What is your personal leadership brand?
December 21, 2021
To help build authenticity, be clear on the specific values that have guided your career and that you expect others to embrace.
Early on in our careers, we are schooled in the importance of the elevator pitch, so that we can deliver a concise answer if somebody important we meet in passing asks, “What are you working on?” or “What do you do here?” The succinct sales pitch is also an essential skill for entrepreneurs taking turns in front of an audience of investors: they have to be able to capture their killer idea in a dozen or so words.
But in our consulting work with senior leaders, we find there is a specific type of elevator pitch that executives often overlook. It’s the answer to the questions “So what kind of leader are you?” and “What should we know about your leadership style?” Having a thoughtful reply at the ready could be a factor in landing a promotion. But more crucially, providing clarity about your leadership style will help you to build trust with your team. Think of it as your personal leadership brand—what you stand for, including the values that guide your behaviors as a leader, and what you expect from others.
It’s not that people don’t have anything to say in response to these questions. Some will volunteer that they believe in “servant leadership,” or that they are results-driven or believe in excellence and integrity.
The ExCo Group’s Adam Bryant wrote this article for his column in Strategy + Business.