One of my definitions of a leader is someone who is willing to step out in front of the crowd and present his ideas even when they are different from those of the rest of the group. He says “this is what I believe – and why I believe it”. The act of stepping out calls attention to you. What you say will be remembered and connected with you. That’s branding.
Before being ready to take a stand, you must first be able to clearly articulate your message. Learning to clearly communicate is part of the branding process. Once you refine your message and determine the words that will communicate it, you’re ready to take a stand.
Who takes a stand? These are people who have the courage, commitment and confidence to state their message and stand behind it. The more powerful the presentation, the more they will attract “believers and followers”. We know this can be used negatively, as in cults and gangs. Used positively, taking a stand for the better is a great way to allow your market to find you. Those who relate to what you say and do will be your ready market.
Taking a stand makes you memorable. Ex-President, Jimmy Carter, took a stand on how the World might realize Peace. He has set that as his mission, taken action on his convictions and created a new image for himself that’s different from his image while in office.
Taking a stand gives momentum to your courage and commitment. Certainly not everyone agreed with President George W. Bush’s decision to initiate war in Iraq. He took a strong stand and did whatever he could to gain support for his actions. He won over enough people to make it happen.
Taking a stand differentiates you from anyone else and that’s especially valuable in the marketplace. Michelin has branded itself as the “safety conscious” tire manufacturer based on their stand that tires should be dependable and failsafe.
How does one gather the courage, commitment and confidence to take a stand?
Courage comes after success. You’ve probably had your share of failures, but you’ve surely had successes as well. Take what you can learn from your failures. Then determine where you’ve been successful – even on a small scale. Consider why you were able to succeed and calculate how you can apply this to a future scenario. Identifying and acknowledging your successes provides courage.
Commitment comes from both right and left brain agreement. When passion and logic come together, you’re ready to make a commitment.
Confidence comes from acting on your commitment with courage and realizing new successes. When you become confident, you engender confidence from others. People buy from those in whom they have confidence.
What is it you feel strongly about? What can you give? What do you want to give? How is it different from the norm or the common thinking? Go back to your Business Vision and Mission. The foundation for your stand will likely be there. If it’s not, it may be time for an update.
Taking a Stand:
1 – Tells people what to expect from you.
2 – Presents you as a leader, willing to take calculated risks based on what you know and believe.
3 – Provides the basis for building relationships with those who are of like mind.
4 – Connects YOU with your stand. Becomes part of your personal brand.
(Take a Stand – Build a Brand!)
5 – Reinforces your confidence.
6 – Creates visibility and the opportunity to become known as an expert and leader in your field.
My stand is that small business is the foundation upon which we can build a strong economy again. Entrepreneurs have a lot of untapped experience, knowledge, skills and energy. My mission is to create a forum where that strength can be developed and exchanged for the benefit of all. My courage, commitment and confidence are renewed as I continue to receive your support and encouragement.