How to establish your EMPOWERED Leadership Brand

A leadership brand? What is that? Why would I need a brand as a leader? 

Sure, you've heard about branding from the perspective of businesses and marketing... but why have it for one person?

Well, you've heard about the concept of dressing for the position you want, not the position you have?

This is the same thing, behaving for the position you want to have, acting as the leader you want to be, being the change you want to see in your business and the world. 

So, let's jump in!

 

Why create your own "brand" as a leader?

The point to creating a Leadership Brand is to help you be more intentional with your leadership. In how you show up, what you prioritize, why you act the way you do, and the small daily details that end up creating the legacy you are known for.

There's a quote I enjoy that says, "Your energy announces your presence even before you enter the room."  

As leaders it is easy to get distracted by all the last-minute decisions, interruptions, meetings and reports, plus the needs of your teams and direct reports. So often, we become reactive and often operate from an anxiety or rushed state. Many leaders I've met actually are operating from crisis mode every single day.

This is understandable in crisis situations, but is totally not something that you want to be allowing to run your daily life.

 *****

Instead, I truly believe in being intentional and consciously choosing how we show up. As leaders. And as humans in general.

So.....

  • What impact do you want to have in your organization or business?
  • What legacy do you want to create within your team/business?
  • Who do you want to show up as every day?

 

This article will walk you through the steps to identifying what's important to you, how you want to show up as a leader and what you need to do differently to become that ideal leader you have uncovered!


What can help me develop my leadership brand?

In formal marketing, to develop a brand there are multiple different aspects to consider. From colours and logo and fonts, to personality in copy writing, what social media and tools you use to promote your products or programs. Plus much more!

Today, we're going to use those ideas but in a different way.

Instead of considering what colours best represent you as a leader, we'll look at how you want your teams to feel. How you want your organization to view you. What impact and legacy do you want to create for those that follow in your foot-steps. What image do you want to portray?

When I set up Exhale & Thrive coaching, I deliberately picked the colour teal for it's relaxing, nature feel and lots of white backgrounds to create an openness, with a bit of a zen feel. I chose these deliberately because many of my clients are stressed out, overwelmed, burntout and needing self-care.

So when people come to my website or get my emails or use my tools... my goal is for feelings of calmness and to leave feeling inspired and empowered.  

I've been told my branding feels like being at a spa... which is a great summary of what I was aiming to create!

But when we look at your brand as a leader, what do you want your teams and organization to feel about you? What presence do you want to have in meetings? How do you want your teams to feel?

 

This is totally going to be different for everyone!

Some people may be super logical and deadline oriented with minimal social aspects, while others may really be into social events, personal connections and less on deadlines. Or any possible combo out there!

And this is what makes each of us so unique!

For me, what I wanted to be known for in my previous leadership roles was:

  • high level of excellence
  • professional & diplomatic
  • knowledgeable
  • compassionate & strategic
  • reliable & through in my analysis, relatively risk tolerant and open-minded while still following the rules (most of the time)
  • supportive, encouraging, fair and transparent

This meant I needed to set up my behaviour to be on time with deadlines and to speak out and share my opinions, concerns and ideas in meetings.

Plus teaching & mentoring others is a huge passion of mine so I included that aspect in my support of my direct staff and teams as well as creating a community of practice and contributing to volunteer groups within the region. 

And more recently, this has looked like giving back to my university as an alumni by volunteering to support the new coaches in the Executive Coaching program and attending the Alumni Dinner for new MBA students to share the lessons learned from going through the program myself a couple of years ago. 

 

What makes you different?

What impact do you want to have? How do you want to be known? What legacy? What are you passionate about?

So now over to you...

  • What impact do you want to have in your business/organization?
  • How do you want to be known?
  • What legacy do you want to have within your team?
  • What are you super passionate about?

Do you know someone that already is living/role-modeling the traits you desire? 

And then, it helps to see where you're at today. Then to compare against your ideal "brand image" you're looking to create so you can see where you may want to adjust how you're showing up.

  1. Identify your own ideal, empowered Leadership Brand.
  2. What about where you're currently at?
  3. Compare your ideal "brand" with recent feedback from current results.
  4. Do they align to where you want to be?

For example, you want to get into an executive position but you dress casually and often show up late to meetings, plus you regularly rush and miss deadlines so your staff have to scramble every time you realize you need something immediately. You often complain or speak poorly of your colleagues. While you get work done, you know you can do better, if you just had more time to do it all.

Instead, when you think of someone in an executive position, their image is polished, they always arrive on time or are early for meetings, they are on top of deadlines and their staff always know what to expect, with only the occasional deadline that is missed or rushed. They always speak positively and respectfully of colleagues and when there is a difficult situation, they take responsibility to deal with it right away.

Or another common theme that comes up with high-achieving leaders... you are currently working super hard and don't want to take a promotion because you don't want to give up any personal time you have left. 

Perhaps your work-life balance and time off is important to you, so this aspect of your personal "brand" may mean you would take a certain job over another. Or maybe you are now ready to launch your own business or negotiate working hours before you accept the job. 

Basically, by knowing what's important to you and how you want to BE as a leader, you can then choose what actions you take or don't take based on the clarity you have around what's most important to you. 



So how are you currently showing up on a day-to-day basis?

Here are some questions to go even further...

  1. Where are things currently struggling in your own work, your team or your greater business?
  2. What are re-ocurring issues that keep coming up?
  3. What areas do you realize need to shift to align with your ideal leadership brand?
  4. What is going well that you'd like to do more of?

What are some resources, articles or leadership models that could help you pick your own unique brand elements?

To take this idea further, here are a collection of some helpful articles about leadership presence to help you create your brand identity:

 

For example, these articles inspired some of my leadership brand. I aim to be:

  • Collaborative about 80% of the time
  • Authoritative or confrontational only 10% of the time as needed
  • Servant leader who empowers those around me to do/learn/be their best selves, while serving them from behind-the-scenes
  • I use the THRIVE matrix to keep on top of where I'm at in any given day and get back to high-level mindset and empowered perspectives daily
  • As an EMPOWERED LEADER, I focus on taking responsibility & action to address issues and make sound recommendations and decisions. 



What about you? What is your ideal leadership personality?


You have the ability to create the leader you wish to be and adjust along the way. 

I know you have a BIG vision for your life, your organization/business and teams, plus the impact your business has in the world. 

This is a key step in creating that vision, by setting up your lifestyle, leadership and actions to align with the "Leadership Brand" that will embody your unique leadership self, then share it with the world!

Sign up for the Empowered Leader email course and masterclasses focusing on a variety of topics all about leadership mastery.

 

And if you'd like 1:1 support, I am opening 2 spots in my VIP Empowered Leader coaching program where we do a deep dive into your leadership brand and presence as well as setting up your schedule & routines to keep you showing up daily as your BEST, most EMPOWERED Leadership self!

Can't wait to connect and support you in your leadership and lifestyle mastery... so you can truly have the most incredible impact in your business, organization, teams and broader community that you can possibly have!

Let's do this!

Here's to you and your most EMPOWERED SELF!

Sarah

 

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