May 15, 2018|Kim's Blog|
Lessons in leadership - personal brand, presence, stages

I took myself along recently to Buzzacott acccountants’ “taster session” from its leadership development programme. The workshop covered four short lessons in leadership – personal brand, presence, stages and loneliness.

Personal leadership brand

I’ve written about personal branding before (see, for example, and

Jan Carrington led us through some discussions to help us identify our values (with a values audit) so that we could be congruent, consistent and authentic. She also advocated curiosity and the need for feedback. She provoked discussion about whether your brand reflects who you are, what you do, how you appear, how you are perceived, how you are different and your key messages.

After encouraging everyone to consider their goals (What do you want to be known for? What do you need to achieve this year? What is expected of you?), she offered a useful device using the phrase “I am known for being…which enables me to”.


Emma Howard, broadcast journalist, talked about presentation skills whether standing in front of an audience or sitting around a table. There were useful hints about your blind spots (those sitting either side of you), loose energy which causes fidgeting (sometimes called displacement activity) and dividing the audience into three parts (front, middle and back).

She offered guidance on both the development of the content and the delivery of presentations And she had high praise for the techniques used by TED lecturers She also talked about the power of storytelling

Her top tips included: drink water, engage with the audience, use the stage, ad-lib, handle technical data, maintain control (and recovery) and rehearse.

Stages of leadership and transitions

Joan O’Connor used Charan’s leadership pipeline model to identify what behaviours must cease and start during the transition through each stage:

  1. Managing self
  2. Managing others
  3. Managing managers
  4. Functional leader
  5. Business leader
  6. Enterprise leader

There was discussion on a range of leadership skills such as:



Emotional intelligence


Strategic thinking



Eliot Glover talked of the isolation and loneliness that can be experienced by leaders – caused sometimes by the confidential nature of information, making unpopular decisions, changing relationships with the team, the need to reassure by being decisive in turbulent times and the fear of being perceived as weak if asking for help.

The value of Non-Executive Directors ( and acting as a “critical friend” and external coaches and mentors providing a safe sounding board was discussed. The value of networking to create a pool of like-minded people with similar roles and experiences was also mentioned.

He talked about the different styles as you ascend the leadership ladder – collaborate, consensus, convenience and command – and the pros and cons of each approach. I particularly liked his quote “There is no permanent cure for leadership loneliness – only regular treatments”.

Further details of the Buzzacott modular new manager pathway programme

Marketing and business development professionals leadership and change management training