WHAT IS YOUR LEADERSHIP BRAND? A fun exercise to help define it
I recently coached a client in his late thirties with a young family and who was hungry for success. He was ambitious and loved personal and professional development. He already regularly reviewed his life and was extremely goal focused. He wanted executive coaching from me to challenge his thinking even more, including to help him define how he wanted to be as an inspiring leader – and how he could create a lasting, positive impact in his career.
I enjoyed coaching him and was able to tap into his creativity and love of the entertainment industry. I helped him to visualise what he wanted to embody as a leader by envisaging what he admired in others. He was inspired by the leadership, specific characteristics, and values of a hugely popular movie star and by a former elite athlete. He wanted their integrity, their work ethic and to “mirror their traits”. He found this exercise fun and set himself an action to define the character traits in his heroes and come back next time with a comprehensive list.
At the following session, he reported that he was happy with his heroes’ traits compilation, and I was not surprised to hear that he had really gone deep with this enquiry, even anticipating their motives. I encouraged him to discover what his compelling reasons were too and to find his own why. Not a surface level one, a why that is super powerful, invoking strong emotions and that would help him keep going towards achieving his leadership goals, when (not if) the going gets tough.
In our final session together, we developed his motivation and created a career vision and timeline together so that he had a clear trajectory to follow. This was going to culminate by him becoming a CTO in 2023 and starting his own business in 2025. He said that he was now “confident on the why” and excited about where he was going. The how would now be up to him.
I include this example because clients request that I act as a thinking partner to define their brand as a leader, or often have not even considered whether they are being on or off brand. How you decide the values and brand that you aim to embody as a leader is obviously up to you. I trust that the example above stimulates some ideas. The most important aspect is that you consciously make a decision and create your Leadership Vision and Brand. Plus, review your performance against your own criteria regularly. Or, to make it even easier and enjoy greater accountability, have an Executive Coach support (and challenge!) you with this.