As a leader in your field, it’s particularly important to create an authentic personal brand. When colleagues or potential clients think about you, they should be able to associate you with a certain set of qualities that you exude. Those qualities are your brand persona, and your brand persona should be present in everything that you do in order to give your brand the most genuine impression possible.
To help you discover your brand persona, I have listed twelve of the most common archetypes into which leaders fit and included examples from the 2011 TIME 100 list of leaders. These types vary based on personality, style of leadership and a number of other things.
As you read through these common archetypes, keep in mind that we are all unique and dynamic, so it would be very rare to say that someone fits exactly into one archetype. Instead, you may find that you generally fit into an archetype more so than the others, while still exhibiting traits of one or two other ones. Think of this as if you were wearing a great suit (your main archetype), but you accessorize with a secondary archetype (watch, briefcase, shoes, etc).
12 Personal Branding Archetypes for Leaders
1. The Chief
The Chief is a goal-oriented, decisive, hard worker who likely was born to be a leader. These types are confident, responsible and love being in charge of making important decisions. Example: Major General Margaret Woodward
2. The Visionary
The Visionary looks to the future for possibilities and does not focus on the past. They value big picture thinking, innovation, and enjoy strategizing. Example: Ai Weiwei
3. The Confidant
Simply put, the Confidant is the “nice guy” or “nice girl” of the group. You are exceedingly kind almost to a fault, as you go to lengths to avoid confrontation. You are caring and dependable. Example: Colin Firth
4. The Performers
The Performer takes control of a room simply by walking into it. They have big personalities and enjoy drama. They may tend to exaggerate or be melodramatic but they have star quality about them that naturally attracts others and places them in a leadership role. Example: Mark Walberg
5. The Caregiver
If you are the kind of person who others go to with their problems, you may be the Caregiver. This personal brand type is sensitive, compassionate and empathetic, and also quite generous. Example: Gabrielle Giffords
6. The Truth-Seeker
This is the truth-seeker of the brand types, a person who is reflective and analytical. School likely comes easy for them, as they are natural students, and have an insatiable desire for knowledge. Example: Mark Zuckerberg
7. The Explorer
Explorers crave excitement and get bored with repetition. They seek out new experiences and love to travel or seek out adventures. These people are independent and place a high level of importance on freedom. Example: Reed Hastings
8. The Combatant
The Combatant is a natural protector, honorable to the bitter end. He or she is noble and has a set of principles from which there is no wavering. Chances are this person will be prone to self-sacrifice. Example: General David Petraeus
9. The Spark
The Spark is playful, spirited, and full of energy. They tend to be bold and are often described as the person that “lights up the room”. Example: Amy Poehler
10. The Revolutionary
The Revolutionary is dedicated to helping people find the good in themselves, acting as a catalyst for inspiration or change. He or she may be spiritual or charismatic, or have a passion for healing. Example: Wael Ghonim
11. The Purist
Happy, trusting and honest, the Purist is a natural people person. They have a type of innocence that attracts people from all over. They are wholesome, forgiving and kind. Example: Kate Middleton
12. The Rebel
Rebels have big dreams and strong ideals, yet can tend to get themselves in trouble with their fearless and revolutionary nature. They are not afraid to break cultural norms if they are doing what they feel is right. Example: Julian Assange
These brand persona’s and the need to define and differentiate your personal brand, knows no international boundaries.
Keep the conversation flowing… which archetype best describes your personal brand?