“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” – John Quincy Adams
Last week I had a cab pick me up to get me to the airport. As I walked out as it arrived on time at 6 am, I could barely see through the hand smudged, virtually opaque with dirt windows. As I proceeded to get in the driver quickly put a towel down on my seat, openly acknowledging how filthy the car was. If time wasn’t of the essence I would have booked another cab but instead, I got in and he did deliver me the airport safely. In the time I was in the car it got me thinking how little pride some people take in what represents their brand, their business. People buy you first, that is nothing new, and the way you portray your brand right down to what you say, do and physically present yourself really says something about you.
We are all on a journey of some sort and it’s not uncommon to become so sidetracked with all the doing and being that we sometimes forget how we are perceived along the way. In a leadership role we have so much to juggle, we need to be agile, we need to go wide, then narrow and wide again. We need to juggle people, structures, and technology and also build our leadership brand along the way while being watched and sometimes watched in the spotlight.
I am all for the ‘doing” but as leaders, we also need to “be”. We need to take time to reflect on how we are seen as a leader. The most effective leaders I work with encourage regular feedback from their teams, peers and up-line. This not only creates disclosure and rapport, but it also gives you an accurate indication of how you are really tracking, not how you think you are tracking. They reflect and self-coach on where they have been and where they are going and all the magic in between that will get them there.
Thinking about your leadership brand, a few questions to reflect on:
- Who am I? (You must know who you are before you can get to where you want to go?)
- What do I stand for? What do I value?
- What am I great at, that I enjoy and lights me up?
- Who do I want to be?
- How am I known?
- When aligned with who I am, how do I want to be known?
Like servicing a car, you need to regularly check-in and recalibrate. Change trajectory if you need to and be open to being a work in progress with no attachment to the outcome and instead an attachment to the journey.
Enjoy and embrace your leadership journey, treat it lightly and observe what happens.
Renée Giarrusso is an accomplished trainer, facilitator, coach and speaker who works with high performing leaders and their teams across a myriad of industries and organisations. She passionately helps leaders fulfil their full potential resulting in increased motivation and performance. Her expertise in growing and developing capability and behavioural change around leadership, communication, transition and sales effectiveness leave her clients inspired, re-energised and with improved results.
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