Building your leadership brand
Last week, I spoke about the importance of having a personal brand by showing you the benefits you will reap. Now, we all know that as one’s career progresses, one could, at certain times, hold a leadership position in a company. As such, this week I move one step further to show you how you can build a personal leadership brand.
A leadership brand bears your uniqueness and individuality as a leader. It showcases the value you offer and drives a lasting impact on your colleagues and team members. A leadership brand also gives you focus and allows you to concentrate on the things that truly matter to you. Here are 4 questions to help you design your leadership brand.
Do you understand your brand?
Everyone has a reputation based on how they get things done and how they interact with others. Is that picture others have of you aligned with how you want to be seen; your brand? To fully utilise your leadership brand or to change your direction, you need to get a clear picture of how you want to be seen and how others see you today. Start paying attention to the way you work; How do you learn? How do you share information, make decisions, and influence others? How do you build and nurture relationships? Constantly check with your peers, your employees and your superiors to gain a better picture of your leadership brand.
What do people with a certain brand have in common?
While everyone’s personal brand may be unique, this does not mean that they have nothing in common. For example, what might people that have defined their brand as being an influencer have in common? We know that these people are definitely more involved in and knowledgeable about happenings in the company, formally and informally. What about transformational leaders? Transformational leaders think far ahead and plan strategies to take their team to the next level of performance and success. They set goals and incentives while providing opportunities for personal and professional growth. As for subject-matter experts, they are people with authority within a particular topic and are on the constant lookout for new industry knowledge. Regardless of what your personal brand is, always think about the common factor that all others within your domain have.
What keywords do people associate with me?
After every company assignment, ask someone you trust for two things you did well and two things to improve on. Do not forget to also ask for regular feedback from your manager, colleagues, team members and listen closely to his/her words. Did you ask for feedback on a company presentation you prepared? Were you thorough, knowledgeable, and persuasive in your communication? Do you need clarity in your explanations? Decide if the words you hear are aligned with your brand. If yes, congratulations you act according your brand promise. If not decide what you need to change or adapt!
Is my behaviour consistent?
Your team members will form their impressions of you based on repetitive interactions over a period of time. Have you been consistent with what you say and do? People like to work with their managers with predictable reactions. They like knowing that they can count on you regardless of your mood. Do your mood influence the way you work and react with others? If so you may need to start working on a brand that your colleagues and team members feel they can count on.
Once you know what you want your leadership brand to look like, it is time to focus, live it and check if it’s been recognised by your environment . Leaders with the self-awareness and drive to evolve their leadership brands are more likely to be successful over the long term — and to enjoy the journey more.
Have you defined your leadership brand ? What challenged you or really works for you? Want to learn how to build your leadership brand? Drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com!