Why C-suite leaders should have a personal brand

For Episode # 23 of “The World-Class Leaders Show” podcast, I hosted Jeffrey Hayzlett, primetime television host of C-Suite with Jeffrey Hayzlett and Executive Perspectives on C-Suite TV, and business podcast host of All Business with Jeffrey Hayzlett on C-Suite Radio.

Jeffrey is well known as a business trendsetter and transformational leader. He was instrumental in the transition of one of the largest corporate turnarounds of a Fortune 100 company as the Chief Marketing Officer of Eastman Kodak. In that role, Hayzlett helped the company reinvent its brand and embrace the emergence of new media. He was one of the first corporate officers on Twitter and an early ambassador of digital marketing.

Accelerate your Career Trajectory through the Brand of You

Digital transformations have altered the way we develop our careers. The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the trend towards digital adoption and has changed forever our approach to the workplace. It doesn’t matter whether you are an employee, a corporate officer, or an entrepreneur: a key factor for success is to stand out from your peers and be recognized for your essential characteristics and attributes. 

How to accomplish this? By establishing a solid and cohesive social media presence across multiple platforms and embracing opportunities to give back to your community, such as public speaking, mentoring, and education.

Managing your Brand within your Career

A brand is nothing more than a promise delivered. Companies are living organisms and need to be populated with people who reflect that. Companies should have multiple officers who can be representative of the brand; it dilutes risk and illustrates that there is greater depth in the organization. 

If we operate with solid values, and we focus on serving all the stakeholders and the communities that surround us, it builds engagement and simplifies the navigation through the constant changes in our environments. 

Intellectual Honesty in the Brand

Establishing a personal brand relies on honesty, transparency, and integrity. Leaders of organizations must understand that their words and behavior matter and that consistency and congruency are essential. We’ve all seen examples of businesses, especially publicly traded companies, that have been impacted by disconnects between a leader’s behavior versus their professional communications.

Compliance, Security & Privacy Concerns

Some of the obstacles facing leaders and corporate officers include organizational structures and corporate communications teams dictating how one should act. In addition, a higher public profile may bring privacy concerns or exposure risk for confrontation or litigation. However, there are methods for addressing these challenges. On balance, the positive returns will outweigh the concerns.

We are All Media Companies

For anyone striving to establish themselves as a thought leader, it’s extremely valuable to develop your content and build a consistent audience. With the abundance of digital publishing platforms spanning text, audio, and video content, it’s easier than ever to create your broadcast channels and master your category by leading discussions around the topic.

Control your Narrative

If you’re not participating in podcast interviews, blog postings, or social media interactions, you’re missing out on important dialogues and eliminating opportunities to generate and leverage influence. Today, we all have many options to define a clear position and reach thousands or even millions of people. This is the fastest way to establish yourself as a category leader.

Establishing Leadership

Content may be king, but context is the kingdom. Using content to create communities of interest requires consistent feeding and nurturing. The more you generate, the greater the chances of being the leader of that category. It’s no longer enough to simply ‘do’, it’s essential to tell the story as well. For many, ‘sway’ is equity. Your messages will be absorbed by investors, board members, consultants, and analysts; so, put them where your audiences are.

I closed the podcast episode by asking Jeffrey to share his answers to my favorite guest questions.

Q: What is the number one lesson that you’ve learned in business across the years?
A:  I learned that I don’t listen enough. Every great leader should be a “Chief Listening Officer’ because that’s how you find the problems, and that’s also how you find the answers.

Q: On the other end, what is one thing that you might have done maybe differently in your career?
A:  Sometimes, we wait for permission, or to be anointed. I would be sitting in meetings thinking, “Oh man, this place is screwed up. Why doesn’t somebody do something?” And then, I would look around, and realize, “Oh, it’s me.” So, I would have acted earlier, and faster.

Q: When you had your best performance ever, what was in place at the time that allowed you to reach that level of performance?
A: The first thing is that I always had great people around me, and I was able to recognize their talent and capability. Secondly, I had the support of the CEO: someone who was helping me and watching with error coverage, if you know what I mean. I had permission, and I had support.

Q: For you, what are the most impactful books that you’ve read?
A: It’s the classics: “Think and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill, “How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Andrew Carnegie, and “The Greatest Salesman in the World” by Og Mandino. I’ve also learned a great deal by reading excellent business biographies — books that tell the stories inside the story.

You can reach Jeffrey Hayzlett at his website https://hayzlett.com/contact/ and via email at [email protected].

You may also wish to purchase his best-selling business books: Think Big, Act Bigger: The Rewards of Being Relentless, Running the Gauntlet, The Mirror Test, and The Hero Factor: How Great Leaders Transform Organizations and Create Winning Cultures.

Listen to the podcast related to this article: https://www.andreapetrone.com/why-c-suite-leaders-should-have-a-personal-brand-podcast/

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