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Developing your leadership brand
Episode 614th July 2022 • How to Take the Lead • Lee Griffith and Carrie-Ann Wade
00:00:00 00:31:44

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In this episode of How to Take the Lead, we talk about how you can develop your leadership brand. Is your leadership brand something you are aware of? How do you feel about it? And why is it important?

In this episode we share our thoughts, experiences and learning, including:

2:50 – what is personal brand?

8:40 – how seriously should leaders take personal brand?

18:20 – being intentional when it comes to your leadership brand

29:40 – developing your leadership brand – the How To

Our top tips in this episode include gaining clarity on your vision and values, working on your personal brand statement and ensuring your brand is linked to your why.

If you enjoyed this episode why not subscribe to the podcast. We would love it if you left us a rating or review and feel free to share the link to this episode with anyone else you think would find it interesting, using #HowToTakeTheLead

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You can find out more about Lee Griffith via www.sundayskies.com and about Carrie-Ann Wade at www.cats-pajamas.co.uk

Get social with us via:

Lee on LinkedInTwitter and Instagram.

Carrie-Ann on LinkedInTwitter and Instagram.

Transcripts

Carrie-Ann:

I'm already in my head going, what if somebody tells you are a Twix or

Carrie-Ann:

one of those chocolate bars where it's two bars in one packet, cuz is that some

Carrie-Ann:

sort of split personality type leadership?

Carrie-Ann:

I don't know.

Carrie-Ann:

This so interesting.

Lee:

Hello, and welcome to episode six of how to take the lead.

Lee:

We are currently sat in our respective offices.

Lee:

Be moaning the

Carrie-Ann:

I know, I'm sure on one episode that I was moaning

Carrie-Ann:

about the fact that the weather was horrible, not warm enough.

Carrie-Ann:

And now I'm honestly the opposite way of like being in a sauna.

Lee:

weather as you do, cuz we're British.

Lee:

Yes, I love, I absolutely love British summertime it is my

Lee:

favorite time of the year.

Lee:

But my house is normally cold.

Lee:

I'm wearing a sweatshirt.

Lee:

It wasn't until I locked myself in this office that I realised that was

Lee:

not the right fashion move for today.

Carrie-Ann:

See, I'm more of an autumn winter girl.

Carrie-Ann:

I like a cosy jumper, but anyway that's a whole other episode, probably

Lee:

it's all part of our personal brand though.

Lee:

Isn't it?

Lee:

And that's the topic we want to tackle today.

Lee:

And we've talked a bit about clothing before, but today's focus is on personal

Lee:

branding and how much attention you should be paying to it as a leader.

Lee:

And this is something that I've been having quite a lot of

Lee:

conversations with people about.

Lee:

I ran a workshop a few weeks ago with a group of NHS senior leaders.

Lee:

And I've been talking a lot to people on my social media and in the

Lee:

real life world about the concept of branding and personal branding.

Lee:

And it strikes me that it's feels like quite a relatively new concept

Lee:

in the leadership world that people are now starting to cotton onto.

Lee:

Some people think it's a really gross yucky thing.

Lee:

But the fact of the matter is it's not new.

Lee:

We all have a personal brand.

Lee:

We always have done.

Lee:

Whether you like the term or you don't like the term, you can't get away from

Lee:

the fact that you have a personal brand.

Lee:

It's just never perhaps had that name before.

Lee:

I look at personal brand as it being your reputation really.

Lee:

And perhaps that's the phrase that we would've traditionally

Lee:

used many years ago.

Lee:

It's what you say and what you do.

Lee:

It's how other people perceive you.

Lee:

So for me, I think as a leader is absolutely right that you

Lee:

have that awareness and work on the development of your brand.

Lee:

Carrie Ann, I don't know whether you've had much awareness or

Lee:

considered your personal brand as you've progressed in your career?

Carrie-Ann:

So you took the words right out of my mouth Lee because

Carrie-Ann:

no no, it's all, it's good.

Carrie-Ann:

Cuz we are aligned in our thinking, which is nice.

Carrie-Ann:

Isn't it?

Carrie-Ann:

So yeah, I would say earlier on in my career, I probably was aware of it,

Carrie-Ann:

but I probably didn't refer to it or think about it as my personal brand.

Carrie-Ann:

If I'm honest with you, I think I was more aware of my reputation.

