Welcome to 2011! My guess is that we all approach this year with a lot of excitement and maybe some angst about all that we have and want to get done this year. So often…too often, we tend to think about our lives in terms of what we accomplish. This is critical, no doubt. My challenge for you, though, is to look through another lense as well, the lense of who you are.
I’m sometimes asked what I believe is the most effective leadership technique or tool. We’re all trying to “crack the code” and find that key or secret for being a great leader. The reality is that the leader’s most powerful leadership tool is the leader’s self. I refer to it as the leader’s presence.
Too often we think of leadership as a series of actions, or even a list of “to-do’s.” “If I just do this or that, then I’ll be doing what a good leader does.” While there’s truth to this, it falls short. Leadership is not so much a matter of doing as it is a way of being. It’s not so much what I do every day but who I am.
Who you are as a person will also determine who you are as a leader. And it will also determine how effective you will be in that role. This is the leaders’ presence. This may be a subtle nuance, but it’s a powerful one.
So my initial question to you is, what is it like for employees, peers, customers and vendors when they are in your presence? How do they experience you? Frenzied? Neurotic? Anxious? Closed book or unapproachable? Angry? Or do they gain a calming, thinking, powerful presence? A healthy, challenging, engaging and, dare I say, loving presence?
Who are you as a person? Who are you as a leader? The answer to these questions is identical. And it’s this leadership presence that, among other things, we’ll explore in LeadershipGravitas.