Thursday, July 22, 2010

"How Do You Build Your Leadership Brand?" - Prof.M.S.Rao

“Just as a product or service brand creates value over generic products or services for its owners, we believe that a corporate brand is sustained and enhanced by that organization’s leadership brand. Leadership brand represents the identity and reputation of leaders throughout a company. Leaders demonstrate a brand when they think and act in ways congruent with the desired product or firm brand.” - Dave Ulrich.

When Mahatma Gandhi was forced out of railway compartment in South Africa, the incident changed his mind and life. He realized the plight of Indians and championed the cause of freedom movement. Martin Luther King was deeply moved by the discrimination of blacks from whites and that changed his life and championed the cause for the rest of his life thus becoming as a martyr. Mother Teresa was moved by the plight of poor and the leper patients and she dedicated her entire life for their cause. All these leaders became legends as they fought for their causes.

Do you want to become a legend like them? Do you want to excel as an authority in your domain? Do you like to stand out from pack? If so, leadership branding is the mantra for achieving excellence and all-round success in your life. Here are the nuggets to build your leadership brand.

Nuggets for Building Your Brand:

Focus on your strengths and key areas. When you look at Toyota, Coca-Cola and Disney, they focused on one product and on key areas and excelled. They have built their brands brick by brick.

As organizations build their brands by emphasizing on people, planet and profit, you need to emphasize on acquiring, sharing, spreading your knowledge. Become an active member in your chosen line of specialization and network with like minded people. Whenever it is possible, participate in meetings, seminars, workshops and deliver speeches to make yourself visible.

Always choose your passionate areas first and then work on those areas. Ignore your weaknesses. But be aware of your weaknesses. Don’t be overly concerned about your weakness. Focus on your innate strengths and the cultivated abilities and skills and align them effectively and efficiently and move forward.

Confucius rightly said, “Choose work you love and you will never have to work a day in your life.” When you work in your passionate areas the positive vibes move fast and you don’t feel like working but you feel like enjoying your work. It catapults you to excelling as a leader of that domain.

Don’t blame your tools. It is the bad tradesman who blames his tools. Avail what you have and look for possibilities rather than problems. At times, problems provide possibilities for growth. Think that problems open possibilities as they strengthen your will power.

Look for mentors who can guide you, groom you and brings out the best within you.

Break big goals into small goals and work on them on daily basis. Remember, small achievements make big ones in later part of life. Research reveals that when you invest your efforts and energies consistently little by little, it pays you in the long run with huge dividends.

Don’t regret about your unpleasant past or the events or experiences that haunt you. Learn lessons and move on to the next level rather than brooding over the split milk. Change your strategies to reach your goals but don’t change the goal itself.

At times, external forces and factors divert your regular track. Manage them effectively and get back to your passionate track of brand building.

Don’t indulge in constant fire-fighting. Wherever it is essential, take an unchartered path and move head and leave a mark behind.

Read the autobiographies of great leaders and legends and take inspiration from them. Find out how did they overcome their problems during the journey of their life and follow the same. Remember that what worked for them might not work for you fully as the times and technologies have changed the equations rapidly.

Leadership Branding and Building Leadership:

People often confuse between building leadership brand and developing leadership. Building your leadership brand means meticulously and consistently building an image like an icon through deliberate means and efforts. However, developing leadership means building leadership qualities who have flair for leadership for individual and organizational excellence.

It is essential to have an integrated approach for leadership branding. It cannot be treated in isolation. You need to walk the talk. You need to read the relevant books of your areas of interest. You need to practice a lot, fail and bounce back to build your leadership brand. Associate with the people of your area of interest for sharing knowledge and networking. You need to think in that level and maintain the links as per the area you want to build your brand.

Myths in Leadership Branding:

The myth is that only the elite people with elite background can excel and brand themselves. The truth is that the elite people are not born but made. They might be few people who have rich background and that helps them in launching their brands successfully. However, several people started from nowhere and reached number one slots through their dint and hard work. Their daily doses of efforts and energies in a focused manner made them stand out from the pack.

Is Famous Different from Legend?

Famous is different from legend. Famous means you are known to somebody for sometime. However, legend means you are known even after your departure from this world. It is for a longer time and depends on the how much impact you make on others and how much difference you make for others. The fact is that the famous people are not legends but the legends are famous and that makes the difference between famous and legend.


Everything is possible in this world. We all have huge potential within us. Only thing we need to do is to realize and tap our hidden potential and channel the same effectively for building our leadership brands.

To conclude, come out of your comfort zone. Do research in your domain. Invest your efforts and energies effectively and efficiently. Always compete with yourself. Network with likeminded people. Hit the international headlines for right reasons. Be media savvy. Make your presence felt wherever you go. Have global mindset, tolerance and respect to all cultures, communities and languages. Finally, discover the legend within you, build your leadership brand and soar like an eagle.

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