Build to Brand
David Freund, Chief Leadership Officer

A couple of weeks ago, I shared a little bit about the concept of Building, not Branding. This morning I was thinking about that topic and how it relates to something I am very concerned about, Leadership. To borrow a phrase I once heard, “I am leadership sad.” As I look over society, I see very little leadership. I see a lot of people claiming to be leaders. I see many people want others to follow them, but precious few actually value others and desire to add value to them. Their words are hollow, and their actions say something completely different. Okay, now that I have said my piece, how does this relate to my point. Great leaders need to be before they act. Leadership is who you are, and who you are will drive what you do. When who you are and what you do are in alignment, people will be drawn to you.

I started listing what I think a great leader should be on paper, and the list got quite long. For the purpose of this post, I will give you the first four. Marisa and I will cover the others on the podcast.

  1. Character – Character is the foundation. It’s not something that is crafted by a branding team. It’s not what a publicist says we should be. It’s not taking a poll and changing our persona. Character is who we are. It is our core. It’s how we act when we know that no one will ever know. When you start being bigger on the inside, you are able to grow bigger on the outside.
  2. Kindness – Leaders touch the heart before they ask for a hand. As we work on building up who we are, we must look for opportunities to show kindness to people. Rather than wishing for others to change, we should be the change we are looking for.
  3. Integrity – When we say something, we mean it. We speak with words that confirm our message. They are easy to understand, and people know they can trust what we say. When we live a life of integrity, people will always know they can count on us.
  4. Competence – Are we getting better every day? Are we learning new things every day? Are we intentionally looking to grow? We can’t give what we don’t have, so if we aren’t getting better daily, we are drifting, and I have never heard of any drifting to someplace meaningful.

If you want to achieve something meaningful, work on being a better person. Start building within you the person you want to be. When you do, your leadership will be recognized, and people will be drawn to your vision and mission. You really can change your world. If you would like to hear a discussion on these four and the additional characteristics of a great leader that I’ve identified, please join Marisa Norcross and me for Episode 224 of The Next Page podcast.

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