You might be terrific at managing people and the reason why your company keeps attracting the best and brightest. You might be the company’s biggest rainmaker. Your company or unit might be exceeding its performance goals every quarter. But what’s your legacy? How will people remember you if you left for another position? What is the quality of your leadership?
Leadership specialist Paul Bridle says much of it comes down to what he describes as the 'leadership brand'.
Bridle writes: “Anyone in a leadership role has a responsibility to ensure that they uphold the brand and live within the values of the organisation. The expression commonly used is "walk-the-talk". I think it is beyond walking the talk and it requires "living the talk". If anyone in an organisation wants to see what the values of the organisation look like, then they should be able to look at people in leadership positions and see those values in action. They should see a living, breathing, walking, talking personification of those values. More and more we are seeing the brand being people. We only need to look at Richard Branson to see how a person can become a brand. The Virgin brand has been built on the Branson brand… The truth is, people prefer to buy people, long before they buy the product or service. So it is with leadership. People buy the person before they buy the brand. Maybe it is their knowledge, their charisma, their personality that people warm to that provides the basis for the leadership style or brand to be developed. To develop your leadership brand requires you to know what you stand for. What are your strengths? What do you do best and how do you compliment others? When you have defined this, you can start to develop a leadership brand that people are prepared to follow.”
Leadership commentators Robert Galford and Marina Maruca have a leadership assessment test setting out questions like whether you have a reputation for breaking new ground, and whether you like to do it without breaking glass; whether people rely on you for career advice, even after they’ve left the company; whether you are an excellent listener and have the ability to put yourself in other people’s shoes; whether you act as the go-between when others are in conflict, or during negotiations; whether you are known for being relentless about pursuing initiatives; whether you have an extensive contact list and whether you are good at keeping in touch with people and whether you are regarded as being methodical about collecting facts before making a decision.
How do you assess your leadership?