Carrie-Ann:

So my sort of personal and professional reputation within my field, within

Carrie-Ann:

my organization, with my peers.

Carrie-Ann:

And I think for me, it was definitely more about, how am I being perceived?

Carrie-Ann:

Am I demonstrating what I'm good at, what I'm skilled at, how am I

Carrie-Ann:

communicating and sharing that with other people and showing other people

Carrie-Ann:

what I'm about and what I can do.

Carrie-Ann:

And I guess for me, you talked about, progressing through your career,

Carrie-Ann:

do you become aware of having a personal brand and probably for me

Carrie-Ann:

the first time I was really thinking about, my personal reputation,

Carrie-Ann:

professional reputation was probably when I started to go for promotions.

Carrie-Ann:

And so that's probably the point in time where I considered it more.

Carrie-Ann:

So it's not to say that I didn't have one cuz as you said, I think as

Carrie-Ann:

individuals, we all have a personal brand.

Carrie-Ann:

We're perceived in certain ways, but I think that for me was probably when I

Carrie-Ann:

first started to proactively think about my reputation or my personal brand and I

Carrie-Ann:

think what really started to shine a light on it more for me was when I was going

Carrie-Ann:

for promotions within the same team and organization, because I think what shone

Carrie-Ann:

a light on my reputation and how I was perceived for me was how I negotiated and

Carrie-Ann:

worked around and worked with colleagues who perhaps perceived me in my former role

Carrie-Ann:

and then I would get a promotion and then it's like repositioning yourself in terms.

Carrie-Ann:

Yeah, it's a bit of a reset.

Carrie-Ann:

So there's obviously all the bits about you that, your values, your behaviors

Carrie-Ann:

that are true to you, but there is something about having to consciously

Carrie-Ann:

think about how am I positioning myself here, because actually everyone at

Carrie-Ann:

that point in my career that I worked with saw me in as me in a certain role.

Carrie-Ann:

And so it challenged me to work differently and think differently.

Carrie-Ann:

I think about, let's call it brand now, cause that's what we're talking

Carrie-Ann:

about my brand in terms of, how I wanted to be perceived in this

Carrie-Ann:

new role in the organization.

Carrie-Ann:

And I think that probably now I've progressed in my career and

Carrie-Ann:

worked in lots of other places I think that feels slightly more

Carrie-Ann:

challenging to do than when you are a new person going into a new place.

Carrie-Ann:

I think that reset when you are already somewhere perhaps feels a little bit more

Carrie-Ann:

difficult, but yeah, I dunno what your experience has been Lee in terms of your

Carrie-Ann:

career progression and personal brand?

Lee:

Yeah.

Lee:

I would say mine's been pretty similar to you in the sense of, I

Lee:

certainly bought more awareness to my own brand at the point that I was

Lee:

considering my positioning within an organization for a promotion

Lee:

or, moving to a new organization.

Lee:

But I've always had a real interest in how people position themselves.

Lee:

And I used to read what I still do read lots of history books, entertainment

Lee:

books, politics books, and you see how different celebrities were made.

Lee:

And I

Carrie-Ann:

It's cringing

Lee:

I am cringing

Carrie-Ann:

celebrity.

Lee:

well, I don't think they're perhaps the right words because I don't

Lee:

necessarily see some of these people that I'm thinking of are celebrities per se,

Lee:

but it's that sense of how people step into what it is they want to be known for.

Lee:

And obviously you, it goes all the way back to early Hollywood years.

Lee:

And you think about people who renamed.

Carrie-Ann:

in the public eye..

Lee:

renamed themselves.

Lee:

Marilyn Monroe is just one example that comes to mind, had a completely

Lee:

different name, John Wayne different name.

Lee:

So they really thought about what their personal brand was.

Lee:

So it's always been something that's quite interesting to me.

Lee:

And I think again, if you look at nowadays with social media, that's

Lee:

almost redefined what people are known for and how they become known.

Lee:

And obviously we are looking it through, I'm talking about it now through the

Lee:

lens of celebrity, but that doesn't mean it doesn't translate into that idea of

Lee:

anybody being really conscious of who they are and what they stand for and

Lee:

what they want others to know about them.

Lee:

And I think when I moved into more senior leadership roles, I started to more

Lee:

actively work on that with other leaders.

