Keys To A Leader’s Brand

Branding You strategist Diana Jenkins, in a recent speech with executive networking team Ethos, posed these thoughtful comments regarding the blueprint for leaders’ branding:.

Branding involves many facets:

  • A purposeful appearance equals results.
  • Branding is a game, or puzzle, of perception management. We leverage our best self to open doors and create opportunities for ourselves and for others.
  • Branding is not spin, or gimmicks, nor is it creating an image.
  • Branding is about uncovering what we want to be perceived and making a unique promise.
  • Brand is how we deliver. It combines great emotional intelligence with the people that need to know us.

Coffee beans are a commodity and Starbucks is a brand. We are all human, and our unique differentiation may need to be explored and further expanded.

The 3 E’s

  • Extract. This is our character ethic.
  • Express. This is our verbal communication appearance.
  • Exude. This is our alignment. What you read and who you talk to. It is subtle and nonverbal, such as vblogging.

Brand is EX-ternal and it is built Internally.

80% of a message is visual. First impressions as perception shape reality.

5 Brand Realities:

#1 Character and Ethic – Of these 5 realities, this is most important and is invisible.
To truly build a brand from character and ethics first requires introspection, exploration, and reflection on your own values.

  • What is your purpose? Your purpose maybe be defined as those things that matter more to others than to yourself.  ~ Angela Duckworth.
  • What are your values? What are those traits and characteristics about you that are less extrinsic such as money, a bonus, or a promotion, but rather are intrinsic. Values may be those things beyond your happiness all the way to your meaningfulness. This is the character ethic.

The others 4 realities here build a great brand from this thoughtfully considered #1 reality as your foundation.

#2 Communication Traits – know your preference for winning over others in more extroverted or introverted environments. Also be aware if you focus on a preference for
“thinking-of-the-what” of your communication, or the “feeling-of-the-who” in your communication, i.e. do you more often say more “I think….” or “I feel…”?

#3 Emotional Intelligence – balancing our self awareness with self management shapes our internal knowledge. And balancing our social awareness with social management shapes our external knowledge, thereby shaping our relationships.

#4 Activities and Goals – are you energetic, credible, intellectual, or passionate? Spend time in those activities building these traits and teams will find ways to value these traits in the business vs. simply completing a job description. Our activities supporting these above 3 areas, drive discretionary effort and not simply paycheck effort.

#5 Physical traits – know your voice tone and body language. Have you ever seen yourself on camera or heard yourself on audiotape? Study any and all visual or audio reflections of you making a presentation – you will remember and make subtle changes in order to be received the way you feel is best.

A leaders’ brand is best measured not in the words, actions, and values of the leader, rather in how others feel when interacting with that leader – tmore positive, engaged, and productive, thereby shaping their success. That is your best measure of a great leadership brand.

Your brand is defined in the words people use about you 30 seconds after you leave the room.

Time to Strike up the Brand!


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