By Lindsey Pollak
View original pubilcation on LIndsey Pollak
As you begin to think about your personal brand and how you’d like to be perceived as a leader, here are four overarching areas to focus on.
Do people in your organization or community know who you are? Is your presence felt by the people you lead or the people you want to lead? Are you findable where your desired networking contacts are looking? Do you appear in the media, at industry events, in the company cafeteria? Leaders need visibility.
What are you known for? What can you offer that other people can’t? If someone walked into a meeting of you and your team, could that person tell that you are the boss? While leaders today need many skills, it can be helpful to have a few areas where you really excel. This is what gets you noticed and what gets you continually promoted.
Can people depend on you to behave in a similar way across a variety of circumstances? Do you treat people equally? Is your image consistent across all social media and your in-person persona? This quality is particularly important: consistency regularly ranks as one of the most desired qualities of a strong boss or leader. Nobody likes surprises, especially in their leaders.
The consistency of your style is important for another reason as well: it sets the tone for your team to be consistent. It’s like the physics principle of entrainment: a roomful of pendulums will eventually all begin to swing at the same pace. If you are consistently optimistic and reliable, your team will (under most circumstances) be consistently optimistic and reliable. If you are moody and unpredictable, your team will become moody and unpredictable, too.
Are you genuine in your image and your outreach to people? Are you comfortable in your leadership skin? In no way should you interpret personal branding as the need to put on a persona or be fake in any way. While you certainly want to own your authority and power, you can do so in a way that feels natural and comfortable to you. Maintain your personal integrity always.