Do you know how powerful you are?
I like to ask this question of leaders. The modern corporation is a compelling defining institution in modern society. This means that the leaders within it are equally as powerful.
Where does this individual power come from? To a high degree it comes from the connectivity of the system. When I join a team, I become connected with those people – and especially with my leader. For example, I become highly aware of his/her moods, thinking and responses. And I find myself often reacting to these.
By implication – as a leader – how I show up makes a difference on those around me. I can either inspire or demotivate them simply by my presence – my actions (and lack of). So, If I’m quiet or distant, what message is that sending? What about if I’m domineering and bombastic – what tone does that set? Or, what if I just take over (verbally or otherwise)?
There might be times when these behaviors are needed. But what about when they’re not?
It’s then that we can choose to have what we like to call a less-anxious presence. Some sample ways to think about his are:
- I listen with intention and sincerity
- I ask questions first
- I dig into details for clarity only – avoiding getting into the weeds unnecessarily
- I put out my best thinking and don’t hold back – respectfully, but clearly
- I take necessary action
Your presence in the system matters. It’s very powerful. And it can make all the difference.
So I have to ask, how are you showing up – virtually? All of
these dynamics above can be communicated via technology. In a recent WSJ
articlethe author notes the importance working to replicate the power of “actually
being there.” She comments on the importance of “the small nods, interjections
and changes in gaze” that we use when communicating. It takes a little more
effort, but it’s doable.
 The Science of Staying Connected, Dr. Susan Pinker, Wall Street Journal, April 4 – 5, 2020