Weekly Impact is written for leaders by our former Executive Director, Garth Jestley, who has decades of experience in senior leadership roles in the financial services sector. Each week he will share insights on life, leadership and faith.
“And who knows but that you have come to your royal position [Esther as queen of Persia] for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:14(b))
“You intended to harm me, but God intended it [Joseph as prime minister of Egypt] for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.” (Genesis 50:20)
As a marketplace leader, have you ever asked “what is my personal brand?” or “how am I positioned?” The relationship between these two questions is captured in the following excerpt from a Wikipedia article on “positioning.”
“Positioning refers to the place that a brand occupies in the mind of the customer and how it is distinguished from products from competitors. In order to position products or brands, companies may emphasize the distinguishing features of their brand (what it is, what it does and how, etc.) or they may try to create a suitable image (inexpensive or premium, utilitarian or luxurious, entry-level or high-end, etc.) through the marketing mix.”
This positioning concept can be applied to our personal lives. In fact, our conduct – our words and actions – plays an important role in positioning our personal brand. It might be instructive (possibly disconcerting!) to ask others to help us identify how we are positioned; i.e., our perceived character traits.
On a related note, do we position ourselves as individuals with a unique life purpose and calling or as individuals indistinguishable from the crowd? Arguably, the latter is not “positioning” at all, since the essence of branding is differentiating one product from another. While it is true that we are not competing with others in every facet of life, it is also true that our level of influence with others reflects the strength of our personal brand differentiation.
Marketplace leaders are, by definition, “positioned” to be influencers.
The foregoing discussion relates to how I am positioned. A related question is “Why do I have a position?” Marketplace leaders are, by definition, “positioned” to be influencers. On the one hand, if we believe we are simply the end product of chance and time, this “why” question is irrelevant. On the other hand, if we are followers of Jesus, it is arguably the most important and relevant question we could ask.
In the opening quotations from the Bible, positioning is all about the “why” question. Both Queen Esther and Prime Minister Joseph were granted huge influence by the autocratic rulers of these nations in accordance with God’s plans and purposes. In their cases, the purpose was the saving of their people.
If you are a marketplace leader who follows Jesus, do you appreciate that God has positioned you as a leader for the purpose of bringing the good news of salvation through Jesus to your peers? If you are not a follower of Jesus, would you like to know more about the relevance of faith in God in your professional and personal life?
Garth Jestley is a husband, father, grandfather, leader and business executive. Most importantly, he is a follower of Jesus Christ.