Leadership Brand – Supercharge Your Career

Have you ever defined your leadership brand? If you haven’t, now is the time. The process is simple but deliberate and does not happen overnight. It is a hero’s journey, so expect multiple opportunities to learn from your mistakes and to rely heavily on allies. Why is Your Brand Journey Important?
  • It Enhances Your Credibility and Trust – A positive personal leadership brand establishes credibility and fosters trust among colleagues, employees, members, and stakeholders. When others perceive you as authentic, reliable, and competent, they are more likely to respect and follow your leadership.
  • It Increases Your Influence and Impact – A strong personal leadership brand enables you to exert greater influence and positively impact your organization, industry, and community. People are more likely to listen to and act upon the guidance and ideas of leaders with a positive reputation.
  • It Attracts New Opportunities – A positive personal leadership brand attracts opportunities like career advancement, speaking engagements, partnerships, and collaborations. Opportunities tend to gravitate toward individuals who are seen as credible, capable, and trustworthy leaders. If you are in
  • It Helps You Build Effective Teams – A positive personal leadership brand enhances your ability to lead teams effectively. When team members perceive you positively, they are more likely to be motivated, engaged, and committed to achieving shared goals.
  • It Helps You Retain Talent – Employees often leave because of bad leadership. However, employees are likelier to stay when led by a leader with a positive personal brand. A respected, admired, and trusted leader can create a positive work environment that fosters loyalty and reduces turnover.
  • It Makes You More Resilient – A positive personal leadership brand can be a source of resilience during times of crisis or uncertainty. Leaders with a strong reputation are better equipped to navigate challenges, rally support, and inspire confidence in their ability to lead through adversity.
  • It Helps You Attract Excellence – A positive personal leadership brand attracts like-minded individuals who share your values, vision, and goals. This can lead to strong networks, alliances, and partnerships that amplify your impact and influence.
  • It Elevates Your Reputation – A positive personal leadership brand reflects positively on the organization you represent. As a leader, your actions and behaviors shape your organization’s reputation, influencing how external stakeholders perceive it.
  • It Helps You Inspire Others – A positive personal leadership brand is a role model for aspiring leaders and future generations. Demonstrating integrity, humility, and a commitment to excellence inspires others to strive for their full potential and make a positive difference in their leadership journeys.
What is a Personal Leadership Brand? A personal leadership brand is a unique identity and reputation that a leader cultivates and projects. It encompasses the leader’s values, strengths, attributes, leadership style, and how others perceive them. A personal leadership brand communicates who the leader is, what they stand for, and the value they offer as a leader. It reflects their authenticity, credibility, and influence within their organization, industry, or community. Building a personal leadership brand requires deliberate self-reflection, strategic positioning, and consistent communication to establish a positive and memorable impression that inspires trust, respect, and loyalty among bosses, peers, direct reports, and stakeholders. Your leadership brand includes the attributes that make you who you are and how those around you expect you to behave in various situations. To Understand Your Brand and Reinvent Yourself, Take the Following Steps:
  • Your Friends are Your Best Resource. How would they describe you? What adjectives would they use? Appearance and gender are part of your brand’s descriptors, but attitudes, behaviors, how you respond and react to circumstances, how you communicate verbally and in writing, and how you present yourself to others clarify and codify your brand.
  • Start by Creating a List of These Adjectives. This list will include descriptors like shy, outgoing, quiet, thoughtful, energetic, aggressive, sweet, humble, funny, honest, formal, casual, intelligent, brilliant, plodding, and resourceful. You get the idea. The list must include both the good and the insufficient descriptors. During this process, you must be brutally honest, not overly critical, and, at this point, not judgmental.
  • Ask Yourself These Questions:
    • Is this descriptive word something I can change? An example is the adjective “tall.” Being Tall is a physical attribute you must accept as unchangeable. However, if the word is”shy,” you should mark it as changeable. Knowing this doesn’t mean you will want to change it; it only means this attribute can be changed.
    • Is this descriptive word a positive attribute, or does it negatively harmyour brand presence? For example, if you have the adjective “aggressive” written down, you will likely note it as a negative attribute unless you are a MMA fighter. On the other hand, if you have “trustworthy,” you should identify this adjective as positive unless you are a con artist.
  • Look Carefully at this List and Ask Yourself:
    • Are there any missing attributes I wish were used to describe me?
    • Do these attributes answer the question, “When I die, what do I want them to say in my epitaph?”
    • Add these adjectives to your list.
    • This list should now accurately portray who you are but, more importantly, who you want to become.
  • Identify All of the Changeable Adjectives. Identify those you want to change and those you want to preserve.
  • These Attributes Become Your “Project List.” Convert this “project list” into steps that will allow you to demonstrate the changes in your personal and professional life. This effort is not easy work. Remember, you have decades of practice with these behaviors and attitudes. In this step, the most difficult and intentional of all the steps is an effort to change how you respond and react to circumstances in your life. This effort is similar to the kind that it takes for a person to quit smoking. When someone is working to stop smoking, they must replace old habits with new ones. For example, a smoker may get up in the morning, brew a cup of coffee, and then sit down and have a cigarette while they drink their coffee. This associative response behavior is a driver of a habit. The person quitting must learn to replace or ignore the old cigarette habit. Every automatic response to every circumstance needs to be purposely and intentionally changed. A new reflex must replace the previously learned reflex response. This hard work requires you to become self-aware of your actions and interactions.
  • Enlist Your Allies to Ensure Your Success By:
    • Sharing what you are trying to accomplish.
    • What attributes you seek to change and add.
    • Ask them to help keep you on track by alerting you gently when they observe attitudes or behaviors inconsistent with your new brand.
    • To ensure this project’s success, don’t always seek perfection. We are human and will make mistakes or even backslide occasionally. Accept this as just a mistake, a learning opportunity, and resolve to get back on track. But, take note of the situation that caused an old reflex to resurface and learn from it so that you are prepared to be more thoughtful and purposeful in responding to a similar situation.
  1. Clarify Your Long-Term Vision and Goals. Visualize who you want to become and define a timeline to attain that vision. Use your allies to monitor your progress on this journey.
  2. Define Your Purpose. This purpose will define you and become what you are known for. It identifies how you want to make a difference and what impact you want to have. Your purpose will become your Northstar in all your decisions and actions, and those you impact will become your reward for taking on this journey.
Establishing a leadership brand is essential to being perceived as your company and community leader. However, for most of us, it isn’t automatic. We must continually build on our leadership attributes and move slowly and purposely to becoming the person and leader we want to be remembered as to have an authentic leadership brand.

