A couple of weeks ago, I had the privilege of attending EntreLeadership Summit 2019, a three-day conference in San Diego. And while the California weather was refreshing and invigorating, what really made an impact and started my wheels turning were the stories and messages from the speakers. I heard from business owners, entrepreneurs, a former NFL quarterback and the first female fighter pilot.
As I thought about how their messages related to me as a leader, what also resonated was how their experiences connected to how our clients show up as leaders for their brands. For me, it came down to three key thoughts.
1. Know your “why.”
As a leader, I need to know why I’m doing something, what my core beliefs and purpose are, and what that looks like for my team, my clients and myself. To be a leader for your brand, knowing your “why” is the crucial foundation for anything you create, sell, provide or share. Without a why, there’s no focus or direction. For example, a consulting firm that doesn’t just provide solutions to problems, but rather digs in and helps clients solve problems together has a clear reason for being.
2. Never stop growing and learning.
I heard this mantra loud and clear. To keep evolving and improving, you have to embrace continuous learning as a core principle. Without it, complacency sneaks in and can quash motivation, new ideas and energy. Leaders need to model this behavior. To successfully grow your brand, you need to be aware of the landscape, possible threats, new challenges, new opportunities and new technology that could add to your offering. A pediatrician’s office, for example, could position itself as a thought leader in the pediatric care space and host support groups and opportunities for new moms to connect and share their experiences in addition to caring for young patients.
3. Enlist the help of a wingman – or a whole team of wingmen.
I’m a huge believer in this. Two heads are better than one, and there are times when leaders need gut checks. Whether it’s about a risk we want to take or a new idea or approach, without someone to question, push, poke holes in or support it, we may never reach our true potential. For brands, this comes in the form of a trusted resource. It may be just one person or an entire team tasked with helping your brand succeed. We need to learn to lean on our wingmen more often.
As leaders, we’re often so busy with the day-to-day that we don’t take the time to stop and reflect on our approach, ask others for input, and plan for how we can develop ourselves so that we’re providing the constant inspiration our teams need. If you’re not growing, neither is your brand.
You don’t need to head to sunny California for inspiration. Take a few minutes now. Stop what you’re doing and challenge yourself to articulate your “why.” Why are you in the business you’re in? How can you stay one step ahead and provide not only what your customers need right now, but also what they may need down the road? What training or motivation do you need to stay fresh and energized? Putting in a few minutes now can be a great way to keep your brand in the lead.
When Christie isn’t helping our clients find their purpose and build their business, you can find her listening to live music or playing with her dog, Riley.