When asked about their leadership brand, many leaders will default to their DISC profile, Myers Briggs personality type or their Strengths Finder summary. These tools provide a perspective of behaviors that contribute to their brand, but I wouldn’t say they point to a ‘leadership brand’.
So what is a leadership brand? Your leadership brand is not defined by a survey, a questionnaire or a week-long seminar where you discover yourself. Your leadership brand are those few words that describe you as a leader as seen through the eyes of your employees. It’s what your employees say about you at the water-cooler or at after-work gatherings. Do your employees say that you are “great to work for”, “care about employees” or “knows how to get things done?” Or are they saying things about you like “has to control everything”, “is only concerned about themselves” or ‘doesn’t have a clue what’s going on?”
Some of you may dismiss the negative chatter as being a small population of leaders, but if you look at the data, it’s more prevalent than you think and shows up as low employee engagement scores and high employee turnover statistics.
So the question remains, as a leader, are you leading with vision and passion, empowering employees to reach their potential and recognizing and rewarding great performance? Or are you barking orders, stifling innovation and playing the corporate game? You probably know the answer to that and guess what, so do your employees. And that’s how you earn your “Leadership Brand”.