You will have heard of the term Leadership Style. Your leadership style is how you communicate and behave as a leader. You may be an autocratic, a free reign, or a democratic leader, which are the headline styles of leadership or a combination. Depending on that, people will have a certain perception of you, based on the words you use, your actions, your presentation, and your follow-through. This makes up your leadership brand – a brand you.
You may have heard of the term Personal Brand. Leadership brand is exactly the same. The brand is made up of mindset, behaviors, working together, and getting the desired results. In that order. Depending on what you think of yourself, you will act a particular way, which will achieve certain results. As an example, if you believe you are a strong, autocratic leader. If you tell people what, how, and when to do things and control the outcomes, then you will be just that.
You will dictate to people, you will not invite discussion and you might micromanage the process or even get angry if it is not done to your specifications. Based on this interaction, your staff member will describe you in a particular way. If it were me, I would be describing you as a control freak creating stress and fear in the workplace. I would be telling people that I did not like working for you and that you did not care about my opinions or invited any discussion. Then I would probably resign!!
Your leadership brand is similar to boxing yourself up as a product package and placing you on the shelf! The brand of the product is your name. The ingredients to the product are all of the things that you stand for and don’t stand for as a leader. Your brand promise is your unique value, the one thing that makes you different from all the rest. If you use Special K as the example. Special K is the brand, keeps you looking good is the brand promise and the ingredients are everything that makes up Special K. Replicate that formula for yourself.
People buy people similar to buying a product. It is an emotional decision. Your brand as a leader in your headline is what people will base their emotional decision on if they will ‘buy’ you (support you) or not.
Be conscious of it and if you ask yourself the question ‘What’s is my leadership brand’ and you come up with a blank, seek feedback. Ask a trusted advisor how they would describe you. They need to have observed you in the workplace though. Or better still, do a 360-degree feedback survey on you. The perception you have of your brand may be very different from what others perceive. And perception is reality.