Many of my clients have been working to develop their leadership brand. Having a leadership brand is important because it allows you to decide how you want to be known and perceived by others inside your organization and externally within your professional network.
The clarity of your brand is especially helpful in positioning yourself with your key stakeholder network which includes your boss, your boss’s boss, your peer group and potentially the Board of Directors.
Why would you care about positioning yourself? If you want to be thought of when opportunities arise (especially when you are NOT in the room!) and if you want to spend more time doing what you love and what you’re great at, having clarity about your professional brand and then articulating it strategically, is critically important.
Two Questions and an Activity
There are two primary questions and an exercise to start this process for yourself in creating your leadership brand.
Question #1: What is most important to you about work?
When I asked one of my coaching managerial clients this question the other day, he said, ”We’re in a very complicated technical type of work and I really like helping people understand each other because with the technical nature of our work, often there can be miscommunication between us and our clients. Clarity of communication and delivery excellence is really important to me.”
When I answer this question for myself today, what’s most important to me about my work is making a difference by helping people unleash their potential to create a more powerful future for themselves.
What’s most important to you?
Question #2: What’s emerging for you that feels important for you?
To think about the answer, notice what you think about a lot at work. Do you keep circling back to a specific idea or problem that needs solving? Do you feel provoked or frustrated with some particular thing over and over again? Or do you desire something you do not yet have but wish you did at work?
What’s emerging for me lately is how to move the needle more on advancing women and their leadership.
What’s emerging for you?
Make a list of 5-7 things you think are strengths of yours at work. Things you are really good at. Something others have given you positive feedback about. Things you might consider your strengths, gifts and talents.
Now go interview 8-10 people who know you well at work (include your spouse, partner or kids in the mix), who you respect and like and ask them to share with you 5 things they think are your top strengths, qualities, gifts and talents that you bring to work. The things you’re good at.
Write them down. Now look for patterns and themes. Which ones resonate for you? These strengths along with the answers to the two questions above will help you to start to articulate your leadership brand.
Identifying the leader you want to be now and become in the future is so important to driving your career and being happy. If you don’t drive your own career, you can be certain someone else will try and do it for you.
Take Action Now.
It’s end of the year budget time. Don’t wait to hire yourself a coach. If you’re a woman leader, now’s the perfect time to use monies left over from this year’s budget to attend our Women’s Leadership Lab and create your next professional bold move. If you are a manager of an emerging or top talent women, this is a wonderful professional leadership development opportunity.