How do you build a breakthrough leadership brand? In today’s globally connected community, it’s critical for entrepreneurs to create an extraordinary leadership brand if they hope to attract both money and resources to their growing organizations.
In my career, I’ve been blessed to work with many great business leaders. Many of these men and women have gone from businesses in a garage to leading some of the world most respected brands.
I’ve also invested time working with several governors and senators. Over my career, I’ve seen many well-known political leaders go from being Governor to President. Luckily for me, I was invited along to help them reach their goals.
It’s easy for business people to not believe that they can learn from excellent politicians. Politicians can teach us much about how to build a breakthrough leadership brand.
I thought I might share what I learned from two of my best known clients in hopes that it helps you build an breakthrough leadership brand. These two men are a political odd couple but have done amazing things as President as well as after they’ve left office.
Don’t worry, you won’t see me take political sides. I find more similarities than differences between these great men. Since I worked with administrations on both sides of the aisle, and would like to do so again in the future, you don’t make friends by attacking former bosses. I was lucky enough to work with President Bill Clinton and President George W. Bush at different stages in their Presidential careers. Let me share a few rules I learned from them about building a breakthrough leadership brand.
The first rule of building a breakthrough leadership brand is you must know what you stand for. Sounds easy, but when you’re trying to get elected it’s less problematic to try to be all things to all people. Great leadership brands understand that if they hope to achieve their goals they must enroll a wide range of stakeholders in their mission while still keeping the mission focused.
Both of these men knew what they wanted to achieve and they let their key people know it. Each of these leaders built consensus among their bases before moving towards the center. Both men invested significant time sharing their vision of the world with anyone they thought they might be able to influence.
The second rule of building a breakthrough leadership brand is put strong people in key positions on your leadership team. Both of these men understood the value of having strong leaders around them. Their fellow leaders were very good at carrying their message to critical constituencies in the political parties. The lesson here is to invest significant time picking key members of your team. To build a great leadership brand you must have people around you that can debate with you their perspectives on issues to help you develop a better understanding of the possibilities available to you.
The third rule of building a breakthrough leadership brand is it must be able to influence on both a small and large scale. It’s easy to forget that no matter how successful you are as a leader you must continue to meet and advocate your position with others. As President, both of these men used the bully pulpit to convince the larger audience, but both were also highly effective at one on one influence. Both of these Presidents served in times of major change but both were incredible at moving others to take action on their agenda. These men both understood the value of meeting with others to help them see their perspectives on things.
Even in today’s connected economy, there are many people who are not paying attention to what’s happening around them. Breakthrough leadership brands are great at targeting and simplifying their message so that it can be easily shared by 1000s of advocates for their causes across the globe. President Clinton’s laser focus in his first Presidential election on the economy is a great example of simplifying the message so everyone is communicating the same message in every way they communicate.
These are the first three rules of building a breakthrough leadership brand. All three can help you be a more visible leader for your organization. They help you build your own breakthrough leadership brand. In my next post, I share two ideas that take your ability to influence others to a whole new level.
On Thursday, I talk about how emotions can help you as a serving leader. I also talk about how to build a lasting connection with everyone you meet. Both President Bush and President Clinton are well-known for leaving a lasting impression with almost everyone they meet. After you read the blog on Thursday, you will to. See you then.
Want to learn more about more about these extraordinary leaders? You might enjoy Time Magazine’s article this week where they share their thoughts on the upcoming election and much more in Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and the American Game of Thrones. Our photo this week is copyright 2015 by Time Magazine.