By Anne McCarthy
From my perspective, personal branding is primarily about self promotion and, candidly, it is more often than not, self serving and short lived.
From a business perspective, I believe in developing a Leadership Platform, which is all about finding the intersection between the business’ purpose and the executive’s passion.
Genuine Leadership Platforms are unique – they are not one size fits all. A compelling Leadership Platform takes time to build and requires soul searching and reflection.
Five important considerations when creating a strategic Leadership Platform:
1. LIMELIGHT. A well-designed, disciplined Leadership Platform will attract appropriate levels of attention and break through the clutter. That doesn’t mean activating all channels and trying to reach all audiences, all the time. A sound leadership platform is intended to drive a specific agenda, reaching a specific set of stakeholders to achieve specific results.
2. LESSONS. There are many notable leaders who have deliberately and strategically leveraged robust content and specific channels to move the needle. There are good examples and there are bad examples. Researching how well-respected leaders built, maintain and enhance their platform is a worthwhile investment, e.g. Warren Buffet, Sheryl Sandberg.
3. MULTIFACETED. Leaders today need to be more than one dimensional. You may be a CEO but that doesn’t necessarily mean you command attention. Stakeholders are more discriminating today. In order to be more than a ‘one hit wonder’ a true leader must have more than one facet to his or her life. Whether you are an athlete, a musician or a business guru, think about your role in the community and those talents and skills that make you a more interesting, compelling character.
4. TRANSPARENCY. In this era of universal access to information, don’t attempt to fake it. Authenticity is the price of admission. If there are inconsistencies in your background, lean into them. If there are speed bumps that may detract from your message, take them on in an offensive manner. Political candidates call this opposition research.
5. PASSION. Why do you do what you do? What do you care about? You can’t invent an area of passion. Tie your passion to your purpose. This will fuel your Leadership Platform.