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If you were a brand, what would you be?

Recently I was fortunate enough to be invited to a fantastic workshop for Women in Business called “What is your leadership brand?”

I dropped both kids off locally, rushed into London and burst through the boardroom door to find 20 of my female colleagues and an extremely engaging, super energetic external leadership expert, Lucy Funnell, leading the group.

I had not thought about what we were going to cover in too much detail, but was certainly excited to be in a room with so many experienced and talented female leaders.

Lucy immediately had us thinking about what words came to mind when she mentioned some well known brands. We quickly progressed on to, “If you were to align yourself with a brand, which would it be?” There was lots to think about initially and she soon had us engaged in some interesting debate around this topic.

One of my colleagues thought of a car brand – initially she said Audi A4 (smart, reliable and consistent) and then was challenged further to think bigger, better, even more inspirational and decided on Aston Martin (luxurious, fast, prestigious) – you see where I am going with this.

Lucy had us think above and beyond our initial thoughts and beliefs and to consider what we would want to be. The more she challenged us, the more our expectations of ourselves and others shifted. We felt we could conquer the world!

We then took the concept of the car and related these to the questions - “How are you perceived?” and “How do you want to be perceived?” She asked us to be very honest to help us improve and challenge ourselves and each other. We were set a group task. On a large piece of flipchart paper everyone had to write their name at the top then we all had the opportunity to write a word (or two) to describe each other. At the end of the task we presented back to see how it stacked up with what we had written about ourselves. There were words missing on each piece of paper that we had each hoped for. What did that tell us? What we need to improve.

We continued to analyse the results, moving on to pick three words we wanted to best describe our leadership brand. Sounds easy? It was actually very hard particularly when you needed to narrow them down.

After a while I finally had my three words: role model, hardworking and collaborative.

We then worked in pairs to coach each other to come up with some tangible goals using the GROW coaching model.

We shared our stories, goals, next steps with each other and there was a real determination and confidence amongst us that we would move forward individually and together – there was nothing stopping us now!

Top tips:

1. My leadership brand is on my iPhone, to remind myself daily. This is what I stand for and this is my commitment to myself and the business every day.

2. I would urge everyone in business to do the same exercise and ask yourself the questions above. It's a hugely valuable exercise and well worth doing.

If you’re struggling on where to start, go and ask a handful of colleagues, if they had one word to describe you, what would it be?

  • Oct 22, 2014
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Rachel Halliday

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