Does Your Leadership Brand Help You Grow?

Does your leadership brand help you grow?

What does it take to stand out from a crowd? How do you build a more powerful leadership brand?  Does the quality of your leadership brand impact your business results? Does it help you grow?

Last week, we got you thinking about creating your own leadership brand.  I see building your own leadership brand as an insurance policy against an uncertain future. But with so many great personal brands out there already, how will you stand out from the crowd?  Much of my early thinking on building great brands came from more traditional corporate marketing.

From my experience, many of the rules for large business brands does not apply to creating your own brand. First, in most cases, you do not have the time or resources to compete with larger brands. Most entrepreneurs need to have revenue generated from their marketing efforts. So should you!

Much of today’s corporate marketing is focused on building a brand, but not on sales results. Can you tell me the last time a traditional ad campaign got you to switch from your current supplier? These large brands are still broadcasting and not connecting with their customers.

 Second, I believe that even the largest brands will shift to creating smaller brands that target specific segments of their clients and customers. To me, great advertising and marketing produces sales results. As importantly, it gets people to take action! Does most of what you see get you to take action?

Finally, younger generations want different things from the brands they buy from than earlier generations of professionals. Today’s younger consumers want an experience from their brands they choose to buy from. Millennials want to know what your brand stands for. They want to be able to share their experiences with friends and family.

Now, how does this translate into how to build you own leadership brand? Many of us we will be changing our careers much more frequently than our parents and grandparents generation. Two out of three managers today see themselves leaving their jobs in the next several year. Recent surveys by Deloitte see almost 90% of this generation in a different company or career in ten years. Career recreation will a fact of life in the not so distant future. Are you prepared to keep up?

I believe there are three stage for leaders’ careers.  This is based on interviewing over 17,000 leaders personally in my career. This is also based on managing and leading both early stage organizations to Fortune 100 global organizations for over 30 years. However, I’m careful about saying that something that worked in the past will still work in the new era of employment. I’d like to share how I see people’s careers evolve and develop. See what you think. Then next week, I’ll share how to leverage the different stages to build a stronger leadership brand.

The first stage of your career is you learn how to influence others. In many cases, your career options are only limited to how well you can sell yourself and your potential. During this stage of your career, your past helps employers decide if you would be a good addition to their team. You have success, but in many cases, it’s hard to define why you succeeded.

This doesn’t mean you won’t try. At this stage of your career, you become very good at selling your potential. It could be you are good with people, or you’re good at working inside larger organizations. Sometimes, it’s your educational or sports success. All that is certain is you are influencing people to trust you. You are willing to learn and build your skills in new areas of your personal and professional life.

An interesting foot note is that this is the skill most people leave behind as they develop in their professional career. These individuals might even brag that they haven’t read a single book since they graduated from college or trade school. They fail to grow!

It’s interesting. I believe most people fail to find new employment at later stages of their life because they are not willing to go back and learn how to influence people in their new fields.

Friday this week, I will share the two additional stages of career development and how they impact your life and leadership brand.  See you then.

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