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How to build a personal leadership brand

Posted by on Jul 7, 2012 in News | Comments Off

How to build a personal leadership brand

How to build a personal leadership brand

Follow these four steps and guiding questions:

Why develop a personal leadership brand?  “Whether we like it or not others are going to interpret what we say and do and what we do not say and do, resulting in a leadership brand. We have a choice as to what leadership brand we can be known for and these four steps provide guidance in that conscious and purposeful process of defining and actioning our personal leadership brand”.


1. What is your personal vision?

Ask what it is that you want, desire and dream of for all aspects of your life. Figure out what makes you special and unique, what are your values – what do you stand for?

What are your strengths? What are the strengths that you can build on  to contribute to your uniqueness as a person and as a leader? Write down your vision.


2. What is your personal leadership brand?  

Define and formulate a leadership brand that captures the essence of your uniqueness and strengths. What do you wish to be known for? Ask what you wish to be known for amongst your colleagues and employees?

Ask how your strengths can be integrated in the formulation of your unique personal leadership brand. What are your “blind spots” – those behaviours you are not aware of, but your colleagues are, and that you can modify and change to compliment your leadership brand?

Ask others for their views and perspectives regarding your strengths are, what you can do differently, better and what they think your “blind spots” are. Ask those whom you work with, particularly those who will give you honest feedback, ask your friends and family, consider the information and integrate it when formulating your leadership brand. Consider the involvement of a professional coach to assist in this process of self-reflection and assessment.

Write down your personal leadership brand statement using words, pictures, symbols or whatever you regard as appropriate to express yourself, but that also considers the requirements of your role and/or stage of your career.

Test your personal leadership brand statement with your trusted friends and colleagues and do your fine tuning.


3. Develop your leadership brand scorecard

Translate your leadership brand statement into behaviours and into an action plan. Remember vision without action remains a dream – a phantom brand.

Ask what are your critical success factors are. What are your personal objectives and milestones? Performance targets? Personal improvement actions?

Connect what you want to be known for in your leadership brand statement with the desired results: the “so that” connection between what you want to be known for and your desired results.

“I want to be known for being ______________ so that I can deliver __________.”

For example: I want to be known as a collaborative leader, so that I can constructively influence others and bring about lasting change in a teamwork environment, to meet the customers’ needs and grow the business.

This may require a plan that includes that you learn about and further develop your intra and interpersonal skills, including emotional intelligence, to enhance your collaborative behaviour with others.


4. Make your leadership brand real by implementing it

Espoused-but-unlived personal leadership brands create cynicism because they promise what they do not deliver. Implement your plan of action.

To ensure that the leadership brand you advertise is evident in your day-to-day work and interactions with others, check in with those around you and get their feedback. Do they see and experience you as you wish to be seen and experienced as a leader? If you say you are flexible and approachable, do others find you so?

After you have defined your personal leadership brand, share it with others. Let people know that you are developing as a leader and invite their feedback. The exercise of creating a leadership brand and the day-to-day discipline of making it real, will help you stay focused on the most important leadership challenges of your role.

Be sure your leadership brand isn’t static; it should evolve in response to the different expectations you face at different times in your career. Leaders with the self-awareness, willingness and openness to learn, and the drive to evolve their leadership brands, are more likely to be successful over the long term – and enjoy the journey more.

On the journey, be-true to yourself and the values you stand for and celebrate your success.

Author: Carl Eichstadt, 360People.