You might not think of yourself as a brand like Nike or Coca Cola, but all leaders have one. And it is often reflected in how they are perceived.
David Urlich reminded executives of the importance of their brand during CGE’s Leadership Summit last week in Ottawa. “A brand has meaning…and leaders need to create [one].”
In a keynote address, the author, consultant and professor with the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan, shared the five keys to his Leadership Code: Leaders must have a strategy, be able to execute, manage talent, invest in future talent, and be proficient.
Most tend to have a predisposition toward two or three of these and must “find a way to learn the other skills that don’t come naturally,” he said. Many are proficient operators but not great strategists, or have great strategies they fail to execute. Talent management, what the military calls command and control and what business now calls coach and communicate, is essential to successful leadership. So, too, is the ability to invest in the next generation, what he calls transferring your “leadership equity.”
Most important, though, is personal proficiency. Ulrich called it “personal credibility,” without which the brand suffers.