Using Your Internal Brand to Lead

Let your brand lead.The term “brand” can apply to someone’s style of leadership in a given organization. So how do we draw the parallel between the more common and familiar brands, and the way that the term can describe someone’s role as a leader in a given business? Read on as we delve into 4 proven ways that you can establish, maintain, and communicate your internal brand as a leader in your organization.

Practice transparency
The ability to exercise transparency is at times difficult, but well worth the effort because of the trust that being open creates. The ironic part is that many leaders are secretive because they believe that transparency will devalue their authority. They operate under the mistaken assumption that the leadership credentials that they possess will be diminished by transparency and openness. The opposite is true: most people want to relate to their superiors, and to understand that they have similar struggles and hardships.

Develop your online presence
This is becoming more relevant with each passing day. Almost everyone has an online presence, and as a leader it is important that you develop and maintain a professional and polished virtual footprint. LinkedIn is the most renowned of the these types of sites. Ensure that your profile on this and other professional websites is detailed and presents you in a positive light. In addition, staying active on these sites is crucial for building and maintaining your online presence, which helps you stay current in your quest for a better internal leadership brand.

Make consistency a defining characteristic
The impressions that people form of you are based on repeated interactions over a long period of time. Therefore, it is incumbent on you to ensure that these encounters are of a positive nature. The vast majority of folks prefer working with, and for, someone who they know what to expect from. A key point to remember is to keep your personal and professional lives separate. A solid, productive, consistent leader doesn’t allow what is happening in their private life to negatively impact their professional performance.

Establish, define, and practice your expertise
No person — leaders included — can possibly be the best, or even superior, in all different areas. Accordingly, in order to establish your internal brand as a leader, you should strive to first establish the areas that you excel at, and then work constantly to cultivate these defined areas. For example, if your forte is process improvement, get certified in Six Sigma or Lean Operations.

Establishing, cultivating, and maintaining your internal brand as a leader in your organization is an ongoing endeavor. By being open and transparent, developing your online presence, exhibiting and practicing consistency, and finding your niche, you can hone and improve your own personal brand. In the process, you will become a more effective and respected leader.

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