Most of the roles played by leaders involve communication, strategizing, and knowledge acquisition within the organization. However leaders can also benefit from having the ability to communicate and contribute externally as representatives of their teams or organizations. Here’s the challenge though, leaders tend to engage in networking, industry, or community events without a clear understanding of how to promote their company’s brands, services, tools, or a clear goal for how to elevate the company. The role of a leader as ambassador is often overlooked or minimized, but it can have a huge impact on the organization, or moving the industry forward.
Here are three ways you can enhance your success in the role of company ambassador.
- Build your networks outside of the organization. Get strategic about your involvement with the industry, or the business community. Start an industry body through meetup, or with your company and host events that move the industry forward as a whole via learning and sharing. You might join some professional associations, attend industry conferences and meetings, maybe even volunteer to speak, or participate in a panel discussion. Increase your visibility by visiting customer sites, or working to build some strategic partnerships that will increase the value you provide for your clients. You could also generate goodwill by volunteering with a civic organization, or working for a charitable cause. Company-sponsored or not, besides making you feel great by giving back, it can also help boost your credibility as a company ambassador.
- Make sure you can articulate your company’s brand, vision, mission, purpose. Whether you’re attending a business function, or an industry event, someone will eventually ask, what do you do, and what does your company do? In the ambassador’s role, you want to be able to concisely describe the purpose of your organization and the types of customers you serve, the benefits you provide, the problems you solve. Identify that elevator pitch that includes the vision and practice it so you can paint a consistent and positive picture of the organization!! In the age of smartphones and social media, always remember that whatever you say, or do, could instantly be publicized. Your reputation and your company’s reputations are at stake.
- Do your part to attract top talent. As a company leader, you are a living, breathing endorsement for choosing your organization as an employer. Are you a role model? Someone whom other industry leaders would want to work with or work for? Be cognizant of your unofficial impact on recruiting, be involved and make it your mission to appeal to those who could eventually join the organization. Especially those who are talented and in demand throughout the industry.
While some leaders naturally shy away from stepping into the role of ambassador, it just comes with the territory, which highlights the importance of being diplomatic and socially fluid. These are skills you can develop and enhance. If you want to be successful in this leadership role, just make sure you recognize and appreciate the immense responsibility involved with being the face of the organization.