The case for Manager Branding vs Employer Branding

Wil Reynolds
5 min readMay 6, 2022


Yeah, we’ve all heard that one and most of us believe it, but how many of us have flipped it?

“Employees aren’t attracted to companies, they are attracted to managers.”

Sure companies matter a ton! A company provides the environment for a manager to operate within. But what about manager’s role? I, as CEO, make the environment — but the daily execution of those guardrails is in the hands of managers.

Ever have a great brand to work on, but a horrible point of contact?

I’ve had TONS of client brands that were GREAT, but the point of contact we worked with stunk, right? How did I feel about the brand after that experience? Ever have that client point of contact leave and suddenly the project was great all of a sudden? Yup. So it’s not just about the company it’s about the people in the company, right?

I was getting ready to post a job on LinkedIn and thought, maybe it’s just noise, that is what inspired me to post this and reflect on who we are & are not built for.

Consider posting why someone should work with YOU as the manager, what value do you add to their career / life. What is your manager brand?

Try to finish this sentence, at least 50% of the people whom I managed have gone on to do ___________. Saying things like that shape your manager brand.

How many of you have ever written up and articulated why someone should work in your organization with YOU. What value will YOU (the applicant) gain by working with ME. Not the company, ME.

As a CEO my job is to create an environment to make it easy for manager to thrive, but ultimately the execution varies manager to manager.

Individual managers might need management brands. (I hate personal branding, FYI), but as a manager there’s real value in sitting in an interview and articulating why working with YOU drives value for them.

If there are 30 middle managers in your company, why should someone be on YOUR team. Not at the company, but with YOU. Imagine if we let the front line workers take the power back and they could choose any manager they wanted, how would you recruit for your team? What would you say? What is your track record, where are you an inflection point for people?

Let me go first — this is my manager brand

  • I build teams who do things for the first time, we take raw materials that maybe others see but don’t refine into value and turn them into new things on the hope we create value.
  • I have no problem looking at my failures honestly, but we don’t make excuses — you will learn that vulnerability is a safety blanket, it’s attractive more than you’ve been told, and I’ll be modeling it for you daily.
  • We’re going to be humble, when we win we get back to work. (We’ve won inc 5000 7 or 8 times, I don’t post about it, win awards whatever, get back to work).
  • I move roadblocks for you to see just how good you / your strategies are — wanna see how good you are, join my team.
  • Be willing to accept that as I remove those roadblocks, if you aren’t as good as you thought, that is OK lets work on leveling you up, but we don’t make excuses.
  • You will have a LOT of flexibility / with that comes a lot of accountability — you will learn to embrace your mistakes / shortcomings as part of growing.
  • You will learn a lot because I read a lot and challenge my default thinking a lot, it’s how I grow — so expect that I’ll challenge your thinking.

My job is to make it easy for you to do the right thing

  • You will level up your data skills, presentation skills, and critical thinking skills, work with me and you’ll likely be better at pitching clients to take action than you were before you worked with me
  • You’ll make mistakes here as making mistakes is on the path to greatness — My latitude for mistake making is SUPER high, make sure you are protecting my back so we don’t make fatal mistakes.
  • You’ll be a better human — I want to build better humans and I’ll always lead by example.
  • Your network will grow exponentially — My network is massive and how I operate means a lot of people are willing to do a favor for me, often times that means you get access to people 1:1 that you usually only see on stage. I can use that network to get you your dream client or dream industry, get you on stage, get your beliefs out to the world — fast.
  • Pride — Ultimately, I wanna give you something you built that when our time is over you can look back and your impact was UNDENIABLE and it was impactful to this business and it’s goals.
  • Exhausting — I’m not good at long term scalability, working with me is TURBULENT because of that, if you get tired working with me it’s going to be because I’m always changing stuff and that can get old.
  • Too Fast — I am impatient that has major pros and cons, know thyself.
  • Bad pacesetter — I work on vacations, this job is a hobby for me — I delay send all my emails so I don’t expect you to, but it makes me a bad pacesetter at times — don’t try to keep pace, this is a hobby I don’t need to get away from it.

This is what I bring, wanna know what my team thinks of working with me?

What would your brand be as a leader??

Imagine if your boss said to you, today I’m letting everyone pick their manager at our company, what would your pitch be? How much time have you put into thinking about that pitch, could you give it right now?

Before you jump in watch this video, and yes you will cringe — you gotta look within, that’s where all growth starts.



Wil Reynolds

Serial Underdog @seerinteractive doing SEO, Marketing, & Stuff, I am whatever you say I am.

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