Lee:

It wasn't just about my own personal brand, but it was about helping leaders

Lee:

work on their own leadership strategies.

Lee:

And you would naturally end up covering things about their personal brand.

Lee:

So it was a really, subtle shift, I would say into my psyche of what branding

Lee:

was and that leadership brand, but something I find absolutely fascinating.

Lee:

I always say when I work with leaders, that it is, as you say

Lee:

that personal brand, the thing that makes you stand out to employers,

Lee:

if you're going through a new job.

Lee:

It's also what helps you to connect with your staff or your stakeholders

Lee:

and take them on that journey with you?

Lee:

So I do believe that there are real, tangible benefits of knowing

Lee:

and nurturing your personal brand.

Lee:

But I was gonna ask you how seriously do you think leaders should be

Lee:

taking their personal brand?

Carrie-Ann:

I think super seriously, you've touched on some of the reasons why.

Carrie-Ann:

But for me, it's about how you build trust, how you engage with

Carrie-Ann:

key stakeholders as a leader.

Carrie-Ann:

We talk about this a lot don't we on how to take the lead around a lot

Carrie-Ann:

of what we do as leaders is about relationships, the relationships that

Carrie-Ann:

we build, the relationships that we want to have the ones we need to nurture.

Carrie-Ann:

So for me, I think your personal brand as a leader has a really big impact

Carrie-Ann:

on that because actually how people perceive you will impact and influence

Carrie-Ann:

how much they trust you, how much they want to engage with you as a leader.

Carrie-Ann:

I think it's interesting, you talked about recruitment as well,

Carrie-Ann:

I think that you talked about recruitment, people recruiting you.

Carrie-Ann:

But I also think as a leader in an organization, your personal brand can

Carrie-Ann:

have an impact on who wants to come and work for your organization and the

Carrie-Ann:

recruitment of people, into your team and organization, because you can find that

Carrie-Ann:

people really express a desire to want to work with certain leaders because of the

Carrie-Ann:

reputation and the brand that they've got.

Carrie-Ann:

And that can be a real influence and a real draw for people to

Carrie-Ann:

want to go and work somewhere where there's a particular leader.

Carrie-Ann:

And I guess on the flip side those.

Carrie-Ann:

People whose personal brands don't resonate so much with people is

Carrie-Ann:

a reason for somebody to choose not to go and work somewhere.

Carrie-Ann:

So I think really seriously, I think that, there's so many different facets

Carrie-Ann:

to this and so many different impacts that I think it would be silly not

Carrie-Ann:

to consider and not to take your personal brand seriously as a leader.

Carrie-Ann:

And I'm sure we might touch on this a bit later in the conversation, but the points

Carrie-Ann:

you made earlier about social media, I think that's really interesting, because I

Carrie-Ann:

think that can have a real impact in terms of your brand as a leader and how you want

Carrie-Ann:

to come across and how people find stuff out about you and what you stand for.

Carrie-Ann:

But I expect we'll get onto that in a bit Lee.

Lee:

I read a report recently, that was really interesting, and it said

Lee:

something like 70% of employees.

Lee:

This is in the UK, believe that the CEO reputation is an

Lee:

important retention factor.

Lee:

So for them to stay in an organization, as you've just said, and almost half

Lee:

of staff look at a chief executive's social media account when they're

Lee:

considering joining a company.

Lee:

So you are completely right on that fact.

Lee:

I think it's an amazing, it's amazingly undervalued part of your

Lee:

brand and reputation completely.

Carrie-Ann:

Absolutely.

Carrie-Ann:

And I think we all get, do the Google search don't we, when we're going

Carrie-Ann:

for new jobs or when we're recruiting people into our teams, we look them

Carrie-Ann:

up, find out a bit more about them.

Carrie-Ann:

And I think probably individuals would think it was quite unusual

Carrie-Ann:

for senior leaders in organizations, particularly ones with high profile

Carrie-Ann:

not to have a presence on some of these social media platforms, but I

Carrie-Ann:

think, we've touched on this in other episodes about some of the perils and

Carrie-Ann:

pitfalls of how you represent yourself on social media and how you use it.

Carrie-Ann:

So I think that opens up, like you say, a whole other dynamic when we're

Carrie-Ann:

thinking about leadership brand.

Lee:

Yeah, I think the more savvy of leaders understand that point about

Lee:

having awareness and working on all the assets that form part of their personal

Lee:

brand and that they recognize that it's an important part of their role.

