Leadership Branding

Leadership Branding: Defining Your Message

Leadership ConceptWhat if everyone around you was waiting to see what you’d do before they made a move? Welcome to a world that needs YOUR Courageous Leadership!

Without Followers There Can Be No Leaders

Perhaps the three most destructive words in the formation and execution of leadership is, “I already know” (or “I knew that.”)

Why? Because inherent in excellent leadership is the realization that a leader is never “done,” that it isn’t a point in time or a spot in the corner, but a process that continuously needs to be refreshed, refined and refocused.

So what is leadership? The word “leadership” means “ability to lead, or an act or instance of leading; guidance; direction” The very root of the word speaks not only of a set of characteristics or personal qualities, but also of actions taken to sway results. To focus on characteristics while turning a blind eye to action creates stagnation and frustration, both for the leader and her/his team. To look at leadership as merely a ‘To-Do’ list creates superficiality, it lacks sustainability.

Here at the The Leadership Architect Group, we view leadership as a dynamic force that goes beyond the individual holding the title or plying the trade. We choose to focus on the followers as well. As such, we define leadership as “the creation of contexts or environments that invite the individual and groups around him or her to be the best that they can be.” It is the process of affecting people while working to meet organizational requirements.

Leadership branding includes both who we are and what we do. It is a definition that includes an open-ended understanding about what is possible for leaders and their followers. It is emergent by nature. Developing leadership is about more than just the leader as an individual. It creates great performance and results.

Why “Branding”?

A brand is more than a logo, an ad or packaging. it encompasses more than pricing and its relative position in the marketplace, especially with respect to service branding. Your brand is the sum total of every experience that people have with you, your product and your service. In some ways, any brand “hangs” on mental hooks (metaphorically, of course) in your customers’ brains. If your brand is excellent, the consistency between the aspects of what you offer help carry the weight of remembering you and your offering in your client’s mind. Its not entirely dependent on a tag line or a price point.

One aspect or mental hook of your brand could be called “reputation.” Another aspect includes “process” or “intellectual property.” Another might be the way your buyers feel about themselves when they are using your product. The more the traditional pieces of marketing (product, price, promotion, placement) align with emerging pieces such as nonverbal signaling, retention management, social media communication, partnering/sponsoring and experiential engagement, the easier it it to remember. Literally, the more the pieces fit together, the less important each individual aspect of your brand becomes. Consistency breeds trust. Trust means sales. Sales lead to success.

So what does this have to do with leadership? The more people know what to expect from and about you, the less time they have to spend anticipating what you might do next and the more time they have to do what’s anticipated from them. It’s simply not enough to put on “the face” of a leader and assume the role. There absolutely must be a shift in the leader’s orientation toward and for her/his followers, which results in an almost irresistible charge to her/his message.

A good leader reduces the ramp-up time for success. Leadership branding creates the environment that eliminates ramp-up altogether. An extraordinary leader gets more done because they have created the systems, structures, interdependencies and strategies that allow their followers to focus on the task at hand because they can trust their leader.

And the more we move away from the twentieth century, the more important nonphysical aspect of your brand become:Characteristics of a great leader

  • What defines my “leadership”?
  • What are my expectations of a great “follower”?
  • Who are my leadership role models?
  • What are my strengths & weaknesses? Where are my gifts & talents?
  • How do I motivate myself and others?
  • What tools and processes to I use to make profitable, strategic, excellent and innovative decisions?
  • What do I regularly “see” as opportunities to inspire others?
  • How do I keep moving?

At The Leadership Architect Group, we create interactive, creative processes to access for our clients to explore and fully develop their leadership potential. We then make sure that all aspect of that leadership are creating a consistent, resonant message in the mind of your followers.

It’s actually pretty simple. We have found, however, that it’s just not easy. Leadership branding requires commitment, motivation and courage.