We often think of a brand as a company, famous person, or team. In business the subject of branding is very common and is usually thought of in marketing terms to get a business’s name out to the world. The brand I am talking about in this article however is personal brand. What is a personal brand? A personal brand is you, what people think of you, how you act, your work ethic, and at the end of the day what makes you uniquely you. Your personal brand is you and no matter whether you think about your personal brand on a regular basis or don’t even know what one is, you have one! For the most part a personal brand won’t be a problem for most of you as we all make mistakes, have fun in life, and are expected to act a certain way. As long as you keep away from the “really bad or criminal stuff” your personal brand will stand the test of time. So why should you care about your personal brand? You should think of it because it’s hidden for the most part and that’s the danger of it. You never know when it will appear.
In case you have been living in a cave in the transportation industry you should now have heard of the now famous truck driver with the last name of Gill. This person is a prime example of how you can ruin your personal brand through your actions. Gill is a Canadian citizen with a Class A commercial drivers license. If you haven’t heard the story this driver was pulled over in the United States for safety inspections and was placed out of service for log book violations multiple times. He disregarded the Out-of-Service orders and continued down the road. He was reported by other road users to be swerving all over the road and endangering other motorists. He was pulled over again, cited for violations and put out of service. This was repeated four times within a 24 hour period. In fact his truck had been towed to storage facilities on two occasions and he was caught on video removing his truck from the facility without authorization. He is now in Vermont waiting on a Superior Court date in regards to the charges.
Over my 25 year career I have hauled a variety of loads from high priced million dollar freight to hot loads that should have been there yesterday and everything in-between. Not one of the loads have I ever had the urge to violate an order by enforcement people for my company or personal gain. Now I admit I am a trustworthy soul and pretty creative in nature, but I guess I don’t possess that criminal element in my mind. I cannot even imagine why a driver would want to push themselves to that level for a load of freight. The only two instances that come to my mind and it hasn’t been reported yet to my knowledge, is that this person was either running drugs with the truck or someone had his family at gunpoint until he delivered that load. Again drugs come to mind! Those are the only two reasons that I can vaguely understand a person going to that level of criminal dedication over a load of freight. Since all the violations reported were logbook related the driver had a time issue connected to the load in my personal opinion.
What did this do to Gill’s personal brand as a driver? He’s done! Whether he beats the charges or not he has been banned from the United States and Canada is deciding at this moment if he is a danger on the road here. Even if they don’t pull his license he won’t get a job with any reputable carrier. We all know if he does drive again he will probably do worse damage or kill someone if he continues on the same course of action. His actions will haunt him for a very long time not only in this industry but where he goes in the future. For what?
Your name is your personal brand and for the most part acting respectably will keep it in tact through the course of your career. What you have to realize is that doing something like Gill did can bring your brand to the forefront and follow you for a long time. Every action needs to be weighed based on importance. At the end of the day it is your decision to make. Don’t ruin your personal brand for a quick buck, a late load, or to get home. It will take a long time to build your brand back after that. If you would like to read the full article on Gill click this link.
About the Author
Bruce Outridge has been in the transportation industry for over 30 years. He is an artist, author of the books Driven to Drive and Running By The Mile, consultant, and speaker. TTSAO also known as the Truck Training Schools Association of Ontario has certified member schools in the truck training vocation ensuring quality entry level drivers enter the transportation industry. To learn more about the TTSAO or to find a certified school in your area visit www.ttsao.com
Please follow and like us: