Do You Have a Leadership Career Brand?

On January 31, 2012, in Blog, Leadership Career Brand, by Christine Glasco

I am currently coaching several leaders who wish to make major changes in their careers, for example:

  • A former corporate Marketing VP wants to leverage his market insight, Big Brand product management, strategy and ‘category first’ expertise into building a different type of marketing consulting practice
  • A senior executive decided to research and ‘try on’ two interrelated roles and make a decision on moving efficiently into one or both roles
  • A Global Business Consultant with excellent competitor analysis and developing and emerging (D&E) markets expertise needs to revise her business model by creating new options based on social media re-positioning and constructing new strategic alliances
  • An executive with a sought-after professional expertise wants to move from a private consultancy to a larger firm or private company
  • A senior manager who is in an economically unhealthy company wants to move to a larger role in a healthy company with future career growth opportunities

With each new client, as part of my – “What do you want to achieve by working with me conversation” – I normally ask:

  1. What type of go-forward leadership career success model most appeals to you?
  2. What is your value proposition for this model?
  3. Do you have a leadership career brand? What are you known for?
  4. If we were meeting for the first time, how would you summarize your career?
  5. What do you want for your career five years from now?  Where do you envision your career progression to lead you by 2017?

It is interesting to note that all of these successful leaders who have been accountable for hundreds of millions in revenues – have trouble describing their leadership career brand and their value proposition.

Recently, I began a coaching engagement with a new client.  During our first meeting, he told me this story:

“Christine, I can remember sitting at the kitchen table, or doing chores around the ranch and listening to my father’s observations of his day; the problems he solved; the difficulties he had to overcome; his successes; how what he did mattered to the people he served; etc. Spending time with him and hearing his stories was inspiring and actually led me to discover the work I wanted to do in my career.”   

I told the client: “This is the foundation for your leadership career brand. Do you see the value of the early education and training you received at the kitchen table that led you to your current career?  Do you see how this sets you up very nicely to step into a trusted advisor role with a similar target client-type?  How can we utilize this story to help you position and communicate your brand value?”  — (BTW, this client did follow in his father’s footsteps and chose the same career path.)

Suzanne Bates, author of Discover Your CEO Brand advises: “A [leadership] brand is more than a word – it’s the beginning of a conversation.  What is the conversation that people [key influencers] are having about you?”

P.S.  I was just about to send this off for publication when another client called me over the weekend to tell me that he had not received an offer that he was expecting, for a role reporting to the CEO of a global company.  He received specific feedback that the CEO was slightly uncomfortable with his candidacy and style.  It is very unusual that a CEO provided such specific feedback. Normally, a candidate receives a call or email from the search firm informing him/her that the company is pursuing other candidates.

As a candidate for this particular role, my client’s distinctive brand actually got in the way.

He asked me: “What can I do with this feedback? This is who I am.”  I told him that his leadership brand is very recognizable and in this case, I believe it saved him from accepting a position that was probably not the right fit.

Was I right in my assessment?  I don’t know.  However, if you ever receive similar feedback, I recommend that you take the time to conduct a post mortem and identify what was right with the opportunity and what was problematic.

Questions for you to consider:

  • What is your leadership career success model?
  • What is your leadership career brand?
  • What conversation SHOULD key influencers be having about you?

 

© All rights reserved.

Christine M. Glasco consults to company executives, business owners and non-profit leaders on career management/career transformation and strategic leadership development solutions.  To request a complimentary copy of Five Tips to Transform Your Executive Career  and to receive Is Your Career on Track? Assessment and e-Workbook  go to: www.christineglasco.com   Email:  cglasco@charter.net

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3 Responses to Do You Have a Leadership Career Brand?

  1. […] is interesting – is to note their reaction when we discuss the need to rebrand as part of their ‘WHAT’S NEXT?’ […]

  2. […] statement.  I think it is imperative that we all develop and ‘live’ our personal or leadership career brand.  I also believe we should rebrand periodically as our education, personal development, […]

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