How do you articulate your leadership brand?
Does it convey what you contribute so that you have the impact you desire?
Having a strong leadership brand allow you to stand out from the crowd. It makes you known to your colleagues and other stakeholders for embodying certain values and qualities. In a nutshell, it helps you to have the kind of impact you desire.
What’s a Personal Leadership Brand?
As I mentioned in an earlier post, How to Develop Your Personal Brand: 101, your personal brand is the reputation you have, based on your strengths, values, and uniqueness. Simply put, your personal brand is what others say about you when you’re not in the room. Your personal branding is the result of the conscious effort you make to craft and manage this perception.
Your leadership brand is your leadership identity and uniqueness as a leader. As Norm Smallwood put it: “A leadership brand conveys your identity and distinctiveness as a leader.”
Why does having a leadership brand matter?
6 Reasons Why Your Leadership Brand Matters
A well-defined leadership brand can provide you with:
1. Career advancement
If you want a more senior position or a new challenge, your leadership brand needs to express your talents, skills and abilities, as well as your interests and passion. When your contributions are known and recognized, you receive respect and appreciation, opening up more opportunities and experiences. This further strengthens your brand, supports your aspirations, assists you in achieving career aims and goals, while also delivering more value to your organization.
2. Meaningful contribution
When you are clear about your leadership brand, it helps you focus your time and energy so you can focus on tasks and projects that bring value to you and your organization. Drawing on and communicating your capabilities, value and contributions, your organization can also better engage you for opportunities and projects that align with your interest and talents.
With a clear leadership brand, you stand out from the crowd. People know what they can expect from you, as distinct from other team members. You’re recognized immediately for your specialties or unique talents – e.g. your ability to deal with conflict, to organize amongst chaos, or to develop people. When people think of you and your leadership brand, those qualities immediately spring into their minds. In roles where those talents are valued, you’ll be the first person they think of. You’ll attract more opportunities to do the sort of work in which you excel, and that you love to do.
4. More leadership impact
Your leadership brand isn’t just about what you do, but also about how you do it. It reflects how you relate with other people, and your interactions while you work. Are you known to be effective in working with other people? At building partnerships and sustaining them? Do you inspire and motivate your team, so they are directed, aligned and committed? Your social interactions not only get the work done, but also help you to develop a memorable leadership brand that people talk about. They can even promote your brand for you!
Identifying your leadership brand allows you to set an intention for how you would like to show up as a leader, that aligns your purpose, strengths, values, and uniqueness with the work that you do.
Research tells us that when you are thinking, being and acting in congruence with your values, you feel greater satisfaction in your work. Moreover, people would rather work for a genuine, honest, authentic person – qualities that inspire their respect, trust and loyalty. So, this helps to build your leadership value and brand.
A clear articulation of your leadership brand, people know how you will act in a certain situation. This removes fear or speculation, and allows people to respond accordingly. Former CEO of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Susan Desmond-Hellmann, says it’s important for leaders to be reliable and predictable: “people don’t have that burden of always thinking, ‘I wonder what he or she would do.’ It’s pretty clear.”
Having a strong leadership brand allows you to show up with intention and stand out from the crowd. It makes you known for living your purpose, strengths, values, and interests. It aligns and inspires the work that you are doing and allows you to have more impact and more satisfaction as you contribute.
If you are interested in learning more on how to develop and articulate your personal leadership brand, join us for our next workshop – Defining Your Leadership Brand – Finding Your Niche.
And if you haven’t already, download my new resource Designing Your Leadership Self-Reflection Practice – Guided Writing Prompts – packed with tips, tools, and guided prompts to launch your leadership self-reflection practice as you continue to grow and evolve your leadership.
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