Lee:

It's an important way to build connection.

Lee:

It helps to differentiate them from other people.

Lee:

And I think some people, we are not saying you have to work on your personal brand

Lee:

because your personal brand's working for you, whether you are aware of it or not.

Lee:

But I think it's about the savviness and the message it shows if you're

Lee:

not leaning into some of that.

Carrie-Ann:

I think that's a really good insight though, Lee, because

Carrie-Ann:

I'm sure there would be some people out there who, until you've said that

Carrie-Ann:

perhaps haven't quite twigged that exactly, as you've said, your personal

Carrie-Ann:

brand is out there working for you, whether you are nurturing it and

Carrie-Ann:

loving it and developing it or not.

Carrie-Ann:

And I think, sometimes when you have that discussion with senior leaders,

Carrie-Ann:

people look a bit frightened like they haven't quite realized that, oh,

Carrie-Ann:

actually I already have a personal brand.

Carrie-Ann:

Whether I'm actively working on it or, talking about it or whatever.

Carrie-Ann:

So I think that can be an eye opener, I think for leaders to realize.

Lee:

And I think those who tend to shy away from the b word or want to even get

Lee:

into the discussions, it tends to stem from quite a common criticism that I hear

Lee:

is that people feel really uncomfortable with positioning themselves as a brand.

Lee:

It can seem quite a manipulative move to make, that notion of I need to

Lee:

create a false identity or a narrative about who I am in order for me to

Lee:

achieve what it is I want to achieve.

Lee:

And I think that's BS really.

Carrie-Ann:

Oh, no, I'm already chomping at the bit about that and I'm gonna

Carrie-Ann:

get on my soapbox about this false identities, creating a new narrative.

Carrie-Ann:

Oh my God.

Carrie-Ann:

I'm gonna lose the plot in a minute.

Lee:

But some people do think that, and I do think to be fair to them

Lee:

that there are people and industries that give personal brand a poor name.

Lee:

If you look at our beloved prime minister and the caricature he's

Lee:

created of himself over the years,

Carrie-Ann:

Oh, if only the listeners could have seen your face then Lee.

Lee:

But even that term, spin doctored, the people who've created those celebrity

Lee:

images over the years, but I don't think however, versus is sitting on this

Lee:

podcast and saying to people, listening to it, that's what you need to do.

Lee:

That isn't what we are about.

Lee:

We, I definitely don't agree with the approach.

Lee:

I know you are nodding in agreement vigorously.

Carrie-Ann:

No.

Lee:

I think people are starting to get wise to that.

Lee:

But then that does bring that element of distrust in because there is a

Lee:

greater awareness of some of those manipulative techniques that people

Lee:

can use particularly with social media.

Lee:

So I don't think we're here going you need to be something you're not, for me

Lee:

it's more about bringing awareness to who you are and what you offer, but I'm

Lee:

gonna unleash you on your soapbox now.

Carrie-Ann:

yeah, that's the thing for me.

Carrie-Ann:

Isn't it.

Carrie-Ann:

And again, it's a, it is one of the strong themes in how to take

Carrie-Ann:

the lead and something that we talk about together separately just

Carrie-Ann:

about that, leaders needing to be authentic and acting with integrity.

Carrie-Ann:

So we are absolutely not, when we're talking about leadership brand,

Carrie-Ann:

talking about creating some sort of new identity for yourself or a

Carrie-Ann:

social media account where you post stuff, that's not, like you say, not

Carrie-Ann:

entirely factual and more fiction.

Carrie-Ann:

That is absolutely the opposite of what we are trying to express here.

Carrie-Ann:

I think we are definitely talking about, utilizing the channels and the methods

Carrie-Ann:

that you've got available to you.

Carrie-Ann:

Just to show up and demonstrate who you are and what you are

Carrie-Ann:

about and what you stand for.

Carrie-Ann:

What are your values as a leader?

Carrie-Ann:

What's your vision as a leader?

Carrie-Ann:

What is it that you are doing to help other people in your leadership role?

Carrie-Ann:

What are you all about?

Carrie-Ann:

It's the integrity and the authenticity piece for me, that's really important

Carrie-Ann:

because I, I think I've said this before, I don't believe that we

Carrie-Ann:

turn up to work at eight o'clock or whatever time we turn up to work.

