Building your leadership brand

What reputation would you like to precede you?

How awesome is it when you’re tapped on the shoulder for a role? Even if it’s not a role you want, it’s pretty awesome to be considered for it. So what’s the secret? How is it that some people get tapped on the shoulder for role after role and others get crickets, that is, just the noise of crickets, nothing else?

Whether you like it or not, it all has to do with your brand, your reputation. If your reputation precedes you (i.e. people know about you before they meet you), and not in a good way, then you’re never going to get that tap on the shoulder. If you can’t hold a conversation before you’ve had your morning coffee or throw a tantrum when things don’t go your way, then this is what people will talk about. And even if you’re careful about who you behave badly in front of, word spreads and you soon become known for doing “that thing” or being “that person” that no one likes to work with.

If you’re in a leadership role then your success and even your next promotion is dependent upon how you’re perceived, by your team, your peers and other managers. And the higher you climb the leadership ladder the more heavily scrutinized and judged you will be and the further you’ll have to fall.

Take a look at Hillary Clinton in the last US election. Many say the reason for her defeat was because she didn’t gain the trust of the American people, she didn’t share her true self and people struggled to connect with her. It didn’t help that she made a few wrong decisions (e.g. the email saga) which fueled the media with stories of scandal and assumptions about her character. Perhaps, if her reputation was stronger if her brand was more authentic, more relatable then the outcome might have been very different!

The good news is that influencing your brand is within your control. If you want to change the way you’re viewed by those around you there are some things you can do…they are:

  1. Lead your people like one day you’ll be working for them.
  2. Get clear on what you want to be known for.
  3. Be visible – chat, high five, drink green tea.
  4. Be authentic – bring your whole self to work.
  5. Become an expert in what you want to be known for.
  6. Be intentional in everything you do – know your purpose.
  7. Build and nurture your network both within your organization as well as outside of it.
  8. Give back time, money, wisdom to those who have helped you or pay it forward to the next generation of leaders.
  9. Maintain integrity – do what you say you’re going to do and do what’s right.
  10. AND MOST IMPORTANT…Treat every interaction, I mean EVERY INTERACTION, like it’s an interview.

If you adopt these ten rules and make your brand a priority in the year ahead, I have no doubt you’ll be getting a tap on the shoulder!

Need help? Give me a call.

Shelley Flett is a passionate leader with a keen focus on creating efficient and dynamic team environments through adaptable leadership. She is a Leadership Coach, Trainer, Facilitator, Mentor and Speaker who ignites vision and purpose in those she works with.

If you’d like to know more about how she can support you and your business drop her an email shelley@shelleyflett.com.

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