Written by Janet Walls
When we think of a brand, we typically visualize a name, slogan, or symbol that distinguishes an organization or product from its competition. As individuals, we have a personal brand – that unique differentiator that defines our identity. Visualize a leader who had a significant impact on you, and it should be easy to select a few words that describe this leader. These words define their leadership brand.
What would others visualize when they think of you as a leader? The quest to define your leadership brand begins with assessing the impact or legacy you wish to have both personally and professionally combined with a thorough understanding of who you are.
The impact or legacy you wish to have should correlate with your core values. Core values are those guiding principles that dictate your behavior and action. Having a clear understanding of your core values is a foundational step in discerning your best option when faced with significant life decisions. The alignment of your professional life with your core values allows you to show up with more energy and passion. In his famous leadership book, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey identifies Habit 2 as “begin with the end in mind”. Covey observes that if you don’t make a conscious effort to visualize who you are and what you want in life, then you empower other people and circumstances to shape you and your life by default. The time you invest in planning your legacy will ensure you focus on the things that matter most to you.
The process of understanding who you are begins with self-awareness. Personality assessments such as the Hogan Personality Inventory (HPI) and the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) indicate psychological preferences in how you make decisions and perceive the world around you. But these introspective questionnaires are limited since they only provide a one-dimensional view. A thorough understanding of who you are requires both internal and external perspectives. A 360 assessment such as Voices 360 provides employees feedback on your strengths, weaknesses, and development opportunities in addition to your impact on others. This feedback can provide the framework for development goals that focus on specific competencies and skills.
With a clear understanding of who you are and the impact you wish to have you are on your way to defining your leadership brand. For more information on Owen’s leadership development resources and assessments for alumni click here.*
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