Brands are made, not born. A brand is also not a first impression; it is built over time. Leadership brands are built around what is real and authentic about the leaders they represent.
In 1997, Fast Company magazine featured a cover story called “The Brand Called You”. This story encouraged individual leaders to find a way to stand out and be remarkable.
Here are some examples of personal brands to get you thinking of what your leadership brand is.
Walt Disney: optimism and creativity
Richard Branson: daring and adventurous
Warren Buffet: willingness to share his wisdom
Bono: the power of one to make a difference
Mark Zuckerberg: transparency and openness
Remember that your leadership brand is more than personality, more than executive presence. The core of your brand is what’s inside — the ideas, principles, and values that you live by.
You are every bit as much a brand as Nike, Coke or Pepsi. To clarify your personal brand, focus on the following questions.
What have I done lately to make myself stand out?
What would my colleagues or customers say is my greatest strength?
What can others count on me for?
What do I do that adds remarkable, measurable and distinctive value?
What have I accomplished in my career that I can “brag” about?
What is my dramatic difference?