top of page

Your leadership (bandana) brand

This is my dog, Fenton. He wears a bandana. He ALWAYS wears a bandana.

The bandana is an important part of his brand. His brand is:

  • All heart, no brains

  • Big, friendly, and fun

  • Lovable

  • A sweet, big-hearted doofus

He would look significantly different if we popped a chain-link collar on him. Or, picture him with a spiked collar, standing on all fours and pulling on a chain instead of a fabric lead. It paints a dramatically different picture, especially given that he is an enormous black dog with a deep, loud bark.

We make a concerted effort to ensure he comes across as the sweet, big-hearted doofus he is. Intentionally displaying his brand is how we show people who he really is.

If you're a leader, you should be paying attention to your brand as well.

Some people find the idea of a leadership brand a little uncomfortable, but it's an important part of authentic leadership. Being intentional about showing up as your best self, and consistently displaying who you are to your team, hugely affects:

  1. Differentiation: Your leadership brand sets you apart from others by defining what makes you unique as a leader. It helps you stand out in a crowded marketplace and distinguishes you from your peers.

  2. Credibility: A strong leadership brand enhances your credibility and reputation as a leader. It demonstrates your expertise, integrity, and track record of success, earning the trust and respect of your peers, colleagues, and stakeholders.

  3. Visibility: A well-defined leadership brand increases your visibility and recognition within your industry or field. It ensures that you are top of mind when opportunities arise, such as speaking engagements, collaborations, or career advancement.

  4. Attraction and Retention: A compelling leadership brand attracts top talent to your team or organisation. People are drawn to leaders who embody clear values, vision, and purpose. Your existing kaimahi will also be inspired to stay and contribute to your clear goals.

  5. Influence: A leadership brand amplifies your influence and impact, both within your organisation and beyond. It enables you to inspire and motivate others, drive change, and mobilise resources towards achieving goals.

  6. Networking: A well-established leadership brand facilitates networking and relationship-building opportunities. It opens doors to new connections, partnerships, and collaborations, expanding your sphere of influence and enhancing your professional network.

  7. Career Advancement: A strong leadership brand is a valuable asset for career advancement. It positions you as a sought-after candidate for leadership roles and increases your chances of securing promotions, opportunities for growth, and career development.

  8. Personal Fulfillment: A leadership brand that aligns with your values, passions, and strengths brings a sense of fulfillment and purpose to your leadership journey. It allows you to lead authentically and make a meaningful difference in the lives of others.

  9. Resilience: A well-defined leadership brand provides a solid foundation during times of uncertainty or challenge. It gives you clarity of purpose, direction, and identity, helping you navigate obstacles with resilience and confidence.

  10. Legacy: A leadership brand shapes your legacy and lasting impact as a leader. It reflects your values, vision, and contributions to the greater good, leaving a positive imprint on your organization, industry, and community for generations to come.

It's likely you're already cultivating your brand but do it so effortlessly you don't realise it. Your brand might include

  • Patience

  • Humour

  • Tons of movie quotes / memes / references for every occasion

  • Bright hair colours (and a personality to match)

  • Your collection of wacky mugs

  • Your collection of wacky socks

  • Being a good listener for everyone on your team

Still, you may want to consider some of the things people might need from you, and how you could build more of that into your behaviours and your brand. This could look like:

  • Being consistent in your one-on-one meetings with your team

  • Learning more Te Reo and using it regularly in your mahi and kōrero

  • Taking time every day to ask people how they're doing, inside and outside of work

  • Showing up more authentically, knowing this gives your team permission to do the same

You're displaying your brand with every single word you use, every email you write, every decision you make. The great news is that these are all well within your control, and you can create the leadership legacy you want.

Red bandana optional.


bottom of page