What do you think of when you hear the word “branding?”
Executive coach and founder of Strategic Brand Intelligence, Carol Isozaki brought an important and expanded version of this concept as she kicked off Golden Gate University’s Business Leadership series. She expounded on Strategic Leadership Branding to a full auditorium of tax and accounting students and to many other professionals including coaches, attorneys, real estate brokers and accountants.
Isozaki shared key elements to being strategic about your leadership brand in ways most people never think of. Ask yourself, “How do people emotionally react to me as a leader?” Your brand is not just your colors, logo and marketing. Your brand is YOU. Everywhere you go, build your following by creating experiences for others that they would gladly sign up for again.
What you say, how you say it, how you carry yourself, how you receive your audience (even if it is only one person), how you dress—all of this is your brand. Be innovative; create a distinct experience. You carry your brand with you at all times and, therefore, it is critical that you pay attention to your actions.
Inspired, attorney John O’Grady said that “I returned to my office and reevaluated the entire experience we create for our clients, from start to finish. We’re still making some adjustments to be the most amazing trusts and estates lawyers in town.”
Whether at an event where you are the main speaker or you are a participant, wherever you go, go with the intention to share your value (not to be confused with selling), to meet people energetically and fully engage with others. You never know who you will meet and how the person could impact your life.
Isozaki shared her secret to building a strong leadership brand: PTBA! Plan To Be Amazing! (SM) And how do you do that? Move outside your comfort zone. Fully engage with people with the intent to deliver high value and create a distinctive experience. Smile. Look them in the eyes; be your authentic self. Isozaki suggests you reflect on the question: “Do you light up a room when you walk into it, or when you walk out of it?”
Strategic Brand Mindset (SM) is about being clear and intentional about your leadership brand; understanding your markets, owning responsibility for the landing of your words and actions, pulling back to see if your intentions are aligned with that landing and be continuously learning and evolving.
With Isozaki’s dynamic and engaging style, those who were fully engaged surely walked away with key tools and strategies to now “light up a room when they walk into it.”