What’s your Executive Branding IQ?

Executives with strong personal brands make better leaders. People want to follow leaders who are sure of who they are, show passion for what they believe in and can communicate their vision and value. Executives build leadership brand equity with every action, word and gesture.

What’s your Executive Branding IQ? It’s a combination of your understanding of your rational value and your emotional value. I call it: Cake and Icing. Some executives are all cake: technical competence, expertise, strategic insights and experience. Other executives are all icing: Charismatic personality, chic style, likable, vision, sense of humor, executive demeanor, socially adept and verbally facile. But, you need both cake and icing to have a strong brand.

Some mid-level executives that I have worked with in the past were known for consistently making their numbers. They were among the hardest working and the most results-driven. But, they were passed up for promotions they wanted. They were all cake. They never socialized and rarely networked inside or outside of the company. Consequently, their boss knew who they were and what their value was but few others. They believed that doing great work would give them a great reputation in their company. Think again. Your boss is too busy to do your personal branding. Only you are responsible for being your brand manager.

How do you improve your Executive Branding IQ? Start with tallying both your cake and icing assets. Then, identify the intersection of what you love doing (where your passion lies) and where you can make the biggest contribution. Build your brand strategy and messages to meet your career goal. Understand the influencer model for your brand ecosystem. Then, take action. Build key relationships and communicate your brand in a credible and consistent way.

Raising your Executive Brand IQ may be as easy as raising your awareness.


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