Carrie-Ann:

And we are at a completely different person.

Carrie-Ann:

We are fully fledged, rounded individuals.

Carrie-Ann:

And actually our experience is outside of work life will have

Carrie-Ann:

as much impact on the way that we lead as our experiences in work.

Carrie-Ann:

So I think it's, for me, it's more about getting comfortable, communicating some

Carrie-Ann:

of that with the people that matter.

Carrie-Ann:

And you're communicating it to those people who you are trying to build trusted

Carrie-Ann:

relationships with to support you to lead, that's probably how I feel about it.

Lee:

I think if you look at what are the components that make up personal brand

Lee:

taking it right back to the beginning?

Lee:

I think you've absolutely hit the name on the head in terms of is your vision, your

Lee:

values it's for me, it's that expertise.

Lee:

So what are you known for?

Lee:

It's how you position yourself and that is for me having true clarity

Lee:

and knowing who your audience is.

Lee:

That's not about trying to pretend to be something different.

Lee:

It's about going, I know who I'm talking to and what they want to hear

Lee:

from me, and I'm gonna answer the things that are important to them.

Lee:

So that's what I mean by positioning.

Lee:

I think it's how your personality and your tone of voice and all of that

Lee:

comes across and knowing, am I gonna be a sweary Mary, or am I gonna be

Carrie-Ann:

A prim Pamela.

Carrie-Ann:

I dunno.

Carrie-Ann:

I was trying to think what the opposite of a sweary Mary might be.

Lee:

But all of those things make up your brand.

Lee:

And then as you say, it's how you communicate that and engage with people.

Lee:

And so I do think it is about awareness and enhancing what you've

Lee:

got for other people, but there is an intentionality about it as well.

Lee:

So I always say your personal brand is part and parcel of a broader strategy

Lee:

that you are working on as a leader.

Lee:

So the elements of your brand that you might want to elevate and

Lee:

illustrate might change depending on what your ultimate goal is.

Lee:

I talk to people about having a personal brand statement, for example, how can

Lee:

they quickly explain who they are, what they offer, not just what their job

Lee:

title is, which is what people often go to when they introduce themselves.

Lee:

And the positioning of yourself might be really different if you

Lee:

are going for a new job, say, then if you are leading a takeover.

Lee:

So I think that there is a strategy and intention in how you nurture and build

Lee:

your brand, but it comes from a part of knowing yourself, if that makes sense.

Carrie-Ann:

Absolutely.

Carrie-Ann:

And I think there's something you are, I'm listening to what you're saying

Carrie-Ann:

there around the sort of nuances.

Carrie-Ann:

You are the person that you are, you've got the skills, the experience that you've

Carrie-Ann:

got all the unique things that you bring, but like you say, think it's probably

Carrie-Ann:

when we use words, like positioning that those people who are a bit fearful and

Carrie-Ann:

a bit like, oh no, this isn't for me.

Carrie-Ann:

That's probably when they start to think, oh, we're manipulating things.

Carrie-Ann:

And actually we are not, are we, when we're talking about positioning we are

Carrie-Ann:

talking about how do you have to show up in different circumstances and you're

Carrie-Ann:

quite right, going for a new job, you would position yourself completely

Carrie-Ann:

differently from, a much more sensitive sort of takeover or merger situation.

Carrie-Ann:

And I think just, as a leader, it's about understanding how you adapt the

Carrie-Ann:

way in which you position yourself, but not what you stand for potentially.

Lee:

No, no completely.

Lee:

So if someone's listening and they're going I need to do something with

Lee:

my brand, where do you start if you are, if you're starting that work

Lee:

on what is my leadership brand?

Carrie-Ann:

I think there's definitely something for me around

Carrie-Ann:

that clarity piece about your vision and your values and understanding

Carrie-Ann:

what your values actually are.

Carrie-Ann:

And there are quite a lot of really good exercises out there that people can get.

Carrie-Ann:

Even if you just look online around how to start thinking about your core values

Carrie-Ann:

and how you might articulate those.

Carrie-Ann:

Because I think if you haven't thought about that before, that can feel like

Carrie-Ann:

a bit of a strange exercise to do, but taking that time to reflect on that,

Carrie-Ann:

and some of that's you're just looking through lists of like descriptive

Carrie-Ann:

words and picking the ones that you think most resonate with what you

Carrie-Ann:

stand for and what your sort of core beliefs and values are, can really

Carrie-Ann:

help you start to think about okay.

