Branding, Communication, Influence

What’s the Big Idea of Your Brand?

All influential leaders have an area of thought leadership that they own. Your thought-leadership is formed from your Big Idea and it incites people into action.

Dr. Martin Luther King’s legacy started as a simple mantra: ‘I Have a Dream’. It is this mantra that shaped his thoughts, words and actions and the mantra eventually rose to the level of a Big Idea that will forever be embedded into our psyche. Below are the five elements allowed Dr. King’s mantra to catch wings and fly.

Be distinct or be extinct – Your big idea must rise above the noise or it will land in a sea of sameness.

It must be true, realistic and something that you can fully own among your competitors. If people do not believe that you have the authority or credibility to own it, it’ll fall flat.

Inspirational Bravado – It must have a level of inspiration and connectivity that excites and activates people in such a way that their proud to fully own and rally behind it.

–Magnetic and memorable – This makes your big idea teachable in a way that penetrates the mind and inspires people to share the message with others.

Commodity free – It must be sustainable such that it rises above the level of being considered a fad or a trend. This is how it moves without you and morphs into a movement of it’s own.

Martin Luther King is just one example because he was a brilliant orator and a heretic who wasn’t afraid to go his own way to lead. It was this very way of leading that captured the hearts and minds of millions and eventually allowed his big idea to grow wings of its own. It’s what changed lives and made his work legendary.

Another great example that I teach in my Leadership Branding Masterclass is Oprah’s‘Live Your Best Life’ mantra which on it’s own is not a Big Idea, but because touches every part of her brand and permeates everything she does, it now has wings of its own and has morphed into a Big Idea.

Finding your Big Idea as a leader takes time and it starts with your personal story. Download our free Brand Storytelling Guidebook as a first step to finding your brand’s Big Idea!




Influence, Leadership

How to improve your leadership impact

Leadership written on pageAs a leader, you will spend a small fraction of your time giving big public speeches. Instead, leadership happens moment by moment, person by person, both through your words and deeds. There are hundreds of moments like these every day. Each moment sends messages that can ripple throughout the organization, with impact that you may or may not intend. If you would like to better match your intent and impact, earn the right to lead, and demonstrate true leadership presence, you must commit to working on how you show up in each of these moments throughout the day. Gauge the effectiveness of your communication and presence by asking yourself the following questions:

  • What messages do I send based on how I spend my time?
  • What messages do I send based on the people with whom I spend my time?
  • What messages do I send based on how I allocate resources?
  • Am I authentic when I speak, or do I come across as manipulative and even dishonest?
  • Do my deeds match my words?
  • How well do I model the desired culture and values of the organization?
  • How much integrity would my colleagues say I have?
  • How do I respond to failures when people take risks?
  • When do I provide praise and other rewards, and what messages does this send?
  • When do I provide criticism or punishment, and what messages does this send?
  • What behaviors or results am I tolerating that I shouldn’t be tolerating, and what messages am I sending as a result?
  • How well do I communicate expectations, how employees can be better, and what I appreciate about their work and contributions?
  • How do I carry myself when I walk, speak one-on-one, and participate in meetings?
  • How well do I listen and understand?
  • How many different styles do I have for communicating in different, challenging situations?
  • How well do I influence others one-on-one, in groups, and throughout the organization?

This is only a partial list of questions to explore. How well you present at your next “big speech” is very important, but your most significant impact happens in the daily conversations that you have with others. 10 Costly MistakesFor more ideas on how to become a more effective leader, click here to download a complimentary copy of my 10 Leadership Mistakes ebook. Find out what mistakes may be lurking in your blind spot and compromising your impact and influence as a leader.