The personal brand of an executive can influence the productivity of an entire organization. When Patrick and I started our journey in developing personal branding guidance, we didn’t realize how complex it would become. After many years of working on the concept, we have come to realize how a personal brand influences how others act around us.
If someone sees the brand of a co-worker as undependable, they won’t bring high-level projects to them. If the brand of a CEO is that she isn’t a good decision maker, an employee may just ask for forgiveness vs asking for permission. Our brand tells people how to treat us and how to act around us.
A top level executive can have a major influence over the productivity of a firm. This influence can be positive or negative. It is critical for executives to understand how they influence others and to be proactive with their personal brand.
Here are 5 brand traits that can positively influence the productivity of an organization purely through executive behaviors and personal brand.
Highest and Best Use of Talent
A great leader will lead by example. Setting the example of staying within the “highest and best use of talent” is an example worthy of setting. When I work with organizations to help them increase productivity, this is the first area of focus. The leader will typically have a huge impact on the organization if and when they do what they do best. When we have quantified the result of a leader doing what they do best, it usually is deep into six figures or seven figures. So, not only will they create greater results, they will set an example and create an environment that allows others to do what they do best. If your brand is one that is clear about doing what you do best, the brand of your firm will most likely reflect that brand.
Care about Others
It has been a blessing in my career to see how much most of the leaders care about their people. However, because incredibly difficult decisions have to be made in business that is best for the entire company, and the importance of being discrete and confidential, causes leaders to be perceived as not caring. Knowing how much most leaders truly care, I am honored to be an advisor that is trusted to advise them. The challenge is not simply to care. The real challenge is to show your people how much you care. Be in the moment with people, look them in the eye, take a minute to ask how they are doing and about their family. The value of productivity that comes from having a brand that clearly shows how much you care, will turn into increased energy and work ethic from your team.
Leadership Work Ethic
I had a very twisted understanding of work ethic for most of my life. I thought work ethic meant to put in a ton of hours, start early, and end late at night. This was unfortunate because I later realized that production is the real measurement of work ethic. Getting things done in an efficient and timely manner is what we should be doing as leaders. A leader must have the brand of having the integrity of getting things done on time and at a productive pace. If this example is set, others will respect the leader to help them keep that pace and they will mirror it in the organization due to cultural pressure.
Keeping the client in mind with every decision and activity is a valuable brand for a leader. Leaders who make the client core in their thinking will create a culture that others will inspire others to do the same. I had a client that made a full-size stuffed doll of a person and put it in the corner of the conference room. He gave the doll a name and every time they made a decision they would look at the doll and ask if it was good for him. That is creating a client-centric brand! Being aligned with the client will help with obtaining and retaining clients. That is productive because it helps grow the firm.
Many firms struggle to communicate effectively. This is another area that can be heavily influenced by the top executive(s). When the brand of an executive is approachable, but in a way that is efficient and effective, everything moves faster. Decisions will be made quicker, people will move things faster through systems (and across their desk), and confidence will be higher when executives can be approached at the right time. We do not mean to allow employees to come bring every problem in the company to the top executives (see Make the Noise Go Away and the Noise Reduction System™ on our website). The right information needs to get to the right people, at the right time. So, an approachable brand by the key executive will allow this to happen.
Many other personal brand items can have an influence on the productivity of a firm and of a top level executive. These 5 are common items that will work for most, if not all, firms. Building a brand, or reputation, of being these 5 things will inspire and lead highly productive organizations.
If you are looking for more help in building your executive brand, purchase Brand Aid – Taking Control Of Your Reputation Before Everyone Else Does.
Intellectual Innovations has developed a scalable product to assist executives in the development of an appropriate digital presence. A digital presence is not a “one-size-fits-all” strategy. Everyone has different skill sets, natural abilities and passion around digital assets. Whether you are an active participant online or a passive listener, there is no denying the importance of a digital footprint in today’s world.