Leading your Personal Brand from your Passions

by | Mar 25, 2022 | Corporate culture, Founders & Entrepreneurs, Personal Brand, Professional Confidence

For some business owners and senior executives, talking about themselves is difficult – they are used to talking about their business or their team. However, there are circumstances where you need to be able to talk about what you bring, and what defines you as a leader… and a useful first step can be to think about introducing yourself in terms of your passions.

A couple of recent experiences with clients got me thinking about how you can put your passions at the centre of your personal brand. This is basically about channelling your passion to communicate impactfully.

Business owners and founders have passion in spades

While business owners (and particularly start-up and scaling founders who are looking for investment) have plenty of passion, it can sometimes derail their communications if it’s all they’re getting across. However – while business acumen and track record are essential to your credibility as a business owner – communicated well, passion can be part of a strong personal brand that creates trust. After all… if you don’t show passion, how are stakeholders going to be convinced that you will have the drive to do the hard yards it takes to achieve big things in business?

For founders and other business owners who are used to talking about their business rather than themselves, leading your personal brand with your purpose and passions can be the perfect way to introduce who you are as the leader. Talking about why you got into business in the first place, and why you care about your vision, is a great way to give some insight into who you are and what you bring to leading the business.

These were the subjects of conversation at Venture X HQ’s inaugural roundtable, focused on ‘Founder Personal Brand’. I asked participants – female founders of new startups and scaling established SMEs – ‘In order to step up to the next level in your business, who do you have to become?’

The responses were categorised into

  • ‘How others have to see me’ and
  • ‘How I have to see myself’

– and both are important. ‘Becoming’ your next best self in business is about seeing your own potential and then demonstrating it to others. But this is challenging for founders used to talking about their business brand and not their own brand! Before moving to talk about their personal strengths, abilities and track record, it was helpful for some to begin with their clear sense of purpose and passion.

Senior executives can harness their passion, instead of hiding it

Many professionals in corporate environments share the sentiment that appearing too ‘passionate’ can cause them to lose credibility. This is a shame, as we need more passion in the world! Again, the key is understanding how to channel that passion.

On a 1-1 call with a client recently, we were talking about where passion is helpful and where it hinders success during an ambitious project or a transformational change in an organisation. As a naturally passionate person, my client had discovered the importance of ‘harnessing’ her passion to bring it in where it is best used – at the start of an endeavour, to get everybody on board for the journey. Leading with passion is one of the best ways you can motivate others to follow and contribute to your cause! Because of my client’s incredible track record for making new things happen in organisations, her passionate nature and her particular passions in business became a central part of the messaging for her personal brand – it’s the unique value she offers that creates huge impact.

“Her passionate nature and her particular passions in business became a central part of the messaging for her personal brand.”

So, if you find it hard to talk about yourself as a business leader but feel a strong sense of purpose and passion, this can be a great place to start communicating your personal brand – what you bring that makes a difference to people and business.

Most importantly, if you are a ‘passionate person’ you must embrace this – because we need your passion in the world! Although early experiences taught me to hide my passionate personality, I have since learned that it is my biggest asset in business – AND the thing that people most like about me.

Used constructively and communicated skilfully, passion is magic in business, and if it feels authentic to you, is a great way to make your personal brand stand out and connect with people.