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Leadership Brand – Why Bother?

At Altris, we work with many senior executives who, in true ‘kiwi-style’, prefer to work ‘below the radar’ to achieve things in their own quiet way. That’s all well and good and we endorse that we each have our own Leadership style.

We also need to acknowledge that we’ve got a Leadership Brand whether we like it or not, because by definition, Leadership Brand means others’ total experience of us as a leader. Leadership Brand strongly overlaps with Personal Brand, especially if we’re an authentic leader. That is, we’re pretty consistent in our style at work and in other areas of our life.

Others’ total experience of us is related to our behaviour. Underpinning our behaviour is our thinking (both clarity and bias) around the following elements: our purpose as a leader (not our job description but what you think you’re there to deliver to the organisation – both directly and indirectly), our values, skills, experience, achievements and goals. Importantly, this goldmine of information is validated (or not) by our feedback providers.

Leadership programmes typically aim to get leaders to step up and lead with a sense of purpose. Being able to step outside and be an observer to ourselves is strongly linked to the critical leadership attribute of being strategic.

We’ve already done this work if we’ve clarified our Leadership Brand, so the organisation very much benefits. Moaning about the things that can’t be changed, is replaced by proactive people who work from their sphere of influence. As an employer, it’s a real delight and even privilege to work with such high value employees. They are to be cherished.

Clarity of our Leadership Brand creates huge benefits all round. On an intra-personal level, when we are clear we become calm and able to step outside ourselves to see how what we’re doing today relates to the bigger picture of the organisation, to our lives and more.

On a more day-to-day basis, the benefits are there too: when others see calm and clarity about what we’re there to deliver on the job, they become increasingly respectful of us. This is because they know we are a person who has a clear sense of priorities and who does what we say we are going to do i.e. ‘our conduct matches our calling.‘ So relationships benefit all round – upwards, alongside and downwards.

Understanding our Leadership Brand is not for the faint-hearted : if we have created a safe environment to provide comment, we get others’ no-holds-barred views about us.

But if you’re up for it, thinking about what you want to stand for, developing your Leadership Brand, and getting feedback on how close you are to living it, can be a pivotal point in your transition from manager to leader.

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