Women have something unique and powerful to contribute to healthcare leadership, but it can be tricky to be heard and get results in today’s leadership culture without losing yourself. This is why it is important to understand leadership branding.
Because there’s this pervasive myth that gets in the way: If a woman wants to lead, she can’t be herself AND make the difference she wants to make.
She’s told not to be too emotional, too bossy, too much — or not enough!
This advice makes you doubt yourself and your leadership brand. It undermines your confidence, your success and your quality of life.
And it’s lousy advice.
What’s true is that being your best self is essential to being an effective leader.
A successful woman leader knows her strengths and uses them. Instead of putting energy into being careful, she focuses on being real, authentic and intentional.
Strong leadership branding is key to opening doors to being heard and getting results with authenticity:
“I intend to be known for being innovatively decisive, strategically inspired, and consistently trustworthy in a culture where people want to engage and excel in our mission…” (CMO at a federally-qualified health center)
Your leadership brand tells people what to expect from you. It’s rooted in your values and what you stand for; it differentiates you from others:
“I want to be known for being strategically passionate, holistically results-oriented and a change agent so I can create a financially viable palliative care program…” (Regional Medical Director)
A clear and compelling leadership brand ensures that you get your message heard and have the impact you want – so that you’re walking your talk and inspiring others to follow in your footsteps:
“I want to be known for being approachably intelligent, conscientiously committed and innovatively quality-oriented while creating an accredited breast center that provides top notch breast care…” (Fellowship-trained breast surgeon)
And whether you know it or not, you already have a leadership brand!Your reputation is based on interactions people have had with you. For instance,
Your reputation is based on interactions people have had with you. For instance, you might already have a reputation as a hard worker, a team player, or a lone wolf.
How well does your brand convey your true identity and distinctiveness? Ask yourself:
- Are my actions aligned with my intentions?
- Am I known for what I’m good at and like to do?
- Am I having the impact I want to have?
If you answered no to any of those questions, it might be time to update your leadership brand.
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