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Branding Bytes Archives

Issue 35:
Thoughts On Using Social Media

Issue 34:
Reigning in Public-Private Partnerships

Issue 33:
Seven Ways to Avoid Toxicity In the Workplace

Issue 32:
A Few Bad Apples Bruise the Brand

Issue 31:
Branding Beyond the Logo

Issue 30:
The Yin and Yang of Celebrity Leadership

Issue 29:
Want to Raise More Funds? SPEAK UP!

Issue 28:
Government Funding Cuts: Act!

Issue 27:
"We Are Sorry":
Your Brand is Your Behavior

Issue 26:
Tell Your Story

Issue 25:
Good Leaders

Issue 24:
Think "People,"
Not "Organization"

Issue 23:
What's in a Name?
Just about Everything!

Issue 22:
Is Your Mission
Getting Creepy?

Issue 21:
Welcome to the Age
of the New Normal

Issue 20:
"Receptionist" vs Director of First Brand Impressions

Issue 19:
It's Not About How Your Message is Delivered

Issue 18:
When it Comes to Your Brand, Details Matter

Issue 17:
A Good Brand Requires TLC: Just Ask My Wife!

Issue 16:
Toxic-Work-Environment Syndrome Can Tarnish Your Brand

Issue 15:
Adjusting to the
New Face of Need

Issue 14:
Tired of all the Doom and Gloom? This is Your Time!

Issue 13:
A New Year's Resolution: Don't Cut Off Your Nose

Issue 12:
What You Do Is
About All of Us

Issue 11:
Ethical Standards
and Your Organization

Issue 10:
Leadership: Whose Journey is it, Anyway?

Issue 9:
Giving Circles
and Branding

Issue 8:
The World's Richest Men
— and Philanthropy

Issue 7:
What is an External
Brand Audit?

Issue 6:
Keeping Everyone
on Brand Message

Issue 5:
What is an Internal
Brand Audit?

Issue 4:
Turn Board Members into Better Brand Ambassadors

Issue 3:
Leadership, Vision
— and Branding

Issue 2:
What's 1st—Organization or Brand? / Govt. Cuts?—Branding Helps

Issue 1:
Branding Myths

Issue 25, Winter 2012

What Does it Take to be a Good Leader?
(Excerpted from Aha! Moments in Brand Management)

No brand, no matter how good the products, services, or messaging it represents, can ultimately succeed in the absence of good management leadership.

Two primary schools of thought about leaders seem to prevail. One is that leaders are born, not made; that they are anointed from on high, or somehow are genetically programmed to go to the head of the line to lead the rest of us.

The other school of thought says that through instruction and mentoring, leadership skills can be taught, if not to everyone, at least to many people.

The bottom line is that those who find themselves in leadership positions, regardless of whether or not leadership was bestowed on them as a natural birthright or they came upon it as an acquired skill—or simply by accident—must manifest certain leadership skills if they hope to succeed.

And the most essential leadership skill I can think of is the importance of creating healthy environments in which the people a leader is responsible for leading can feel safe, creative, productive, and appreciated.

The fact is that no one exists in a vacuum. We are all acted on by—and react to—the environments in which we live, play, and work. These environments may either be conducive to our living, playing, and working our best—or not.

It follows, therefore, that one of the responsibilities of a good leader is to ensure that the people he or she leads are responding to the best possible environments that the leader can create.

Some Thoughts for Getting There

Put organizational goals in perspective.

Hyper-focusing on organization goals most often results in that old fallback position that the end justifies the means. This leadership model almost always leads to a management structure and corporate culture that erroneously perceives workers as dispensable tools for achieving business objectives instead of the indispensable employees they truly are for helping achieve overall organizational objectives.

Leadership is a contact sport.

Good leaders don't hole themselves up in ivory towers. Neither do they lead by being in front of their people. Good leaders lead by working beside their people, letting them know the valuable role each plays in achieving the company's mission and that "we're all working together as a team to achieve our common goals."

Don't confuse charisma with leadership.

There are many charismatic personalities who have an innate ability to draw people to them but have nowhere to lead them. You can fool people only so long with a pretty face or glib talk. Instead, start by asking: "Where am I capable of taking this organization? How do I propose getting there? Is that place the right destination for this organization? If so, am I creating the kind of workplace environment that will get us there?"

Don't confuse power with leadership.

Just because you can tell people what to do doesn't mean you're leading them. It could mean that they are doing what you tell them to do out of fear of reprisal, which is a push-pull mechanism that may work in the short term but over the long haul inevitably leads to a dispirited, lifeless, and often disgruntled and unproductive workforce.

Thank you is the most undervalued expression in the English language.

Many leaders view kindness as a weakness, even in themselves. They think that thanking others for what they have done is somehow beneath them.

On the contrary, thank you is an essential expression of gratitude when it comes to acknowledging someone for what they've done. It bespeaks respect for the person as well as the value you place on what they've accomplished. A sincere, heart-felt thank you is a small investment that can return huge dividends for those who lead—as well as those who are being led.

As always, I look forward to receiving your feedback, questions, success stories and branding challenges. Also, if you are in need of a motivational speaker, trainer, branding consultant/coach, or management consultant who can help you answer the questions: Who are we? What do we do? How do we do it? And should anyone care? I invite you to for more information.

In the meantime, good luck with your branding! — Larry

About Branding Bytes

Branding Bytes is a FREE quarterly e-newsletter courtesy of Larry Checco of Checco Communications. Please feel free to forward Branding Bytes on to others. However, Branding Bytes is copyrighted and may not be reprinted or reproduced without attributing Larry Checco of Checco Communications as its source and providing the following website address: Thank you.


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