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The New Age of Executive Branding

Branding Gurus Share Insight on Establishing a Holistic Executive Brand to Enhance Your Company, Inside and Out

 

Newport Beach, Calif. (August 6, 2011) – In an increasingly complex market and growing global economy, executives are forced to re-examine their strategies, skills and strengths and apply them to the new age of business. The Executive Next Practices Forum – a unique mastermind-like group for C-level business executives to review new leadership and business strategy – recognizes that building a comprehensive executive brand is essential for its members, and executives must draw attention to their strengths to remain successful in the current economy.

Scott Hamilton, President of the Executive Next Practices Institute (ENP) and Co-founder of Allign, says transparency is vital in today’s marketplace. “In a time where information is available at our fingertips, both customers and employees will feel more confident if they have a clear vision of who the leader is and where they are headed,” saysHamilton. “Executives who develop holistic individual brands will show their customers they are forward-thinking and accessible, and internally it will prove these leaders are maximizing their strengths to contribute to the company’s bottom line – gaining a synergy that wouldn’t be achieved otherwise.”

Perception is Reality

What has made executive branding so important today is the public’s growing awareness that perception is reality. Author of What’s Your BQ?, and ENP Advisory Board member , Sandra Sellani (www.EBQ100.com), uses Tiger Woods as an example: He built a career based on how he was perceived – and almost lost his career for the same reason. The public will never know the real Tiger Woods, as there are only perceptions by which to judge him. “Executives are the subject of perception – from peers, supervisors, subordinates.   People will make decisions about that executive based on those perceptions whether the perceptions are right or wrong. Personal branding bridges the gap between perception and reality,” says Sellani. “By taking charge of your executive brand you create the perception.”

 

Three Steps to Build Your Executive Brand

  • Assess Where You Are Now. Google yourself – how are you being perceived now? Ask co-workers, friends and mentors what they believe your strengths to be – you might hear something you otherwise may not have believed to be a key quality that will help you re-focus your personal brand and perception.
  • Ask Yourself This: “What do I want to be famous for?” It may not sound like a business-related question, but the answer will reveal an individual’s values and skill set. When people ask questions like, “What are my career goals?” or “What can I do to be successful?” the answers tend to focus on earnings, benefits or promotions. If executives lead with asking what they want to be known for, they’ll establish a brand that attracts organizations and people that value the same thing.
  • Make a Plan. Establish an action plan that integrates your executive brand – how you want to be perceived – to strategic actions both inside and outside your organization. Find out what resources and new technologies you can utilize to enhance your executive brand and establish a plan of action moving forward that will maintain your new branding and provide consistency in your work.

Strong Individuals Equate to Strong Teams

Executives with an established brand will not only see personal benefits, but will also begin to notice their teams and company functioning more efficiently. “When everyone brings their own skills to the table, there’s a sense of self-awareness and transparency – the team becomes more cohesive and resourceful, because they know each other’s strengths and weaknesses,” says Hamilton.

“Employees are a crucial manifestation of the corporate brand,” says Sellani.

When individuals have a solid brand in place, it will help in reinforcing company culture and the perception the company wants to have. Take Google for example – the company has reinforced its role as a leader by taking in innovators and driven “braniancs” – people who keep the company fresh and dynamic. The employees who join Google continue to attract similar people, perpetuating the culture and the brand. Since the company is now well-established with a solid image, they can pick and choose amongst top candidates because what they have is sought after – the best people, creating the best products – strong corporate brands attract strong individual brands and the culture becomes self-perpetuating.

Establishing an executive brand is essential in today’s marketplace – by taking the steps above, executives will make themselves more accessible to target consumers, colleagues and employees. Executives who are aware of their own strengths and make the best of use of them will lead companies to success and show true worth in the business world.

 

About the Executive Next Practices Forum: The Executive Next Practices Forum (ENP) is an established group of Southern California Fortune 1000 C-level and top functional leaders ( CEO,CFO, CMO, HR, CIO) who meet to discuss innovative business and leadership strategies. Roundtable sessions are held with a strict “no-selling” policy to encourage leaders to interact, engage and think collaboratively, and to ensure maximum relationship-building. The group follows a “next practices” development method which discards the status quo in favor of a more effective and relevant approach to today’s business problems and tomorrow’s solutions. For more information on the ENP, contact Executive Next Practices Institute President, Scott Hamilton, scott.hamilton@enpinstitute.com or call 888.857.9722.

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