If you’re like me during my corporate career, I was fairly heads-down, nose-to-the-grindstone, getting the work done. Here’s what I’ve discovered since then that I’m hoping each of us will be able to apply in our first and second careers – to have more successful and fulfilling life.
Why is Amplifying Your Leadership Brand Important?
- So we can be intentional about the difference we want to make and be consistent in delivering it.
- So we can engage more fully in the work we are doing and stand out from the crowd.
- Each of us are knowledge workers and those with a strong platform get the best opportunities to make a difference inside and outside the organization.
Many women leaders are pursuing an amplified leadership brand while working in their careers. One of them is Karin Hurt. She is an executive with a Fortune 15 company. I connected with Karin through social media as we were both participating in Todd Nielsen’s International Leadership Blogathon and I was impressed by what she had written and I reached out to hear her story.
Like most of us she was heads down getting the work done for 20 years in her career. Then in June 2012 her son challenged her to get on Twitter. In less than 12 months she has over 15,000 Twitter followers and she’s created a wide platform to share her leadership message: “It’s been very important for me to define who I am as a leader. For me working to grow people and organizations through transparency and trusted partnerships is what’s important. I’m spending time working on the people and people are working on the results” she says. Not only is she generating outstanding results on her business by “walking the talk”, she is being asked to speak externally, and has a great blog called “Let’s Grow Leaders” where she shares her message.
So how do you do that?
Five Steps To Amplifying Your Leadership Brand
1) Get clear on your leadership brand. As I define “The Authentic Brand YOU”, it is your unique essence and impact in the world. This sense of clear purpose, the difference that we want to make in our work and in our community, ignites the fire that gets us going and helps us stand out. Karin’s leadership purpose is growing people and organizations through transparency and trusted partnerships. She says “Bad leadership is my enemy!”. Mine is helping women realize their potential to be transformational leaders. What’s yours?
2) Get clear on why you want to amplify your brand. For some leaders it’s about making a big impact – fully expressing who they are in their workplace, industry, and community. For others it may be to create an alternate stream of income while they work. Others may think about this as a way to kick-start their second careers. Once you get clear on the objective, determine how much time and energy you will put into this.
3) Find energizing ways to build your platform. A platform is nothing other than a way for us to amplify our message. Each of us is energized by different things. When we’re already working full-time, it’s important to find what energizes us so we’ll actually take the time for this. Here are some ways to amplify your brand. Which do you find energizing?
- Become a curator of great content that inspires you and fits within your brand message. Use social media (Linked In, Twitter etc) to post articles that resonate for you in terms of your leadership brand.
- Start writing a blog and get a following (WordPress is an easy tool to do that).
- Start or join a mentoring circle with like minded people on topics that resonate for you.
- Get out and volunteer to speak/participate on panels related to your brand and message.
- Participate in a Meet-Up group that’s targeted to your brand message.
4) Connect with like-minded people. Karin’s advice is to give to others more than you receive. She expressed her delight at being able to share leadership resources with people from Kenya to Australia. Our message is amplified when we openly and generously share our resources (and our platform) to help others amplify theirs.
5) De-clutter activities that don’t amplify your platform. Karin works on her blog and connecting with leadership communities daily. She works to make use of spare minutes (i.e. early mornings and airports). She doesn’t watch TV. She also “works” on her blog while running or doing yoga which all inspire her leadership and writing. She is married with two children and is active in her church. Life, and the work situations that she encounters daily, inspire her leadership and writing.
What is one action you will commit to to amplify your leadership brand?
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This article was written by Henna Inam, executive coach, speaker, and consultant. She works with women to help them realize their potential to be authentic, transformational leaders. They create organizations that drive breakthroughs in innovation, growth, and engagement. Her corporate clients include Coca Cola, UPS, Nestle, J&J, and others who know female leadership talent is good for business. To accelerate your own growth connect with her here. Connect on Twitter @hennainam