Leadership for a Lifetime: Brand

The way to gain a good reputation is to endeavor to be what you desire to appear.

~Socrates

What do Google, Apple, Facebook, Disney, Nike, McDonalds, BMW, Coca Cola, Lego, Coach, Harley Davidson, and you have in common? The answer is your own brand. That’s right—your brand! Chances are you don’t think of yourself in this way, but hear me out.

If you Google the term “brand,” you’ll see descriptions such as:

  • what you stand for
  • the representation, identity, or image of you or your organization
  • what differentiates you
  • how you are uniquely perceived by others

I like to think of it as a composite of qualities and values that represent your unique identity and value proposition. Now the parallels make more sense, don’t they?

Businesses go to great lengths to build their brand and reputation. In fact, they treat theirs as a prized possession! They invest massive amounts in developing quality products and services that are both consistent and appealing to customers. They train their employees to represent their core values and high standards in the marketplace. And, they promote their brands through carefully crafted advertising and PR. There’s no better way to build a loyal customer base than having an appealing brand.

Great leaders invest in their own brand, too—both personally and professionally. People who are brand aware view themselves as an asset to offer this world and demonstrate high standards both on and off the court. They are regarded not only for their impact but also for the effect they have on others.

In our conversations with teens and young adults, we stress the importance of building a great brand through an “excellence in everything” mindset. But, in a world that is increasingly shying away from the concept of universal values, what does that look like? To facilitate conversations and self assessments, I encourage students to develop their “Values GPA” by grading themselves on several personal and professional quality indicators. It’s a great way of building their “values vocabulary” and identifying their brand strengths and areas for growth.

Here’s a great way to put this into action. Following is a categorized list of brand-related qualities for your students/children/mentees to evaluate. It can also make for a fun family exercise with opportunities for feedback.

Professional Brand Qualities

Here are my top ten brand qualities of a workplace MVP (link to blog: http://www.dennistrittin.com/view_blog.aspx?blog_id=132 ): high standards, integrity, reliability, relationally skilled, positivity, enthusiasm, motivation, innovation, resilience, and likeability. 

Personal Brand Qualities

At a personal level, the components of our brand are similarly multi-faceted. Consider which of the following qualities you/your students/your children model well and which could benefit from improvement:
Heart Related: kindness, sincerity, compassion, friendliness, helpfulness, generosity, empathy, patience, unselfishness

Integrity Related: honesty, trustworthiness, honor, respect, loyalty, courtesy, tact, obedience, courage, self discipline, authenticity

Personal Nature Related: cheerfulness, self confidence, positivity, enthusiasm, active, sociability, good-humored, stability, expressiveness, politeness, cooperativeness

Productivity Related: reliability, high standards, purposeful, disciplined, resourcefulness, ambition, motivation, strong work ethic, decisiveness, conscientiousness, responsibility, curiosity, objectivity

Spirituality Related: faith, gratefulness, perseverance, resilience, grace, dignity, modesty, humility

 

Your personal brand is a prized possession and one of the most important leadership pillars to nurture and grow. How would you describe yours?

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