Who are you as a leader? In this session of Conversations at Work, we discuss how it’s more critical than ever to think about how your leader brand encompasses authenticity, trust, and awareness of people and context. Let’s dive in and explore!
What is a leadership brand?
You might be wondering how to define the term “leadership brand”. Well, this is exactly what we asked our two guests, Dr. Allana Todman-Da Graca from Turning on The Lights Global Institute, and Dina Denham Smith from Cognitas Coaching & Consulting.
We’re not talking about personality types. A leadership brand conveys your identity, distinctiveness, and the values you offer as a leader. It’s about how people experience your leadership and the way you show up as a leader.
Let’s break it down: Your leadership brand encompasses who you are as an individual, the values you live by, your professional purpose, and the contributions you want to make. It also communicates the value you offer and the impact you bring to an organization.
Furthermore, we explored how this relates to personal brand—authenticity is essential as it’s important to be trusted as a leader. If the external messages and initiatives you promote are disconnected with who you are as a person, it comes across as ingenuine.
Do you need to be positive to be an effective leader?
There are many considerations to the way you choose to show up as a leader. Cultivating a personal brand requires consistency, and with that sustained effort, it’s much easier to be consistent and remain true to yourself. But what if you’re not as wise, thoughtful, caring, and forgiving as you’d like to be?
In the workplace, not all leadership brands have the same resonance. There are blunt, straightforward, arrogant people who might demonstrate controversial behaviour. While this may be personal choice, words and actions have consequences in the short and long term. Thus, it’s really up to the individual to express themselves respectfully and embody their company’s culture.
How leadership brand evolves
How you show up today is potentially quite different from your presence a few years ago. As a leader you’re challenged as your responsibility and influence grows. And that’s how many leaders go through a change in perspective as they evolve and learn.
This is where leadership development and personal development go hand in hand. Allana offered a great way to evolve and learn about your leader brand through adapting the traditional SWOT analysis as an internal framework that helps audit your inner reflections and gather feedback to better understand your impact on others.
Considering how people view you through their unique lenses also helps with solidifying your leader brand. Think about how you might be perceived through your function, identity, representation, and experiences—all of these are contributing to your overall leader brand.
Your leader brand, like you, is a living thing and is a journey that changes with different contexts, contributors, and groups that you’re part of. There are certainly some favorable leaders, and others that might lead to criticism. What’s important is that you define and live who you are, consistently and credibly. Organizations can support authentic leader brands by cultivating psychological safety and encouraging individuals to share their personal stories, experiences, and purpose.
What’s your leader brand, and where are you going from here? Check out the full conversation below and let us know!
Want to find out about your unique leadership style? Check out this 2-minute quiz 👇