We were very happy to be part of WeAreTheCity’s WeAreFutureLeaders conference last Friday in London – where we spoke on this subject.
Whether you could join us or not, here are some ideas on how you can be proactive about your Leadership Impact for the future, by harnessing your Leadership Brand.
How aware are you of your brand? Yes, we all have a personal brand and a strong, authentic brand can be a great door opener to opportunities now and in the future.
In general you could say that a brand is a concept, an expectation, which lives in the head of the customer. As such, the brand is made up by the product itself, the service that surrounds it and the communication that’s used about it.
When all these things are added together, an experience is created, a promise of what the customer can expect, which can be called a brand promise. And as a person, as a leader you have both a brand and a brand promise.
Your brand is made up by your unique strengths, expertise as well as your actions and behaviours.
What does your brand promise? What do people expect for you to deliver? What previous experience have they had with you? Will they expect you to be dependable, creative or optimistic for example? What is your brand all about? What words describe you?
Just like an organisation thinks about its brand, we recommend you do the same as a leader. Take control of your leadership brand to set you up well for the future. If you haven’t yet thought about it, here are some questions to start you working on it:
- What do other people see/experience when they meet you? If you don’t know, ask for feedforward (feedback that drives you forward).
- What do you want to be known for? What will be your Leadership Legacy? (particularly important if you are currently seen in a way that you don’t like) And how will you make sure that people know that? How will you show it?
- What’s your expertise?
- What are your strengths?
- What’s your brand promise? What can people expect when they meet you? Create your own tagline – and keep this in your mind at all times to really live that promise. For example: I’m a creative, open-minded leader. I’m a dependable, inclusive leader. I’m an empathetic and driven leader. Act as if you are already there, as this is a great enabler to create the mindset you’re after.
- How can you respectfully promote yourself, your brand? Keep in mind that self promotion only works really well if it’s done from a point of “the value I bring to others”
Think about it like this: Whether you choose to pay attention to it or not, you have a brand and a reputation. You will have much greater and positive impact if you take control of it and decide what you want to be known for – and then act and behave accordingly.
Tap into your ULP’s – your Unique Leadership Points!
So go ahead, start creating your Future Leadership Brand, reputation and Impact right now. There’s only one you – make your impact powerful through authenticity and strengths. Tap into your ULP’s – your Unique Leadership Points!
About the authors
Mandy Flint & Elisabet Vinberg Hearn, award-winning authors of “The Team Formula”.
Their latest book, multi-award-winning “Leading Teams – 10 Challenges: 10 Solutions”, published by Financial Times International is a practical tool for building winning teams. You can download a free chapter of the book at www.leadingteamsbook.com
Praise for “Leading Teams”. “Enjoyable to read. Simple to understand. Practical to implement. A must read for team members or leaders.” – Debbie Fogel-Monnissen, Executive Vice President, International Markets Finance Officer, Mastercard, NY, USA.