Art by Anita Sadowska

In my interview with Chatham Sullivan, the author of The Clarity Principle, I was struck by his idea that many companies have an identity crisis. What does an identity crisis in the business world look like? According to Chatham, it is a parade of symptoms that occur in the absence of purpose. Those symptoms can show up as turf wars, low morale, and bad politics. Although many times consultants are called in to solve these problems, they are symptomatic of something much larger: a company that does not know who it is or what it stands for.

Though it may be a simple analogy, a company is a like a family. If the parents are highly dysfunctional or not fundamentally aligned, it can manifest in the children as bad behavior. Many times, we focus so much on fixing the bad behavior, or the problems, that we lose sight of the core problem – the parents. We focus on the symptoms and ignore the root cause.

This identity crisis doesn’t just affect companies. Your personal brand might be suffering an identity crisis. Is your leadership presence a bit off? Is your ability to communicate with impact lacking? Are people are confused about what you stand for or who you are? Do people wonder what value you bring to your role or your organization?

I challenge you to check your personal brand to see if you have any symptoms of an identity crisis showing up at work, at home, out socially, or with clients and colleagues. What do they look like? And how are you going to address the core issue? Let me know what you think in the comment section below this post.


Rasheryl McCreary is host of the show The Leader & The Muse on VoiceAmerica’s Business Channel.  She is also a Leadership Coach and the President of TAO Leadership Development, Inc. a coaching firm specializing in Personal Branding and Leadership Presence for executives and entrepreneurs. As a Personal Brand Strategist and Leadership Presence expert, Rasheryl has coached over 1,000 executives from Fortune 500 companies, government agencies and non-profit organizations.

Known for her authenticity, engaging presence and masterful coaching, Rasheryl helps executives and entrepreneurs tap their unique values and strengths in order to increase their visibility, build stronger relationships and drive extraordinary business results. Rasheryl has coached leaders in the following organizations: American Express, Coca-Cola, General Electric, HBO, Booz Allen Hamilton, The Central Intelligence Agency and Harvard Business School, to name a few.

As a business expert, Rasheryl has been interviewed by National Public Radio, the Cleveland Plain Dealer and Cleveland Magazine. In addition, she is the recipient of the prestigious Marshall Memorial Fellowship in 2005 and the Northern Ohio Live Award of Achievement in 2001.

Rasheryl earned a Leadership Coaching Certification at Georgetown University, a Bachelor of Arts degree from Case Western Reserve University and is a graduate of the Artist as Entrepreneur Institute.