FountainBlue’s April 14 When She Speaks was on the topic of Building and Reinforcing Your Executive Brand. Below are notes from the conversation.
We were fortunate to have such impressive, amusing, well-spoken and diverse panel of leaders, representing a wide range of companies, roles, backgrounds and cultures. They also had much in common.
- They were clear about their strengths and their impact, as well as their direction.
- They were similar in their collaborative and communicative style, displaying high emotional intelligence, superior facilitation and program management skills, and a consistent track record for delivering measurable impact on a diverse range of projects.
- They each went through an introspective phase which helped them hone in on their brand and their focus, with the guidance of select others around them, and the feedback of direct experience.
Their collective advice for creating and reinforcing your brand is summarized below:
- Know what you want, then do what you love. Be open to experimenting with new things so that you find new things to love, but if you don’t love it, make a different choice.
- Grow where you can – stretch yourself and be of service, solving problems that make a difference.
- Listen closely and learn from everyone. Integrate these learnings so that you’re more effective at what you’re doing.
- Communicate clearly, transparently and inclusively. Be passionate without being overly emotional, driven without being ruthless, open to new opportunities while also making sure that it’s something you want to do for the long term.
- Nobody should feel all alone. The more we share, the more we give the stronger we all are. Reach out when you’re in need. Lend a hand, lend an ear when someone else is in need. The best way to honor those who helped YOU is to pay it forward to others – sharing your network, experience, stories, energy, etc. Be a stalwart champion, no matter where you sit at the table. Empower all those around you to succeed and grow.
- Take a leap of faith when opportunity knocks for you, but have confidence that opportunities will come at other times if higher-priority things like your family and your health take precedence.
- Personal and professional brands overlap. Be who you are consistently in all situations, but express yourself differently depending on the environment, regardless of whether it’s a physical location or a social media platform.
- Everyone has to work with difficult people. Find a positive way to work with people who push your buttons when you have to do so. Identifying commonalities will help you to do that.
- Be fearless and persevere. You’re too busy making something happen to listen to the nay-sayers who say ‘who is she/he to do this or that’. It’s not about the degree, the role, the background, the gender, the experience, the age, etc., It’s about the bottom line results. Live and breathe by the results you deliver. Consistently and clearly communicate your value add based on the data.
- Reach out to others when you need guidance, validation, support, perspective. Nobody is an island and part of stretching yourself is seeing and understanding a reality beyond your own.
It was a very fun panel, filled with real-life stories involving real-life events, humorously told. We all left inspired by their bottom line: Be strategic communicators who focus on aligning all stakeholders to deliver impactful and measurable results for the greater good of the individuals, the team, the companies and the industry.
Please join me in thanking our April 14 When She Speaks panel on the topic of Building and Reinforcing Your Executive Brand and our gracious hosts at Flex!
- Facilitator Linda Holroyd, CEO, FountainBlue; CMO of 888 Steps
- Panelist Amy Barzdukas, VP of Global Solutions Marketing, Polycom
- Panelist Reenita Das, Partner, Senior Vice President, Transformational Health, Frost & Sullivan
- Panelist Vonnie French, VP, Supply Chain, Palo Alto Networks
- Panelist Melanie Nelson, Sr. Director of Marketing Communications, Samsung
- Panelist Birte Schwarzenfeld, VP, Head of Corporate Strategy, Flex