By BRENDA BENCE
All you have to do is look around you to know that brands are powerful. In fact, most people are so loyal to certain brands that they stick with them for life. If brand-name products can evoke that kind of loyalty, why can’t people? Well, they can!
The truth is that we all have a personal brand whether we like it or not. Simply by being ourselves in the work place, others perceive, think, and feel about us in a certain way. The question is whether we have created the personal brand we want.
This is especially important for those who hold leadership positions. If you lead others, the way they perceive, think, and feel about you as a leader, in relation to other leaders, can make or break your short-term and long-term success. These “others” might consist of your subordinates, colleagues, superiors, or even entire divisions or corporations.
Your leadership personal brand impacts your image, your reputation, your relationships, and your performance. As a result, it will also impact your overall career and your finances. So, unless you create your desired leadership personal brand consciously, negative perceptions can undermine your best efforts.
There are many mistakes that leaders commonly make which can damage their personal brands. Let’s take a look at five of the most potentially damaging:
1 Not taking risks or accepting tough challenges.
When you reach a leadership position in any organisation, it can be much too easy to rest on your laurels. If you have a lot of experience, you might become inclined to stick with what you know has worked in the past rather than try something new. This keeps you in a static place, however, without the opportunity for you – or the company – to grow.
We all need challenges. As a leader, it’s your job to find them and lead your team through them.
2 Not speaking up when you disagree with top management.
Even leaders have a difficult time speaking up to superiors. It’s natural to worry about the reactions of top management when you disagree with their decisions, but it also hurts your leadership personal brand to hold back and keep your opinions to yourself.
Most of the time, if you are diplomatic about it, your input will be appreciated – even if management’s decision stays the same. Most leaders are expected to offer ideas about how to solve problems or improve operations. You will be respected for making your views known.
3 Worrying about being liked instead of respected.
A good leader is both liked and respected. It’s a difficult balance, but it’s an important one. If you worry too much about being liked, you probably aren’t making enough tough decisions to lead others effectively.