How to Intentionally Cultivate Your Leadership Brand

How to Intentionally Cultivate Your Leadership Brand

The larger culture will have a direct impact on your ability to succeed. This is true for both men and women, but you have more power than you think you do. Here are ten tips for developing your own unique leadership brand.

1. Employ agency. Taking direct control over the destination of your career is key to your success. Agency refers to the thoughts and actions taken to express your individual power. It is the power you have to think for yourself and act in ways that shape your experiences and life trajectories. Agency can take you far in the direction of your goals and objective.

2. Make a plan for your career trajectory. This plan can change, but if you do not have a plan you are in no man’s land. Do you know what no man’s land is? It is where you get shot at by both sides. If you do not decide where you are going someone else will. Choose a path no matter how hard it is. You can always change course. Taking a job is not like prison. You are free to go when you like. This is how you employ agency and take control.

3. Ask for challenges. When I was starting out I would get all my work done and ask for more. My co-workers who were writing novels on their personal laptops in their cubicles told me not to do this. One of my bosses told me this was stressing her out and asked me not to circle back to her at 10 a.m. looking for more work. You might wonder if I did get into situations where I was overwhelmed and inundated with work and the answer is yes. There were a few times when this did not pay off, but mostly I did a lot of work at work which prepared me for future opportunities.

4. Be politically savvy. I recommend reading as much as you possibly have time for. Read what is happening in your city, state, country, and internationally. Understand how the economy functions and how it impacts your industry.

5. Exercise your authority. Do not be afraid to delegate to employees and vendors. Experiment with your own personal style of management, and stay organized and focused on results.

6. Define your values. Know what you will and will not tolerate in an employer, supervisor, or company. Do this in advance before you have to make hard decisions. Define and reassess your values continually.

7. Be authentic and powerful. Your power is in your authenticity. You will not find it pretending to be like someone else. Be yourself and continue to develop your own style.

8. Value connection. Slow down and take time for people. Get to know them and build relationships that will help you grow your network. Find a mentor, coach, or a group to lean on as a sounding board and support group.

9. Invest in yourself. Cultivate a growth mindset. Neuroscience now tells us that we can be lifelong learners. We have the capacity to continue to learn and grow throughout all of life. Take classes, online courses, earn another degree, and read and study as much as you can.

10. Create a gift culture. Give of your time talents and skills. This brings goodwill into your life and career. Goodwill is invaluable in business and acts as a boomerang bringing you good things.

I will be speaking at the Women of Silicon Valley Conference on Thursday. Look for me there and say hello, or you can book time with me here after the conference.

Blessings to all.


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