Brand Yourself As a 21st Century Leader

In the article, "Exploring a Taxonomy of Global Leadership Competencies and Metacompetancies" by Tubbs & Schultz (2006) it was concluded that personality, value, behavioral traits and personal characteristics are the core components of being an effective leader.

Ultimately, creating a brand as a 21st century leader is a critical to on-going success. Overall, as professional women, the purpose of creating your brand consists of being uniquely identifiable based on the attributes and characteristics you possess.

As you undergo self-review, be sure to take into account the multitude of experiences and social interactions involved with the development of your brand and reaffirm that it includes...

  • Your core values
  • A Personal and Professional Mission Statement
  • Authenticity

According to Zaccaro (2007), "the qualities that differentiate leaders from non-leaders are far ranging and include not only personality attributes but also motives, values, cognitive abilities, social and problem solving skills and expertise (p.8). " As professional women, it is critical to brand yourself as an assertive, competent, confident individual that remains authentic and professional to lead in the 21st century.

In reflecting upon my professional experiences, I inventoried ways in which my brand was created. These are tools that can be applied at any level in one's career.

First, if you haven't already done so, define your core values.

Ultimately, this means understanding who you are and what's important to you as it relates to your goals and your perception of success. This also gives you the opportunity to take a firm look at what you are willing to do as it pertains to your own competencies. Capturing your core values will allow you to align personal behaviors with professional characteristics to develop a leadership attitude.

And, just to share, my core values personally and professionally are respect, joy and integrity.

If you ask anyone who knows me, these are words consistently used describe who I am as a unique individual; allowing my brand to appear evident in all settings, personal and professional.

Next, secure a personal and professional mission statement.

In order to develop your brand, it is essential to secure a personal and professional mission statement. Organizations develop a mission statement to convey their core purpose. This purpose guides organizational actions, goals and a path for striving toward success.

Similarly, it is essential to create a personal and professional mission statement to brand yourself as a unique individual. This statement should contain a core purpose that will be personally and professionally create success. Your mission statement should define who you are and be stated clearly so others fully understand your actions and goals in all settings.

Finally, remain authentic.

Authenticity is defined as being genuine and trustworthy. Therefore, allow your authenticity to drive your core values. Leaders gain respect when they are sincere and accountable. To brand yourself as a 21st century leader, communicate with others the way in which you want to be communicated with, approach every situation with confidence to be viewed as competent and employ authenticity by remaining consistent in your approach.

So, I say all this to let you know that whether you're a novice or an experienced professional, your goal is to attain success as a leader in your respective industry. Creating and cultivating a brand driven by your core values, a personal and professional mission and unshakable authenticity, you will be equipped to lead with an ideal image that will foster growth and success in your career.


Tubbs, S., & Schulz, E. (2006). Exploring a taxonomy of global leadership competencies and metacompetancies. Journal of American Academy of Business, Cambridge, 8(2), 29-34.

Zaccaro, S. (2007) Trait-based perspectives of leadership. American Psychologist, 62(1), 6-16.