Does Your Presence Inspire People to Inspire Each Other?
Editor’s Note: This post is part of the “Leadership Presence” series, a weeklong effort co-hosted by Switch & Shift and the good people at CEO.com. Keep track of the series here and check our daily e-mail newsletter for all posts. Don’t subscribe? Sign up.
Many leaders believe that their presence must be the dominant force in the room. Yet if they are always the dominant force in the room, will others engage, commit, and own the goals? Or will people always be looking to the leaders? And what happens when the leaders are not in the room?
Great leadership presence is not the dominant force in a room. It is inspiration that moves people to inspire each other.
What leadership behaviors create this inspirational presence?
Leaders who are self-aware ooze confidence without arrogance. They inspire others to own and contribute their strengths. They also model how to stop individual weaknesses from hurting the team’s success. Self-awareness is emotionally intelligent and breeds emotional intelligence in others. This is an inspirational asset to any team.
Humility smoothes resistance to change. It builds trust by removing any hint of selfishness or hidden agenda. It flows throughout the organization with tremendous influence. It inspires others by defining humility as strength not weakness. Humility keeps everyone listening and learning — a tremendous advantage to any business.
Integrity affords respect to others and earns respect in return. Ask any team member what trait they value in leaders and they will say integrity. It inspires everyone to put the needs of the organization at the forefront of their day. It sets the performance bar high without morphing into perfectionism. It becomes the model that inspires everyone. It instills a happy pride that sustains team engagement.
Optimism and Realism
Leaders who think positively and empathize with people’s difficulties inspire initiative and persistence in others. This is leadership presence. They don’t deny the landscape by focusing too much on the sky. Likewise, they don’t burden others by forcing them into the ditches of negativity claiming it’s reality. They uplift with optimism and realism and inspire others to do the same.
Truly great leaders can change course with confidence. They overcome the comfort of habit, the embarrassment of a failed vision, and barrages of criticism from change resistant teams. Their confidence redefines changing course from weakness to strength. It inspires belief in the new direction and in the value of agility. This is the leadership presence that sets some companies apart from all others. Think about how many companies feel obliged to bring in a new leader to set a new course. The companies whose existing leader can change the course are unique standouts.
To be humble to superiors is duty, to equals is courtesy, and to subordinates is nobility. ~Benjamin Franklin
It there is one behavior that says leadership presence, it is balance. Great leaders don’t get caught in the myth that moderation means mediocrity. They know when to speak and when to listen, when to tell and when to ask. They know when to give and when to receive. They use both bold strokes and subtle moves. They see the big picture and welcome necessary details. They are authentic while adapting to those they lead.
They know one true secret in their gut: Balance sustains growth while moderating risk. When you have balance your competition can’t through you off course. This is leadership presence.
Develop and exhibit this leadership presence and inspire people to inspires others.
Create the positive pulse that ignites talents to solve the toughest problems. Show humility and integrity. Display agility to change and balance to get to the finish line. Call everyone to reach the high bar and to sow it throughout the organization. Your leadership presence then creates an evolving organization that is self-sustaining.
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©2014 Kate Nasser, CAS, Inc. This post was written specifically for Switch and Shift blog. If you want to repost or republish this post, please email her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for respecting intellectual capital.