stand outBecoming a leader in your market is critical to personal branding success.

This foundation must be in place for your personal brand to be an effective and dominant brand.

What qualities are essential for anyone seeking to be a brand leader?


You must have vision and a literal clairvoyance to your market. You must see the trends before the trends.

Your vision must inspire others in your field. Your vision has to be clear and concise.

Others must be able to identify with your vision.

Your market must identify you with your vision.

This vision cannot be in a vacuum, it cannot stand on it’s own, it must face up to scrutiny.

Your vision does not have to be complex. Art Williams Just Do It is a great example although a little dated.


A great leader can communicate in a clear and concise manner. Your market will only follow when you have communicated your intentions clearly.

You must be able to clearly communication your vision. This is such a critical point that even people with sub par abilities as leaders who can communicate often times far exceed others with less skills.

A great leader is always looking for the best way to communicate.

With social media and the current landscape of communication it has never been easier to get your message out.

The number one challenge you will face when communicating in the world today is consistency.

You must make sure you are consistent, in your message, in your vision, in your brand awareness, in every item, blurb, and interaction you have.

So communicate in a clear, concise, and consistent manner.

Ambition and Motivation

Personal branding creates characters. People love characters with ambition. People love to follow people that are motivated by ambition.

Your ambition must motivate those around you. You either have ambition or you don’t. If you don’t immediately start developing what motivates you. Turn this motivation into immediate ambition.

Ambition gets a bad rap mainly because most people identify ambition with conceit. Yes it can be a problem when an ambitious person has an excessive appreciation of their own worth. Ambition in it’s truest form is the desire to achieve a given end.

You must have this inside you. In addition you must inspire ambition in others around you.

Take Action

Pick up any leadership book and at least one chapter will be devoted to leading by example.

Imagine you are sitting in a movie theater and the screen goes blank. It comes back but the sound stops and the movie continues to play. This goes on for about a half a minute… What do you do?

Do you get up and go tell a theater employee there is an issue, or do you stay in your seat and watch and wait as assuming some will fix it?

If you have experienced this or something similar has happened to you notice that maybe at most 2 – 3 people get up. You will hear complaints, whispers, and moans but how many people actually get up and do something about it?

In fact if you look around and listen you will hear things like, oh that guy is going, that girls is getting up… or see on people faces that they are relieved ‘someone is taking care of it’.

This simple experience will illustrate to you that taking action is not an inherit trait everybody posses.

As a leader you must take action.


A leader inspires his market for greater achievements.

This is a common trait among leaders throughout history. This is even more apparent during wartime. When you think of the great leaders of war, Alexander the Great, Churchill, FDR, Ceaser, they all had the ability to inspire.

Often times they were able to achieve tremendous victories while greatly outnumbered. The victories were accomplished by their ability on leadership but also by the sheer fact that they could inspire their troops to fight harder and more focused than their opponent.

You must inspire, if you can inspire your market the payoff will be more than you can imagine.

Something else you will notice when you inspire, the other leaders in your market will begin to take notice. Not only are your prospects looking to be inspired but the leaders in your space want to be inspired as well.

These are just a start…

In no way is this meant to be a full accounting of all the traits you need to possess to be a leader. But consciously spending time asking yourself the following questions will go a long way.

  • Am I providing vision for my market place?
  • Am I communicating my vision, my values, my inspiration in a concise and accurate manner?
  • Am I ambitious and do I cause other to have motivation and ambition?
  • Do I take action? (especially on my vision and inspiration)
  • Do I inspire those around me and my target market?

Ask yourself these questions often as they are like a laser pointer to the foundation of an effective personal brand.

I’ve also included some great follow ups that go into more detail on specific points I made here.

Three Keys to becoming a leader covers courage, interpersonal skills, and ethical behaviors it is a good overview.

How to Be a Leader in Your Field is also a great overview article to help you get on the right track.

Share any specific examples of leadership that inspire you.