A Compelling Leadership Tool

I have a dear friend who is a genius at branding.  He taught me that when you brand something – a company for example, the key question to answer is not “what you do” but “who you are.”  A great example of understanding this concept is to consider the great railroad companies of the late 1800’s.  Apparently, if asked the nature of their enterprise they would have responded “We’re in the railroad business.”   Nope, that’s what they did; actually they were in the transportation business. Think about it, if they had gained that insight, they would have been the prime suitors to acquire the transformational forms of transportation created early in the 20th century – the car, the plane!
Branding ourselves goes by a different name.  It’s called self awareness.  Chris Lowney in his terrific book Heroic Leadership put it this way:  “…a leader’s most compelling leadership tool is who he or she is.”  Self awareness is understanding who you are and your place in the universe.  Why is this so important?  There are lots of reasons but here is one for today. If we are self aware individuals we treat ourselves with more compassion than most.  Why?  Knowing the meets and bounds of who we are, allows us not to waste precious emotional capital on useless self criticism.  Rather, we can focus on creating and maintaining productive relationships and we become more effective leaders.

About Santo Costa

Sandy Costa is an internationally respected speaker and business leader. Check out Sandy’s website at www.SantoCosta.com
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