Successful business leaders don’t need complete oversight of the operation. But your vision, value and voice do need to be seen in all decisions across the company.
Combined, these things form your personal brand: the perception others have of you. It’s all about how you act, how you stand out from the crowd, and how you make clients see why they should choose you over a competitor – both online and offline.
While most daily choices can be decided by gut instinct, the general direction of your organisation needs to embrace your personal brand. The trick is achieving a balance atevery stageof your journey as a recruitment business leader.
In the beginning, you trade based on your own values, experiences and motives. You’ll describe them to others and that’ll be the basis of your personal brand. But even before you get staff on board, you needto understand your position.
You’re pissing in the wind if you think people will listen to a podcast or webinar of you saying the same thing as everyone else – it has to resonate and be unique.
Don’t speak in public unless you’ve got an audience who wants to hear it (your mum doesn’t count). Once you’ve got an idea worth taking note of, see it through. Don’t start waxing lyrical about an idea you’re not committed to. Try to get a sense of you across, and be authentic.
Building the business
When you start working onthe business rather than init, you’ll need to act as the glue holding the operation together. Who else will attract talent and take the lead?
As staff start handling the day-to-day aspects of your role, personal brand works to sustain the business instead of growing it. It reminds people whythey work for you, and for clients with you.
Keep being disruptive. Everyone’s personal brand is unique, and your business needs to follow suit. People aren’t going to buy from you if you’re an industry echo chamber. Play around with alternate ideas and have fun.
As you consider an exit, make sure the succession layers are equipped to fill that void. The company can’t rely on you. Yeah, you’ve got to be a leader and drive progress, but if you’re the celebrity of the business, it devalues the organisation when you leave.
There comes a point when you need to be magnanimous and take a step back – without throwing the baby out with the bath water.
Want to avoid getting trapped in an earnout? Plan for each stage and keep your personal brand as rooted in the operation as possible. Make sure your sentiment can be found in your service offerings, marketing, and even in the personal brands of those you lead. The more ingrained those principles are within the organisation, the more self-sufficient it is.