I have been reflecting on how I show up as a leader lately. Part of this reflective exercise has been through looking at leaders I admire. I listen to my instincts (when they aren’t impacted by fear) but on occasion when that’s not possible I look at the wisdom of those I know have succeeded. It really helps to get me to the start and finish line. Your brand impacts you and others in many ways – it encompasses many things that you might not have even thought of.
It often touches on your life story – maybe even your “why” (think Simon Sinek). It might be influenced by your past and hopefully, it is focused on your purpose and values. Perhaps you worry about how your brand is interpreted by others. That’s certainly natural as good brands show vulnerability and that can be scary, especially at the moment you put yourself out there. Am I am being judged? It’s possible, but your target audience is likely getting “it” – if you of course “get them”. You have to understand their needs and worries. Once they know you understand they will listen.
I heard that the definition of a brand starts with:
“What others are saying about you after you have left the room“ (well that doesn’t sound good at all)
Or maybe you know how to rock it and leave a room knowing others think gained something valuable by your presence. If that’s the case – good on ya!
For company brands, it is about the “experience” they create for you (or lack of it). Does the brand leave you with a smile on your face or are you turned off by a crappy and unthoughtful encounter?
You might like: Women in Biz Network core values
Your personal brand says a lot about you. Here are some questions that might help you refine your brand:
- How do you speak about yourself?
- How do you speak about others? (reflective, judging or curious?)
- How well you listen?
- How do you present yourself professionally? (ie: headshot, logo, website, Linkedin etc)
- How do you present yourself when speaking on a stage or in a meeting?
- How do you project your leadership style? (authoritative, transactional, hit or miss, my style is: Mindful leader who values individuals and also fosters a team growth mindset)
- How do you dress – does it reflect your brand?
- What might your body language be saying about you?
- How do you make and or present your decisions (which hopefully reflect your core values)?
What I love about my personal brand is that is always evolving and a large part of that comes from what I am experiencing in my business life. I am also learning how to enhance my brand with the help of role model and mentors. I devour materials to grow as a business leader and gain my knowledge in my favourite subject workplace diversity (podcasts, books, conferences, online learning etc).
Members of WIBN candidly shared there thoughts and challenges around this subject at our latest Thrive Mentor Circle Mastermind. Our WIBN Mentors Leigh Mitchell, Doris Chung and Lucinda Coey shared some great insights and answered the pressing questions our members were concerned about.
Learning and observing with people who share the same values as you can be an absolutely amazing experience. We hope you join us soon.
Get to know who is paying attention to your brand and ensure you share the best and most authentic version of your brand/and self. Do this by being of service and listening carefully. The clues will lead you to the results you are looking for.