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What is your leadership brand?

How self-aware are you as a leader?

What I mean by that is how well can you objectively evaluate yourself, understand how others perceive you and adjust your behaviour accordingly.

As a leader, it’s an essential trait.

It’s all about building that all-important personal or leadership brand.

What is a leadership brand?

A personal brand or leadership brand is the unique combination of skills and experiences that make you who you are. It is how you present yourself to the world. It’s what you stand for and your values. It’s your reputation and what you’re known for.

You’ll already have one – you will be telling a story with every interaction. Others will build a story of who they believe you are, based on every conversation, interaction, meeting or presentation – whether that’s who you want to be or not!

Effective personal branding will differentiate you from the competition and allow you to build trust with your team and key stakeholders. It’s the key to fulfilling your potential as a leader and building that stellar reputation. It’s what will drive your success as a leader from being noticed, accessing opportunities, climbing the ladder, and having great influence and impact wherever you go.

How clear are you on the congruence between how you want to present yourself, and how you are actually perceived?

Why your leadership brand matters

Understanding and expressing your leadership brand is vital to managing your success. In this hybrid working world, having strategies to increase your visibility is more important than ever. If you don’t know how you’re perceived or whether it is congruent with how you want to be, you won’t be able to fulfil your potential as a leader.

Here’s why it’s so important to work on your leadership brand:

An effective leadership brand will increase your visibility and open the right doors

You are constantly visible. Understanding who you are, what your leadership brand is and how you bring that unique worth, is key to making sure your visibility has an impact for all the right reasons. The secret is to be aware enough to start telling your ideal story, one that will help your career journey, and use your voice at every opportunity to demonstrate your knowledge and expertise. This will help open doors whilst ensuring you are leading according to your values and your highest principles. Once you start to get recognised for your contributions, this will reinforce your leadership brand.

Your leadership brand differentiates you from the competition

You bring a perspective and insight that only you can provide. It is made up of an exclusive combination of your strengths, passions, values and experiences. Others will know what to expect from you and where you can add value and impact – giving you the opportunity to thrive!

Your leadership brand will help you to build trust and have more impact

Your leadership brand isn’t just about what you deliver, it’s about how you deliver it and interact with others. The way you lead and work with others can either strengthen connections or break them. Effective leaders are seen as genuine, reliable, and trustworthy – they are authentic in every interaction. Creating authentic connections and ensuring effective communication with your team and stakeholders is paramount in this remote and hybrid working environment. It also minimises any feelings of disconnection and isolation and others are more likely to trust in your leadership and follow you on your journey.

Your leadership brand will help guide your actions

Doing the work and focusing on your leadership brand will help you to clarify what’s important to you, where your efforts should be focused and where they shouldn’t. If you are not clear on your values or leadership brand, you may miss out on opportunities that will enhance your career and others will be unaware of the value and impact you could have.

How can you develop your leadership brand?

  • How clear are you on the story you tell right now as a leader?
  • What impact do you want to have on those around you?
  • How do you want to be described when you’re not in the room?
  • What legacy do you want to leave behind?

These are all questions I pose to the leaders I work with in my one-to-one coaching, workshops and leadership development programmes. Often, these are questions they’ve never considered before, but I ask them to think about these at the beginning as we revisit them at the end to see how much they have enriched their answers!

The following are the steps I take leaders through:

  1. Identify your values – To build a clear picture of what makes you unique, the first step involves taking a close look at what drives you and what matters most to you – in other words, identifying your core values. Put simply, these are ‘the principles by which you need to live in order to be happy’. Think about what activities make you happy, what makes you angry and what would your perfect day look like. What words jump out? You have to dig a little deeper and keep questioning your initial thoughts. You can also use a free online tool to help you discover yours.
  2. Know your strengths – A key piece of this puzzle is identifying the unique aspects of strength and experience that we bring into the room. Truly understanding your strengths can bring the courage and confidence to sidestep external blockers, as well as quiet those voices that hold us back. Disproportionate amounts of energy are directed towards what we perceive to be ‘weaknesses’, to either conquer them or conceal them from the world. You can take The VIA Survey of Character Strengths to help you understand your best qualities.
  3. Ask for feedback – feedback from others is essential to help you understand your leadership brand as it is now. Simply ask others (those you lead, peers, family and friends) to choose a few words to describe you, then compare these words with how you perceive yourself. This can be enlightening!
  4. Define your ideal brand – if there is a mismatch, think about how you WANT to be perceived. Who do you admire? Who inspires you? What qualities or traits do they demonstrate?

 

Are you ready to work on your leadership brand?

All of my coaching sessions, whether that’s one-to-one, as part of a group workshop or in my leadership development programmes, are about discovering what makes you unique, identifying what you want from your career and having the tools, confidence and courage to make it happen.

If you’d like to find out more about how they could help you or your organisation, book a call with me here.

sarah@sarahperugia.com

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+44 7947 211 959

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