After recently attending a conference, I was introduced to the concept of a leader brand. The idea is to include a leadership spin to your personal brand. How do you want others to perceive you as a leader? How do others actually perceive you as a leader?
For me, after many, many iterations, the philosophy of servant leadership describes my leader brand. Early in my career, I was lucky enough to work with remarkable leaders who taught me what it meant to be a servant leader. It was so impactful, I have taken it with me throughout my career and into my day to day life.
Some may have heard of the servant leader concept and there are probably a few ways to define it, although essentially for me and the brand I wish to depict, it means leading with heart.
Servant Leadership means genuinely caring about people both professionally and personally. Examples might include hearing the tiredness in a team members voice and knowing they need a break – and creating space for them to actually take a break. Or sending a short message to wish a co-worker good luck before a big event. Or as simple as checking in when someone is not feeling well.
Servant Leadership means focusing on growth in the sense of providing opportunities for others to stretch and grow in their careers. Knowing that each person is at a different place in their career journey and identifying those opportunities for them to develop. Simple things like setting aside time to provide coaching after a big presentation or recommending a book about leading others if someone is working on moving into a people leader role.
Servant Leadership means remaining open and teachable. The idea of continuous improvement is extremely relevant in our work today – the pace of change is so rapid around the world, we can’t possibly keep up and know it all. Remaining open to new ideas and being teachable allows others to feel comfortable to bring new ideas and innovation to drive a business forward.
Lastly, servant Leadership means getting out of their way – trusting they will get the job done!
In summary, my leader brand is servant leadership defined as leading and living with heart.
Providing growth opportunities
Remaining open and teachable
Getting out of their way – let them do what they do best!
“A person’s most useful asset is not a head full of knowledge, but a heart full of love, an ear
ready to listen and a hand willing to help.”