Have you ever given thought to the idea of self-branding as a way to improve your effectiveness as a leader? Consider what Nike means to the world of athletic footwear, or Federal Express to the world of package delivery, or BMW in the automobile industry. Chances are that once you read those names, you immediately had a vision in your mind of what each company stands for (“Just do it.” “When it absolutely, positively has to be there overnight.” “The ultimate driving machine.”). More importantly, you also had a picture in your mind of the experience you could expect from each company if you were to interact with them. That’s the power of a good brand, and a good self-brand can do exactly the same thing for you as a leader.
But make no mistake, self-branding is NOT about self-promotion. It IS about actually defining and delivering on an experience that you want to stand for. And it’s about picking a brand image that fits with your leadership strengths and then staying true to that image. A strong self-brand will improve your effectiveness in the following ways:
- Others will know what to expect from you, and that will make it easier for them to commit to you and to follow you.
- You will become more focused on your strengths and more confident in the value that you contribute to others who interact with you.
- You will build a reputation for expertise on certain skills, and that reputation will feed a virtuous circle which leads to ever-increasing awareness by others of what you stand for.
Building a self-brand begins with an exercise in self-discovery. Through a good understanding of the strengths you possess (from your personality, your experiences, and your skills and specialties), you can make confident commitments to certain experiences you will deliver to others. Then your self-brand becomes a “north star” that will continuously guide you to delivering on those commitments.
To learn more and to start the process of establishing your self-brand, go to…
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