Your brand or organisation’s reputation is integral to its fate. I’ve written about how your “products”, whatever they are, are critical components for a healthy reputation. In the mix are leaders.
Leaders have the responsibility to not only express and embody their enterprise’s brand to those they lead, in their enterprise, but also to the world. Leaders are the primary ambassadors of your organisation’s brand(s). Teams and organisations, as a whole, get their cues on how to interact and project brands from the leaders.
Potential loyalists and loyalists get their cues on how to interpret and interact with the brand from its leaders. Some will be skeptical if the leader doesn’t use what he manufactures.
Take Alicia Keys’ case as an example. In a bid to rejuvenate the Blackberry brand, Alicia Keys was contracted as the brand’s ambassador. The problem: she was tweeting from her iPhone how great Blackberry was. Some people, noticed, as they usually do…
If your brand and your “products” are that great, why should someone else and not you, the leader of the brand, not use them?
Somehow, the reputation of the leaders impacts their organisations. Bad character on the account of the leader often taints how the brands their represent are perceived.
The leaders’ platforms matter. How they build them impacts more than just themselves.
Criticism is inevitable. Leaders must be careful not to respond to everything leveled against them or their brand. Not everything deserves leaders’ attention. However, there are instance where they need to speak out or “hit back”.
Leaders must constantly assess the threat to brand reputation. This could be complaints from beneficiaries. It could be misplaced allegations. Instances where the brand or organisation have messed up.
When your organisations messes up, fess up. Own where you are wrong and make it right. It saves and serves you better than denial and lying.
Leaders are responsible for epitomising their brands and reputation. How they conduct themselves directly impacts their organisations’ reputation. They have to always assess threats to their reputation and be proactive to protect it.
Leaders: Brand Reputation Lines of Offence And Defence. Lead.
[Photo Credit: daryl_mitchel]