Building Your Leadership Brand

A leadership brand is made up of the values, behaviors and agendas you are known for within your organization.

Your leadership brand directly correlates with your ability to influence and impact. It is crucial to your success as a leader and ultimately, is an indicator of your growth trajectory.

Think about a leader(s) you consider having a strong brand. They likely aren’t flawless or perfect, but are comfortable and confident in their abilities.

Leaders with strong brands often lead with a genuine presence that is both authentic and powerful, use respect and trust within individual relationships to build their influence, are comfortable in their own skin and not afraid to share their challenges or fears, and avoid falling into the trap of trying to be all things to all people. One’s leadership brand takes time to develop and insight to brand your leadership approach in a way that highlights your strengths and talents. Doing so also takes self-awareness.

As you progress in your career, continuing to refine and evolve your leadership brand will be the key to propelling you to greatness.

How do you think your leadership brand is seen currently? How would you like it to be seen? Use the questions below to reflect on the values, behaviors and plans to help define and shape your personal brand.

WHAT ARE MY CORE VALUES?

Why are these important to me?

Example:

  • Creativity, exploration and adventure.         
  • It’s important to me to seek opportunities that bring out the best in me. I am always willing to try something different, and get a lot of satisfaction from adopting new ideas and turning them into action. I have a strong sense of possibility and am always prepared to experiment with new or partially-formed ideas.

WHAT BEHAVIORS WILL I SHOW MORE OF?

How do I want others to experience interactions with me?

Example:

  • Be curious about others, their perspective and what I can learn from it (especially when I am driving a solution).
  • Share my thinking more often to help broaden my network and visibility.

HOW WILL I LIVE MY BRAND?

How should I spend my time? Tell stories? Leave an impression?  

Example:

  • I will proactively share my thoughts and ideas more broadly within my network.      
  • I will ensure that while telling stories, I consciously recognize others’ ideas and contributions.   
  • I will spend more time with colleagues in functions that I need to engage with, rather than gravitating toward people who already share my drive and ambition.

AT MY BEST

What are my qualities?

What do others find compelling about me?

How do I want others to see me?    

Examples:

  • Courageous. I’m willing to speak the truth and say what needs to be said.                     
  • Innovative. I am creative, driven and always thinking of the big picture.                        
  • Curious. I can see the challenges facing our industry and am fascinated by how we can lead the way.  

NOT AT MY BEST

What behaviors do I show?

What do others find challenging about me?

How do others see me?

Examples:

  • Not at my best, I can come across as arrogant, impatient and closed off to others’ ideas.
  • This is usually because I’m passionate about solutions and ideas and am frustrated when others don’t understand them.
  • I could use my value of curiosity to engage with and learn from others, build stronger relationships, and create a greater impact in the workplace.

Building a brand is not an easy venture. It takes time, discipline and consistency in doing what you say you will do. However, this hard work yields high returns as you see the people around you develop and grow. In addition, we suspect that through your intentional leadership brand development, your organization will also develop and succeed.

More information about leadership brand can be found here:

Center for Creative Leadership What’s Your Leadership Brand? Retrieved from: https://www.ccl.org/articles/leading-effectively-articles/whats-your-leadership-brand/

About Dr. Sheila Boysen

Sheila M. Boysen, Ph.D., PHR, BCC, MCC is Master of Organizational Leadership Program Director and ICF ACTP Director at Lewis University

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