How do I develop a ‘leadership brand’ for myself?

by | Feb 16, 2021 | Career Planning, Personal Brand

Leaders have specific requirements when it comes to positioning their personal brands.

Whether you are an established or emerging leader, your personal brand will be strengthened by an approach that is specific to your current and future leadership goals.

The types of concerns and questions I hear from clients in leadership roles include:

  • I have done so many things. How do I bring together this experience to paint a clear picture of the value of my work?
  • How do I balance my different roles and responsibilities when communicating my brand and developing my thought leadership?
  • How do I tell the story of my business experience, approach and values, beyond simply presenting a timeline of my work history?
  • How can I synthesise the messages behind my stories, for keynote presentations?
  • I want to go for NED roles. How do I shape my personal brand to appeal to this?

For emerging leaders, concerns include:

  • How do I expand my networks to include more of the right (influential) people? How do I get those first introductions to start moving to the next level?
  • How can I develop my voice to impress as an authority in my space?
  • Are there weaknesses in my resume that I should address in order to escalate my ability to build trust as a next-level leader?
  • How does my personal appearance, body language and communication style affect people’s level of trust in me as a leader?

For any leader, a personal brand must go beyond the basics of work experience, skills and personality traits to include commentary on:

  • Your personal leadership style
  • Your core values in business and how this plays out in your work
  • Themes or causes you care about creating positive change in
  • Areas in which you’ve led and the impact this has made
  • What qualifies you to lead in future contexts

In a recent article on launching your updated personal brand, I set out a framework for planning your brand and getting it ready to communicate to your audience. This framework provides the essential foundations of any strategic personal brand, and is made up of 4 key steps:

  1. An analysis of where you’re at versus where you want to go;
  2. The development of clear value proposition messaging;
  3. A plan for communicating your personal brand and increasing visibility and engagement over time, and
  4. Breaking down the steps or elements you will need to execute that communication.

Your leadership plan will start with very clear goals and a specific audience that you need to be in front of to help you achieve those goals. From there, your decision-making at each step in the above framework should be guided by those goals and audience – and that includes how you answer the questions you see above.

As you can see, there is much more to creating a strong leadership brand than polishing your speaking skills or power-dressing.

If you need help to think strategically about your personal brand and develop a plan that is targeted to your needs, we’re here to help. You can also explore answers to our most common personal brand questions here, including what your first steps should be.