Maiksteniene, K. (2008), "Leadership Brand: Developing Customer‐focused Leaders to Drive Performance and Build Lasting Value", Baltic Journal of Management, Vol. 3 No. 2, pp. 232-234. https://doi.org/10.1108/17465260810875532
Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Finally, a book for human resource professionals about building corporate image and strengthening company's competitive edge. Or, should we say, a book for marketers about leadership? In the light of converging managerial functions and roles, it may depend only on the mindset of the reader!
To those who are HR‐minded, Ulrich and Smallwood's book Leadership Brand is a strong statement that approach to leadership should not be detached from what the firm stands for in the eyes of customers and investors. It is a reminder that a powerful and charismatic leader can develop a personal brand that overpowers the organization's own brand, and that company's long‐term success depends not so much on building leaders, but on building continuity of company‐specific leadership over time.
To marketing professionals, the book emphasizes a need to create leaders who are differentiated from leaders in other firms. As marketers seek to reassure that customer experience at every touch point reflect consistent company's value proposition and desired brand image, there is a timely reminder: too intense a spotlight on the personal qualities of the individual, or “celebrity” leader may be naïve and incomplete. Similar to corporate brand encapsulating many individual products, leadership brand should stand on top of the company's leader brand portfolio as the ultimate identifier.
Authors define leadership brand as a shared identity among organization's leaders that differentiates what they can do from what rival organizations' leaders can do. Leadership branding occurs when many company's leaders exhibit distinct leadership practices over a number of years, and think and act in ways congruent with the desired product or firm brand. The very term brand in the book title should be understood as continuity metaphor.
Majority of book chapters are organized around presentation of a six‐step process for building leadership brand:
build a case for leadership brand;
create a leadership brand statement;
assess leaders against the brand;
invest in leadership brand;
measure leadership brand investment; and
build leadership brand awareness to key stakeholders.
The entire book is built on a premise that leaders matter but leadership matters more. Rather than merely outlining the abovementioned six steps, authors succeed in immersing readers into the process of leadership brand building. Additional chapters and tools in this book are instrumental in telling how to preserve leadership brand, what are the implications of personal brand. Appendices identify and discuss criteria for a firm brand, and present additional information on firms with leadership brand.
Being at the crossroads of several disciplines, Ulrich and Smallwood's Leadership Brand contributes to breaking down the traditional compartmentalization of knowledge within organization. Based on research and backed up with numerous real examples, this book makes a good read for both analytical and inspiration‐seeking minds who seek to ensure the long‐term institutionalization of a company brand and who want to avoid generic leadership.
Dalton, G.W. and Thompson, P.H. (1986), Novations: Strategies for Career Management, Scott, Foresman, Glenview, IL.