About rich@leading2leadership.com

Rich Jones is the Founder/Principal of Leading2Leadership LLC. Before starting his strategic planning agency, he spent over 20 years in leadership roles in the financial services sector. Before becoming an executive in the financial services sector, Rich was an entrepreneur, building and selling two businesses and working for early-stage start-up companies in executive roles in marketing, business development, and seeking investment partners. With more than three decades of experience, he brings innovative thought to companies and executives. Rich published “Leading2Leadership, a Situational Primer to Leadership Excellence.” The book is available on Amazon.com and was designed to be used as a book study for leadership development programs; it breaks leadership skills into manageable situations for discussion and reflection. Rich works with credit unions, CUSOs, and vendors, designing digital, data, culture, marketing, and branding transformation strategies. In 2014, Chosen as a Credit Union Rock Star by CU Magazine, and in 2018, Rich received the Lifetime Achievement Award from CUNA Marketing and Business Development Council. A Marine and graduate of Colorado State University, Jones shares his expertise at www.leading2leadership.com.


  1. Vilma on April 6, 2014 at 5:41 am

    It’s going to be finish of mine day, except before finish I am reading this impressive post to increase my experience.

  2. […] Regardless of which direction you choose, use this as an opportunity to rebrand your image. Understanding how you are perceived and determining how you want to be seen is the first step in branding the new you. Be intentional in this rebranding effort. It will require discipline and determination, but you will become a better person because if this work. Check out this article about personal branding: “Creating a Leadership Brand.” […]

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