Showing up at work is very different from showing up for work.
In the case of showing “up” the question is “what perception do others have of you?” or “What one positive impession do you leave with others?”
“Fun to work with?”
Lights up the room with enthusiasm?”
“Brimming with innovation?”
“Smartest person in the organization?”
“Greatest manager I’ve known?”
With such statements people may be describing your personality or from another perspective, defining your leadership brand.
Your brand, like your fingerprints, is that which sets you apart from other leaders and highlights your unique capabilities. It is also at the heart of your reputation (positive or negative), credibility, and ultimately, your perceived value to an organization.
Did you know that you can consciously and intentionally shape how your contribution to an organization is perceived? Here are some questions for you to ponder as you clarify your brand statement.
1. What would you like people to say at your retirement party?
This question defines your legacy as well as your personal brand. I know of an attorney that was retiring from a long law partnership and here is what his partner said.
“We formed this partnership thirty years ago with the shake of a hand. No contract, no fine print. Just unwavering trust”
What would you want people to say about you? Your answer indicates how you intentionally chose to behave over the years.
2. Does your personal and corporate brand align?
The harmony between your personal and the corporate brand often determines how relevant and valuable you are to your organization.
So first know your corporate brand and then overlay it with the template of your personal brand. If the two sync up you are in good shape. So what about you defines your unique contribution? Is there harmony with your personal values and those of your organization?
3. What are your expectations around the value of your brand?
We all want to be rewarded in both kind and reputation for the good work that we do.
Expecting to be rewarded for your unique contribution occurs in a forward-looking company with its own brand clarity and healthy senior leadership when,
- You are tapped by your boss as his/her successor
- You are chosen to be a part of development programs for high-potential leaders
- You are given cross-functional assignments on high visibility projects.
- The scope of your current responsibilities is increased.
4. Are you being realistic about how your brand is received?
You may be one of the best leaders of innovation and start-ups around. However you may find yourself in a company that has become so constricted that it takes a committee to change the lunchtime menu. So your decision is whether to stay and lead a transformation or go to where innovation is nurtured. The key here is “to thy own self be true”.
Now share your leadership brand.
The cool thing about branding is that we have the power to decide who we are and what part of our leadership to showcase to the world.
So can your leadership brand statement
- Be defined in a short but compelling statement that paints a picture of what you are passionate about (values, excellence)?
- Reflect values based behaviors.
- Demonstrate how your behavior makes a contribution to others?
- Be recognized as something memorable?
- Bring focus to your life and align you with you authentic self?
- Be an integral part of your development plan?
My brand statement is “Inspiring leaders to tap into sources of inspiration in others”.
I a convinced that unless people lead with inspiration all their efforts will be largely empty and not contribute significantly to the lives of others and the success of an organization.
Please share your brand statement with us.
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