Leading from whatever position we are in, whether we work on a large or small team, can be a challenging task. We can sometimes see our current work situation as very stressful because we don’t feel listened to or valued. We may have so many good ideas and suggestions and yet cannot seem to find a way to share them with impact. If we think about the people in our workplaces whose opinions are always counted and trusted, we will probably discover that they are highly respected. Even if they have controversial perspectives team members are willing to consider their thoughts.
So what do those leaders have that people are willing to listen to? What is it that makes those leaders more influential? Leadership Brand! The leaders that are usually leading the way are clear on the kind of leaders they want to be. That’s it. They know themselves inside and out and lead with those qualities. Each of us can do the same with our leadership brand.
Six Questions To Cement Your Leadership Brand:
1. What Kind Of Leader Do I Want To Be?
When you look back on the leaders you have met along the way who have had the biggest impact on you what comes to mind about their behaviors and attitudes? Ask yourself how they empowered you to become the person and leader you are today. What made them so well respected and influential? How did they present themselves and what were their strengths?
2. What Skills, Knowledge and Experience Do I Need?
To effectively cultivate your leadership brand it is critical to know what you don’t know. Face it, we can’t work on our leadership persona if we aren’t honest about what we need to learn or develop. Once you decide on the type of leader you strive to be then you can:
- Research the necessary skills that will help you define your brand.
- Identify some different experiences you want to add to your job.
- Talk to bosses and co-workers how to grow in areas you are fascinated.
3. Who Do I Need In My Network?
We know that leading isn’t a solitary activity so to build our leadership brand we need to recognize those individuals who we can turn to for guidance and support. Your networkmay consist of current or previous bosses, colleagues, team members in all positions, different department counterparts, friends or even people we volunteer with. Don’t be afraid to ask other leaders to help you-just do it with respect and gratitude.
4. Which Relationship Skills Do I Need To Develop?
Many leaders possess strong technical skills but may be lacking in how they connect with others. Our ability to build strong and meaningful relationships in both our personal and professional lives is key to our leadership brand. To grow our relationship skills leaders should focus on:
- How they present themselves though their words, tone and body language.
- Ways they disagree so they can get their message across while still being respectful.
- Becoming stronger active listeners to really understand what is being shared.
- Showing empathy for other people’s concerns and perspectives.
5. How Will My Plan Look?
Writing out our leadership brand plan can help leaders clarify what actions they want to take and how they will go about tackling them. On the top of your plan, write out the description of the leader you want to be. Then create steps and goals to achieve it. Nothing is etched in stone so if you want to make changes to your leadership brand plan then definitely do. Our leadership should be constantly evolving.
6. What Might Prevent Me From Being That Kind Of Leader?
A healthy exercise for each of us as we develop our leadership brand is to acknowledge what might derail us. If we know the triggers that can prevent us from moving in the right direction we can face them head on. Some of those red flags could be:
- Fear of being unsuccessful.
- Acting first without thinking about how we want to present ourselves.
- Lack of confidence and seeing our own worth.
- Being impatient.
How have you cemented your leadership brand? What strategies have worked for you?
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