brand and building value also come from personalizing the customer experience and sharing one's unique story.

Dave Gordon

Dave Gordon

In his book, Gordon, the chief marketing officer at claims services provider Gallagher Bassett, tells the story of Brian Davis, a salesperson who is fired without warning for being average. Davis reluctantly takes the only job he can get, where an unlikely mentor, new colleagues and demanding customers teach him the four simple principles of TIP to take control of his life, career and future. Following is an edited transcript of an interview with AM Best TV.

What are the four principles of TIP?

The principles of TIP, which stands for 'Take It Personally,' are identity, communication, actions and unique value. In the story, Brian learns about these four cornerstones of building his own brand. He realizes that before understanding and putting the principles to use, he wasn't adding value to his former company and team. The book is a cautionary tale for young talent, and a reminder to those long established in their careers, that it's never too late to reinvent yourself or create a new beginning. Individuals should take customer experience personally. When you take care of your customers, you earn a 'stand-out' reputation, which leads to greater results and helps you move ahead in your career.

How can individuals see through adversity to chart the right course of their future and discover their brand?

Every great story has conflict, and that is why TIP was written as a fable. It basically says, 'Don't tell someone how to live their life. Tell a story and they'll figure it out for themselves.' Individuals need to embrace their own personal stories in work and life, and how they overcame crisis moments. If they can see conflict as a chance to gain new skills as well as a great signature story of resilience, they will have a bright future and a strong brand.

What do you hope people will take away from the book?

When I discovered the concept of personal branding, it changed my life. I hope readers will embrace this simple strategy of accountability to help them accelerate success in their careers and their lives.


Lori Chordas is a senior associate editor. She can be reached at lori.chordas@ambest.com.


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