Carrie-Ann:

Who am I as a person?

Carrie-Ann:

What do I stand for?

Carrie-Ann:

And I think there's also something in that piece around maybe

Carrie-Ann:

asking some other people as well.

Carrie-Ann:

If you've got a trusted network of people and you are really new to this

Carrie-Ann:

and you are thinking, oh, I dunno what it means to think about my brand.

Carrie-Ann:

What am I all about?

Carrie-Ann:

What are my unique things that I bring sometimes that can be quite difficult

Carrie-Ann:

to do for yourself because feels a bit awkward and a bit cringy and

Carrie-Ann:

actually it's back to the leadership superpowers, isn't it that we were

Carrie-Ann:

talking about, some of the things that you are really good at just for you is

Carrie-Ann:

every day, this is just how I operate.

Carrie-Ann:

And it sometimes takes another person to help identify for you that actually

Carrie-Ann:

that's different and unique to you.

Carrie-Ann:

So I think don't be afraid to work with your network, to do some of that

Carrie-Ann:

reflection piece and start thinking about how you are perceived as a leader.

Lee:

I completely agree.

Lee:

I do this a lot in workshops and stuff that I do, and I get them to do quite

Lee:

a fun exercise, which is to ask other people what chocolate bar they'd be

Lee:

or who would play them in a movie.

Lee:

So it's it.

Carrie-Ann:

The chocolate bar.

Carrie-Ann:

I love that one.

Lee:

But it sounds like a stupid question, but actually it throws up some really

Lee:

interesting insights that you wouldn't get if you simply ask someone what are

Lee:

my strengths and weaknesses because they have to explain why they think you're a,

Carrie-Ann:

I'm already in my head going, what if somebody tells you are a Twix or

Carrie-Ann:

one of those chocolate bars where it's two bars in one packet, cuz is that some

Carrie-Ann:

sort of split personality type leadership?

Carrie-Ann:

I don't know.

Carrie-Ann:

This so interesting.

Lee:

You've got a hard layer in a soft middle or something, it's

Carrie-Ann:

This is excellent.

Carrie-Ann:

I'm loving this.

Lee:

so yeah.

Lee:

You could ask something that is a non-attributable thing to you.

Lee:

So it could be breakfast cereal if you don't eat chocolate, it

Lee:

could be who's gonna play me in a Hollywood version of my life.

Lee:

It's a fun question.

Lee:

You'll be amazed by the answers that you get.

Carrie-Ann:

You've just got to not take offense to the answers.

Carrie-Ann:

If you don't like what people say, you have to be open to it.

Carrie-Ann:

Isn't it.

Carrie-Ann:

And that's part of your leadership journey, but I'm gonna ask listeners

Carrie-Ann:

to the podcast to maybe across their socials or wherever, maybe leave a

Carrie-Ann:

few comments about which chocolate bars they think you and I are based

Carrie-Ann:

on what they've heard on the podcast.

Carrie-Ann:

Are we brave enough to hear the answers Lee

Lee:

If you don't say I'm a Tony's Choca lonely, I'm gonna be

Carrie-Ann:

I'm gonna be really, see that you've got to be open to the

Carrie-Ann:

feedback that it's all coming from a place of growth and development.

Lee:

So I think having that you can make it fun.

Lee:

It doesn't need to be the usual type of questions, but

Lee:

it can bring a lot of insight.

Lee:

I also think that there's that self reflection piece that you need to do.

Lee:

What do I want to be known for?

Lee:

What are other people saying about me?

Lee:

What am I passionate about and where does that mean I want to go in my career?

Lee:

How do I want to make people feel when they interact with

Lee:

me are all really important questions you could ask yourself.

Carrie-Ann:

Yeah, absolutely.

Carrie-Ann:

I think really helpful.

Carrie-Ann:

And I think that has to be where it starts.

Carrie-Ann:

Doesn't it?

Carrie-Ann:

That reflection piece to really get you in the right frame of mind, to think about

Carrie-Ann:

your personal brand and how people are perceiving you versus how you maybe hoped

Carrie-Ann:

you were being perceived and it might throw up some really interesting things

Carrie-Ann:

for you to consider and think about.

