MBA, or should we strive for MBI (Indispensable)

The Reach Personal Branding group recently circulated a post that deserves wider circulation.  William Arruda,  a respected advocate for personal branding and co-author of Career Distinction, commented on a NYT piece by Thomas Friedman called,  “The New Untouchables.”

Arruda makes the point that those who will survive and flourish during challenging times are those who can distinguish themselves – those who can become the purple cow in the herd of brown and white cows.   As I prepare to meet MBA students who aspire to be the corporate and entrepreneurial leaders of tomorrow (Net Impact Conference 11/13 & 11/14),  it seems timely to extrapolate these words from William’s post:

As I see it, this is all about personal branding. What do you offer that is not available from anyone else? What emotional brand attributes do you add onto your competence that gets people excited about you? What unique talents and abilities put you in a class by yourself?

Will you make the case to a prospective employer that you understand their issues – that you are prepared to integrate your education, experience, and personal qualities in a plan that makes an overwhelming case for hiring and retaining you.  Will you make yourself indispensable?