We all know the value of having a strong brand – just look at Apple, rated as Forbes’ Most Valuable Worldwide Brand worth a staggering $145.3! Brands communicate core messages and values, so what is your own personal brand?
What is Your Management & Leadership Brand?
Whether you know what it is or not, you have one. It is how you are perceived by the people with whom you work and interact. It might be a positive and helpful brand or it might be an unhelpful one, but you do have one.
Your management and leadership brand encapsulates your identity and communicates the value you bring to others around you. Your brand is built over time and reflects people’s experience of you. Some managers have a high value brand whilst others have a low brand value.
Accepting that you have a brand, doesn't it make sense that you craft one that you want to be known for? If you have a low brand value, expect to be overlooked, given dull assignments and possibly someone to be avoided.
On the other hand, a manager with a strong clear brand attracts offers, projects and opportunities from others looking for a manager with the values and qualities associated with your brand.
Building your own brand
Your brand needs to be a true reflection of you and the value you bring to others. Do not kid yourself or try to be something you are not. You do not want to be known as a fake brand – doing and behaving contrary to the image you project.
Try completing this short and simple sentence:
"I want to be known for being ...................., ...................., and .................... so that I am able to deliver ...................."
If you completed this statement in a few minutes, go back and try again because you are kidding yourself! It requires careful thought.
My first attempt read:
"I want to be known for helping others, solving problems and being associated with success so that I can deliver results for my employer".
Not surprisingly, I was always in demand, but not always in a good way. I became known as the guy to go to when you are in trouble. I became the company trouble shooter. If Managers and Directors had a problem (e.g. a loss making business unit), I was the one they would turn to. The more trouble shooting assignments I undertook, the more I attracted.
For a while this worked for me and for my employer. But then I missed the sense of long-term achievement and seeing a problem-child flourish into a healthy, thriving teenager and adult. To shake off my brand, I decided to start up my own business, Exponential Training and build my new brand. As Exponential Training has flourished, my role has changed and I have had to cultivate and develop my management and leadership brand several times. A brand is a living and dynamic concept and in part goes hand-in-hand with personal and professional development. Central to your management and leadership brand is the value you bring to others.
Look out for Part 2 of Management & Leadership Brands and discover my '5 Steps to Creating Your Own Management & Leadership Brand'.