Your values are embedded in your activities, both online and offline, your expertise and experience, and in your communities.
Your brand is unique to you. It is the experiences and challenges that have shaped you. One of the best ways to communicate this is through storytelling. People enjoy hearing stories and often remember them for a long time.
Your brand is also your values and principles. It is who you are, plus what you have done. What you have done is part of your brand but more importantly your brand is you.
Suzanne Bates in her book “Discover your CEO Brand” gives us very good examples to help understand this. Here are a couple of them:
Walt Disney’s love of nature, family and community inspired the Disney World and Disneyland amusement parks. His optimism and creativity were behind his Hollywood success in animated feature films.
Charles Merrill, co-found of Merrill Lynch, had a goal of helping the average investor navigate the markets. His belief in creating value for investors, and in the idea that everyone should know how to invest, made Merrill Lynch the largest brokerage in the USA.
Oprah Winfrey survived an abusive childhood and build a media empire on the philosophy of inspiring women to live their best lives. She rejected the typical tabloid style entertainment in favor of promoting self esteem and self development.
You live your brand every day, it must be authentic. It is vital today to remember that we have a physical presence and a virtual presence via social media. Authenticity and congruence across communication platforms is essential to your brand.
When looking for a leader, organisations look for skills, but more importantly they look at a person’s values. These.
Just for fun try this exercise: Think of a leader you really admire, can you identify their brand in three words? Your brand is more than three words but it is a good starting point to identify your personal leadership brand.
The author is Senior Manager, Coaching Practice at Takatuf