This article summarizes in a way the main ideas and insights of Ulrich & Smallwood in their book: “Leadership Brand: Developing Customer-Focused Leaders to Drive Performance and Build Lasting Value”. It’s one of the good books I read on Leadership and the role of leadership celebrities.Ulrich and Smallwood articulated the way to build a leadership brand by handling the following aspects and answering the following questions:
Is your image an asset or a liability? Contrary to popular thinking, image isn’t just a surface issue. Your image is strongly tied to your effectiveness as a leader. A recent study of executives who attended the Center for Creative Leadership’s Leadership at the Peak program revealed that the leader’s image has a significant impact on perceptions of that person’s leadership skills.
In the study, a strong image was closely tied to the following attributes: the ability to lead change, having a dynamic style, competency in strategic planning, showing an enterprising attitude, inspiring commitment, displaying original thinking and coming across as a true executive.
CCL’s Corey Criswell writes that a leader’s image is built at a first meeting, over time, and through the media by the leader’s personality, behavior, body language and speaking style. Criswell offers the following six tips to hone one’s leadership image:
No. 1: Warm up. Leaders don’t need to be serious to be taken seriously. A smile and some warmth are good things. Leaders who are overly reserved seem wooden, stiff and uncaring.