Lee:

Yeah.

Lee:

Now we've seen those leaders who feel like they might need to reinvent

Lee:

themselves, maybe worried about what their brand is or they don't like how

Lee:

people have perceived them when they've done their little exercises or whatever.

Lee:

What can you actually do if you are in that position going this isn't

Lee:

who I want people to think I am.

Lee:

Where do you go?

Carrie-Ann:

Yeah that's a really good question.

Carrie-Ann:

And I've been pondering over this in terms of what advice I would

Carrie-Ann:

give, and I can only give advice from my own experience on this one.

Carrie-Ann:

And I feel like an opportunity for me to think differently about how I'm

Carrie-Ann:

perceived as a leader was setting up my own business alongside having my role

Carrie-Ann:

as a leader in an NHS organization.

Carrie-Ann:

And I think for me that did throw up some challenges as well as opportunity

Carrie-Ann:

and I had to work through those challenges first, in terms of, I was

Carrie-Ann:

a bit fearful for, what will people in my day job think of me now I've

Carrie-Ann:

decided that I want to set up a small business and mentor coms professionals.

Carrie-Ann:

But I think that also came with an opportunity for me to reflect on the fact

Carrie-Ann:

that I still stand for the same things.

Carrie-Ann:

My values are still the same.

Carrie-Ann:

So I'll use the, one of my strong, core beliefs and

Carrie-Ann:

values is around collaboration.

Carrie-Ann:

And actually I do that a lot in my leadership role in my day job, but also

Carrie-Ann:

in my business, there was an opportunity to do something around that as well,

Carrie-Ann:

which might be slightly different.

Carrie-Ann:

So for me, it was less about being a different person.

Carrie-Ann:

But more about thinking that point you made earlier about

Carrie-Ann:

where am I positioning myself?

Carrie-Ann:

Am I talking to a different group of people here that need maybe to see a

Carrie-Ann:

different nuance to what I'm talking about and how I'm talking about it,

Carrie-Ann:

where I'm putting those messages.

Carrie-Ann:

But actually fundamentally everything that I stand for is still the same.

Carrie-Ann:

I'm just using them in a different space and a different sort of sphere.

Carrie-Ann:

So there's a slightly different take on it, but actually that's more

Carrie-Ann:

about messaging and audience than it is about my leadership brand.

Carrie-Ann:

So I'm not entirely sure if that answered your question, if I'm honest

Carrie-Ann:

Lee, because for me there was something about fundamentally, I think it's

Carrie-Ann:

quite difficult to change your values and what and what you stand for.

Carrie-Ann:

So I think it would be probably quite hard to just become a different

Carrie-Ann:

leader, if that makes sense.

Lee:

I don't think you can completely change who you are.

Lee:

You are right in that sense.

Lee:

I think your personality is what it is.

Lee:

But your behaviors you can work on.

Lee:

So if someone has said, oh, you're a bit loud and overbearing.

Lee:

If you're an extrovert, you're not gonna change the fact you're an

Lee:

extrovert, but you can work on the loud and overbearing bit because you

Lee:

can work on your listening skills.

Lee:

You can demonstrate how you are listening to people.

Lee:

And so people can feel like they are being heard.

Lee:

You can learn ways to catch yourself.

Lee:

If you think you're gonna jump in and talk over someone.

Lee:

These aren't perhaps overnight fixes and will be really uncomfortable for you.

Lee:

If there are particular traits that you do need to work on.

Lee:

Completely worth it, cuz it's gonna boost your connection and that kind of stuff.

Lee:

So I think that reflection piece is really important and linking

Lee:

back to the bigger goal as well.

Lee:

So I do a lot of work with leaders who I don't know, then they've been

Lee:

known as one type of leader doing one type of thing and they're ready

Lee:

for the next stage in their career.

Lee:

And a bit like you with setting up your cat's pajamas business.

Lee:

They're like, how do I move into this space and not completely forget the

Lee:

legacy that I've got, but utilize the best bits of that legacy.

Lee:

That's gonna serve me for what I want to do so that I don't just forever

Lee:

get known as being that person.

Lee:

So I think there's two different types of ways, depending on what you, so

Lee:

it's, there's a kind of goal driven brand and then there's that I've

Lee:

had feedback about certain behaviors that are forming people's opinions

Lee:

of my brand that I could work on.

