What if the secret to effective leadership didn’t lie in your skill set or achievements but in how you make others feel? Having recently participated in a leadership conference, I plunged into the compelling concept of establishing a “leader brand.”
This notion challenges you to merge your leadership qualities with your personal brand. It isn’t just about how you’d like to be seen as a leader; it’s equally about how people perceive you in that role.
After substantial self-reflection and iterations, I realized that my leadership identity is deeply anchored in the principles of servant leadership.
Earlier in my professional life, I was privileged to collaborate with exemplary leaders who unveiled the profound concept of servant leadership to me. That revelation was so pivotal that its principles have guided me throughout my career and personal life.
While many might be familiar with the term “servant leader,” its interpretation can vary. For me, the cornerstone of this approach is simple yet transformative: lead with your heart.
Leading from the heart involves a genuine commitment to the well-being of others, both in professional settings and personal interactions. It can manifest as recognizing the exhaustion in a colleague’s voice and then carving out time for them to recharge. It might also entail sending a quick message to wish a teammate luck before an important event or checking in when someone is under the weather.
Servant leadership also emphasizes fostering growth by creating opportunities for others to advance and flourish. It’s about recognizing where each individual is in their professional journey and tailoring opportunities for their development. This might involve allocating time to coach someone after a significant presentation or recommending a leadership book for someone aspiring to manage people.
Another pillar of servant leadership is maintaining a receptive and adaptable mindset. With the ever-accelerating pace of change globally, the notion of lifelong learning is more relevant than ever. Being open to fresh perspectives and remaining teachable enables an environment where others can freely contribute innovative ideas to propel the business forward.
Lastly, servant leadership is about empowering others—stepping aside and trusting them to excel at their tasks.
To sum it up, my leadership brand is rooted in the philosophy of servant leadership, which is characterized by:
An anonymous author once said, “A person’s most valuable asset isn’t a mind filled with knowledge, but rather a heart filled with love, an ear ready to listen, and a hand willing to assist.”