Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Leadership brand-building in one easy step...

Over the past few months, I've met with several fellow writers who were either considering starting their own freelance businesses or had recently taken the plunge. In each instance, I found myself advising my friends that they needed to focus on distilling the essence of their own personal brand identities, and then use that information as a guide for focus and decision-making as they forge ahead. Today I found some very solid reinforcement of this idea in an article from the December issue of Harvard Management Update. The article entitled "Five Steps to Building Your Personal Leadership Brand" from Dave Ulrich and Norm Smallwood, co-founders of The RBL Group, offers insights we can all apply -- not only to help us optimize our business decision-making and practices, but also to help us become better leaders.

The single step I'm recommending is that you click on the link for the story title above and download the PDF file for $4.50 US. With the three-page story in hand, you'll have a brief, informative, interactive article -- distilled from the authors' 2007 book "Leadership Brand: Developing Customer-Focused Leaders to Drive Performance and Build Lasting Value" from Harvard Business School Press -- to guide you through the exercise of nailing-down your own leadership brand. In case you're interested, here's mine (feedback welcome!):
. "I want to be known for being thoroughly diplomatic, and proactively inventive, savvy and effective, so that I can deliver superior communications counsel to my clients."