Building A Leadership Brand addresses the issue of leadership development which bumps up an organization's market value and creates competitive advantage. Ulrich and Smallwood point out that leadership brand represents an intangible value and shared identity among organizational leaders, which differentiates what an organization can do versus its competitors. The article demonstrates how to create value for investors, customers, and employees while also creating competitive edge for the organization via various approaches to leadership.
My understanding from the article is, in order to achieve this competitive edge, there must be a shift from focusing on leaders to leadership.
A focus on leaders emphasizes the personal qualities of the individual.
Leadership emphasizes the methods that secure the ongoing good of the firm.
‘You want your leaders to be the kind of people who embody the promises your company makes to its customers’
The foundation for the article is five principles designed to building a successful sustainable leadership brand. It involves organizations working to translate what they stand for in the marketplace into a set of managerial behaviours. In a sense, tailoring leader aptitude and skills to the company offering.
An interesting theme from the article is essentially coming back to the point, one size does not fit all. Just as products have to be tailored for customers, skills have to be tailored by the leader. Connecting executive abilities to the reputation the company is trying to establish is crucial.
Many examples are cited in the article. Different companies with different missions and totally different leader styles. Such examples include:
Wal-Mart ‘Always low prices’ And leaders of this organisation are known for ‘Managing costs efficiently, getting things done on time’.
Proctor & Gamble ‘Brands you know and trust’ known for ‘developing consumer insights, precisely targeted marketing, product...