5 ways to build your leadership brand (and why you need to)

Your leadership brand is what you’re known for and how people experience you. Your brand is your perceived business worth (notwithstanding business restructuring along with down-and-right-sizing sometimes leaves us wondering why some people stay while others go).

Your brand is always on the move – positively or negatively

Your actions, decisions, and attitude drive how you’re perceived by others. Your leadership brand gets created in every interaction through how you show up for others and through the value you give. What leadership charachteristics are you known for?

Your brand is a function of who you are, how you think and what you stand for

Your leadership brand reflects your value proposition and the influence you have. Think about well known leaders like Richard Branson or Sheryl Sandberg, or leaders in your own organisation or network who have leadership qualities you admire and respect. What is it about who they are and what they do consistently, that they have become known for? Who is the leader you want to become?

What are you known for?

We each have a brand. It’s easy to forget to nurture and grow it when so much of our focus is on getting things done and delivering results.

Where do you think your leadership brand value lies? Is it going to position you for future opportunity?

A Forbes article stated that less than 15% of us have defined our brand and less than 5% actually live it. ¹

You need a solid brand to position your leadership potential

“It’s important to build your brand because it’s the only thing you’re going to have. Your reputation is pretty much the game” Gary Vaynerchuk

5 ways to build your leadership brand

1. Be the real you

Only when you know you, accept you, respect you, and value you, can you bring all of you to work – without trying to be like someone else or being worried that you’re not good enough. If you don’t know who you are and show that, others will try and figure it out and probably get it (a little bit or a lot) wrong.

2. Have high standards

Keep your promises – to yourself and others – and come through on what you expect of you every time. Be responsible for your results and keep your ego and emotions in check. High standards don’t mean being perfect – they are simply behaviours you’re committed to, like, for example, being on time for meetings.

3. Develop your networks and invest in relationships

The more you can position your expertise, and add value to others, the more your brand will work for you. A personal brand is like growing seeds. Once you’ve planted and looked after them, you’ll be in a great position to eventually reap the benefits.

It’s also wise to have a mentor and find sponsors that can help champion you.

4. Do what you’re good at

What you do really well differentiates you from others and makes you stand out. Playing to your strengths will help build your credibility quickly.

5. Talk about your achievements

It’s a mistake to believe your results will speak for themselves. They won’t. You have to be prepared to talk about your accomplishments. It’s not about shameless self-promotion, ego or being arrogant – it’s about being heard and recognised for the difference you’ve made in a way that positions you positively.

Bringing it all together

Ultimately your leadership brand is all about who you are for others. The more you nurture it, as you grow and develop, the better chance you have of getting to where you want to be and futureproofing your career in the process. What one action, decision, or choice could have the single biggest impact in the growth of your leadership brand? I’d love to know.

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