This week we complete the three part series on personal branding. In the first two we dealt with first impressions and actions.
- Episode 022 – Personal Branding from First Impressions – Controlling that critical first impression
- Episode 023 – Personal Branding from Your Actions
Today in this last of the series, we look at leadership.
While you may or may not care about being a leader, I highly encourage you to look for leadership opportunities. Not from a selfish power-hungry position, but as a servant. Today we have a huge leadership vacuum. We need you to lead!
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Branding yourself as a Leader
In this episode I want to share with you seven actions that impact your brand as a leader. Here are the basic ideas, but the details can be heard on the audio.
- Communicate with power — There is a No Whining rule for anyone working on their personal brand, but the leader has even a higher expectation. When the leader whines, everyone gets depressed and feels hopeless. As a leader, you are to look for and talk about solutions with power, purpose, and conviction.
- Expect the best — No matter what the situation, you should expect the best outcome. This expectation does not mean you are blind to the facts. As Jim Collins says in Good to Great, “confront the brutal facts, yet never lose faith.” Most people deal with the brutal facts and make them worse by expecting gloom and doom. The leader looks for and shares light and hope.
- Do not worry about “what ifs” — What if our competition wins? What if our division gets closed? What if I get fired? This is projecting gloom and doom. It is natural for us to ask “what if”, but you have to turn it around and get focused instead on “What can we do if…?”
- Listen to gossip — Yes, I did say listen. Do not participate and spread, but do listen. Gossip is often fear. When you hear your team and coworkers spreading gossip, they are expressing what they are afraid will happen. Unlike the what-ifs, gossip is usually an expression that a what-if is about to happen. It is fear. And the fear is real. You need to deal with it. Sometimes you need to act like a reporter and confront the gossip head on by going straight to the source to find out if it is true or false. I have seen a simple phone call totally diffuse a lot of worry and gossip on a team.
- Be happy — Emotions are contagious. If you worry, they will worry. If you see hope and live as an optimist, then it will rub off on others. Think the best and express positive thinking. You will raise the morale of your team.
- Seek solutions — Once you know those brutal facts, look for solutions, workarounds, or options. Don’t just give up. In his book How to Stop Worrying and Start Living, Dale Carnegie states you should first figure what is the worst that can happen, then accept it, then try to improve on it. Take this attitude with your team. Accept the worst might happen, then start working to find a better outcome.
- Do not seek permission — Once you have a plan of action, do not go ask for permission to take action. Act. Now you have to do this with finesse, but you want to take some reasonable action to make the problem better. Leaders do not go asking for permission to try something, they take action. Of course they operate within the guidelines of their organization, but they act nevertheless.
Leadership is powerful stuff. It inspires. We all want to work with leaders and to avoid the whiners. Be a leader. You will improve all the lives around you, especially yours. Leadership is not always easy, but it is always rewarding.
In this episode I mentioned a few resources, including:
- Tribes by Seth Godin
- Today We are Rich by Tim Sanders
- Good to Great by Jim Collins
- How to Stop Worrying and Start Living by Dale Carnegie
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Question: What examples of great leadership have you seen in your career? You can leave a comment by clicking here.