Personal Brand - Developing Your Identity As A Leader

Developing Your Identity As A Leader

There has probably never been a better time to examine the importance of personal brand. Whether it’s world leaders, politicians, professional athletes, rock stars, football managers, members of the royal family or celebrities in general, there are a wealth of diverse personal brands out there to observe and which, in every instance, are either helping or impeding these individuals with the attainment of their goals.

Many of them also serve to demonstrate that we aren’t always perceived by others how we would like to be. Some years ago, I recall reading an article in Personnel Today that posed the question: “Which Dad’s Army character in the office are you?” The feature invited teams to consider who they most resembled in actions as well as mannerisms from the popular BBC sitcom. Many aspired to be the affable Sergeant Wilson who took everything in his stride when in reality colleagues viewed them more as the pompous Captain Mainwaring or the highly flappable Corporal Jones.

Being aware of personal brand is immensely important for any leader. Yet, sadly, some leaders lack the self-awareness to understand how they are seen by others or simply choose to ignore it. With employees and customers demanding and expecting far more from company leaders, this absence of self-perception can prove highly damaging.

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A strong personal brand is a must for future leaders. It can increase their standing and market value; position them as a go-to person for comment and views and to be seen as a key influencer on Linkedin and other professional networks. It can also make them highly sought after on the conference and seminar circuit; and, most important of all, put them in the frame for their next great leadership position.

Having carefully built one, a personal brand can work tirelessly in the background for the individual as a method of attraction. For an authentic leader, who lives up to their espoused brand values, any effort or investment put into building it will pay dividends. Indeed, a strong personal brand has a key part to play in ensuring a leader is considered fit for the challenges ahead and therefore is a lasting one.

Although brand-building can go against the grain for some leaders who would rather get on with the job, believing their hard work and track record speak for themselves, it may no longer be enough in the future. The online noise that engulfs all of us makes it harder to stand out and be noticed and the lack of a strong personal brand that can effectively cut through this noise could soon result in lack of opportunity.

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