Branding - Changing - Serving Leadership
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The above examples show that leaders are able to considerably influence a company's reputation and success through their behavior. There is even empirical evidence for the fact that in the external perception a CEO's image correlates with the image of the company brand. Also, a CEO's image and prominence has an influence on media coverage. This was revealed by a survey of 137 communication managers of Germany's 500 most profitable companies (Grubendorfer 2012, pp. 5 & 6).
The same holds for the internal perception. Ehren (2005) states that the manner in which employees perceive the corporate brand depends on whether and how leaders act in a brand-compliant way.
Hence, brands are largely shaped by a company's leaders. This view is still relatively new. Thomas Gad made use of the term 'Leadership Branding' for the first time in 2003. He concluded an essay by stating that branding is closely linked to entrepreneurship and, therefore, to leadership. Branding, Gad holds, is a convenient way of reproducing oneself - both as an entrepreneur and as a leader. For this reason, he considers it an efficient and simple way of leading (Gad 2005, pp. 183-198).
By shaping a brand, leaders provide their employees with orientation. With everyone within an organization being able to identify with the respective brand, it is ensured that work is performed in line with this idea.
The first step of the present paper is to give a more detailed definition of leadership branding. The second step is to explain how leadership branding is implemented successfully. The final step is to show on the basis of well-known leadership personalities and their companies how leadership can be successfully implemented in business practice.
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