Carrie-Ann:

I love that it's like the modification around the behaviors

Carrie-Ann:

piece, I think is a brilliant piece of advice, Lee, and then

Carrie-Ann:

yeah, that goal driven bit as well.

Carrie-Ann:

If.

Carrie-Ann:

Like you say, coming from a slightly different place.

Carrie-Ann:

I think when you said that there was a bit for me about really

Carrie-Ann:

understanding your story as well.

Carrie-Ann:

So like you said, you don't lose the legacy of everything that's come before

Carrie-Ann:

in terms of your leadership journey, you build on that and you take the best bits

Carrie-Ann:

of that and take that into the next space the next step that you are moving into.

Carrie-Ann:

But I think that probably would be one of my thoughts about what

Carrie-Ann:

you might want to do as a leader is actually really understand your

Carrie-Ann:

story and where you've come from and what's shaped how you are today.

Carrie-Ann:

Cuz I think that can be really powerful in terms of how you

Carrie-Ann:

resonate with other people.

Carrie-Ann:

If you were ever speaking about, your leadership position,

Carrie-Ann:

your leadership journey.

Lee:

Yeah, and I would just add that it's really important for people to

Lee:

remind themselves and remember this isn't about getting people to like you.

Lee:

So if you get what you perceive to be negative feedback, or you

Lee:

feel you're being perceived in a way that you don't like this isn't

Lee:

about trying to change it in a way that everybody suddenly likes you.

Lee:

Leadership isn't a personality contest.

Lee:

You're never going to be everybody's cup of tea and that's something

Lee:

you just need to deal with.

Lee:

If you try and be friends with everyone and try and position

Lee:

yourself as everyone's gotta like me, it's gonna impact your judgment.

Lee:

It's gonna impact your decision making.

Lee:

It's gonna put people off of you.

Lee:

So be really clear of your motivations behind why you want to change or

Lee:

reposition your brand as well.

Carrie-Ann:

Oh, excellent.

Carrie-Ann:

Excellent advice.

Carrie-Ann:

I think you're absolutely right with that.

Carrie-Ann:

It's not about everyone liking you and if that's what you think as a leader, then

Carrie-Ann:

I think you've probably missed the point.

Lee:

Yeah, completely.

Lee:

So we are coming to the end.

Lee:

There's just time for our, how to section, which is a bit of a Roundup of

Lee:

things we've learned in this episode.

Lee:

So Carrie Ann, what's your how to build a leadership brand.

Carrie-Ann:

I think my biggest how to tip would be that piece around

Carrie-Ann:

vision and values, and really trying to spend that time reflecting and

Carrie-Ann:

getting clarity on particularly your values, because I think your values

Carrie-Ann:

drive your behaviors completely.

Carrie-Ann:

For me, it would be, if there's exercises out there that help you do that, great.

Carrie-Ann:

If you need to ask for some feedback from others, do that too, but

Carrie-Ann:

just I don't think we spend enough time as individuals thinking.

Carrie-Ann:

What are our values?

Carrie-Ann:

Because I think that will help you position yourself and think about how

Carrie-Ann:

you want to come across as a leader.

Carrie-Ann:

So that would be my top tip.

Carrie-Ann:

How about you?

Lee:

Perfect.

Lee:

Very similar.

Lee:

I absolutely think vision values, making sure your link to your

Lee:

bigger picture is really important.

Lee:

And you need to do that through the reflection and by working on it.

Lee:

A simple exercise.

Lee:

What's your brand statement?

Lee:

How do you explain who you are and what you do in one sentence is

Lee:

a really great starting point to make you think, actually, who am I?

Lee:

What is it I do.

Lee:

What do I offer?

Lee:

That it sounds really simple, but actually it's really hard.

Carrie-Ann:

Definitely.

Carrie-Ann:

Brilliant.

Carrie-Ann:

Brilliant tip.

Carrie-Ann:

Thank you, Lee.

Carrie-Ann:

I'm think, I feel like I might have to go and revisit my personal

Carrie-Ann:

brand statement just to get perfect clarity on what I'm all about.

Lee:

Anyway, that's it.

Lee:

That's a wrap.

Lee:

End of episode.

Lee:

We will be back again in your inbox of choice next week.

Carrie-Ann:

Brilliant.

Carrie-Ann:

I'm looking forward to next week's conversation already.