Leadership and How it Affects Brand Sustainability

Visual Courtesy: joelafferty.com

You can’t lead without having an engaged audience or followers. And how do you get an engaged audience?

Whilst a lot has been written and even more spoken about leadership, we still have an issue of fair to poor leadership in many organizations.

Is this scenario because of we can’t develop leadership skills or we simply don’t believe leadership can’t be taught or, as adults we just can’t unlearn in order to re-learn new skills?

In today’s business climate, being sustainable i.e. having an ethically viable and profitable brand over long-term, should be one of the three key business priorities. The other two priorities stem from sustainability and are organisational sustainability and financial sustainability.

To deliver on making the business sustainable, strong and dynamic leadership is critical. Critical in order to have a brand that is respected and is engaged with its stakeholders.

In the journey of making a brand sustainable (and it’s not a program/project that will bear fruit in a year, mind you!) organisational leadership is critical and key to success.

Leadership, that has the emotional & intellectual maturity to, engage the organisation’s rank and file on a one to one in order to have a motivated group of followers who understand their role and appreciate the challenge is must- have. Well, that’s easier said than done!

To engage and endear themselves, leaders have to approach the staff at various levels using various methods. And leaders have to remind themselves that the ‘status and power they have and use to drive business socially’ is for the external world.

Not for staff.

Leaders need to have the ability to compartmentalize their behaviour between how they represent the brand externally and internally.

Without an engaged rank and file behind the leader, delivering the image projected externally becomes fraught with danger.
Thus, endangering the brand’s sustainability.

And without the brand being sustainable, the organisation’s sustainability and its financial sustainability simply fades out of the long-term picture.