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Michael Kurland – Lynchburg

Award-winning founder and CEO of Branded Group

Road to Greatness

Michael Kurland, Lynchburg ’01, is the award-winning founder and CEO of Branded Group, a company dedicated to delivering exceptional facility management for multi-site commercial facilities. He is a well-established author of thought leadership articles in online publications on topics such as leadership, company culture, social impact, and employee engagement and retention, as well as on his philosophy for personal and professional success. Whether he is hosting his #BeBetter with Michael Kurland podcast, sharing his insights in thought leadership articles, or speaking to other purpose-driven leaders, Michael’s focus is simple: Be Better.

Michael writes about what it takes to be a successful leader in his new book Broken to Better: 13 Ways Not to Fail at Life and Leadership. It’s part business book, part memoir written to motivate and inspire readers to take positive action and become the purpose-driven leaders they desire to be. 

“Back in the early 2000s, I lacked any sense of purpose. I basically had hit rock bottom in both my personal life and career, and if I didn’t do something about it, I knew I would never be happy with myself,” writes Kurland about his early years.

So began a journey that led Kurland to a period of self-examination, laying the groundwork for a new vision for his life and guiding him to both professional and personal triumphs. In Broken to Better, Michael details how he made informed decisions that would bring about the changes he wanted. He quit his job, adopted a healthier lifestyle, and moved from New York to California to launch his business, which would eventually become the award-winning facilities management company, Branded Group.

“I had to get out of my old ways of thinking,” Kurland says about these initial actions. “It was definitely a risk to pack up everything and head to the West Coast, but if I wanted to change the trajectory of my life, I knew the changes needed to be radical. I needed to challenge the status quo, get out of my comfort zone and start with a clean slate.”

It was during this time that Kurland’s thirteen principles for being a successful leader in an evolving business climate began to take shape. Some of these principles include consistently expanding your network of contacts, making a difference through innovative social impact programs, and developing a culture of inclusiveness and empathy. These principles would influence every interaction he had with others and every decision he made in his business and personal life.

Kurland writes, “One of my biggest realizations at the start of the journey was that I couldn’t separate my personal and professional worlds. When you seek improvement, it’s important to #BeBetter in all aspects of your life—to be a better CEO, manager, employee, friend, coworker, or whatever shoes you fill.”

“This is not a book about white-knuckling your way to the top,” he says. “Rather it’s a book about taking a critical look at how you can become the best version of yourself so that you can do good for others. If this book can help someone else rise above their challenges and #BeBetter, then I’ve achieved my goal.”

Broken to Better: 13 Ways Not to Fail at Life and Leadership is available on Amazon and BN.com.

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