When people refer to or remember leaders, you seldom hear them speak of their capability or intelligence. They get remembered for the way people heard them speak, felt them respond, and their experiences of interactions with them.
A leader is best
when people barely know that he exists,
Not so good when people obey and acclaim him, Worst of all when they despise him.
A good leader, who talks little,
When his work is done, his aim fulfilled,
They will say,
“We did this ourselves.”
The theory of born leaders has been debated by theorists and gurus, and to all the myths that play around; it is an established fact that ‘Leadership Can Be Learned’
When you pave your path as a leader, you are being ‘Watched – Heard – Felt’.
Your knowledge and expertise can lead you, but to lead others they need to make sense of all you mean to them!
People and Perception: A lot about a leader is understood by the way people translate and how they interpret what they see. When you appear calm, yet motivated, relaxed and yet driven, humble yet assertive, they interpret the results that they would derive while interacting with and following you. Your persona and character strongly depend upon how you appear. It is less about your actual attire, but more about your being able to project your image in a manner that makes you approachable. Your humility and empathy can be seen in your overall demeanour and your nature gets interpreted by the warmth and approachability. People want to connect with someone who appears connectable. From your body language to your sense of the way you carry yourself and express your perspective is a strong translator of who you are. Seeing is believing, so choose your attire to express warmth and approachability. Being over dressed to the occasion often signals people to be wary of who you might actually be. More than your attire and confidence, people pick up signals of your humility and courage!
When people interact with leaders, they want to respect the person not because of the authority or position, but because of the way they express themselves, and because of the manner in which their words impact them and their situations & circumstances.
Leadership Conversation: The golden old line, ‘What you say is half as important as how you say it’ holds strongly true. When people interact with others, they only translate what they see and hear. Your choice of words need to be more empathetic than authoritative, warm yet assertive. If you hear the speeches of most successful leaders, you will find their vocabulary is simple, holistic and empathetic. Complex language often perplexes people and challenges them to pause listening and start analysing. In the most difficult times, leaders choose the simplest lines to share meaning and motivate people to reflect and respond in thought. The choice of being assertive and not aggressive, simple vs complex and direct vs convoluted is the most appreciated fact by other. Choose your words carefully, yet be simple, straight and empathetic.
Your kinaesthetic sense is a combination of touch, taste and smell. With these 3 senses live, we human beings translate and perceive a lot about our environment. The 3 make up the way we feel!
People and Managing Feelings: You will often hear people narrate their experience when they have met with leaders and the words almost say ‘It was so comfortable and easy interacting with this person’. The way people feel about you is critical for your leadership perception to hold appropriately. With the appropriate visual and auditory perception, this factor of feel is important to instil confidence and humility. From your greeting and handshake, to your gestures, body odour to your posture are all factors that support the impact of how people feel. Your authority needs to be felt, yet admired. Admiration comes from command, and demand seldom works effectively.
Respect is commanded! it begins with the respect of others and culminates with self discipline. Self-discipline is always an admired virtue. When people have expectations and a leader stands good to responding to them, then you often hear ‘He never fails in actions’
Self Discipline and Expectations: Ones sense of time, sense of response, sense of habits is all those factors that contribute to the way people predict behaviours. When a leader meets on demand of self-discipline and his sense of responsiveness, then people have the confidence they believe they need in a leader. Role modelling, walking the talk, punctuality and consistency are those factors that have no room for compromise for successful leadership. Remember, people only translate what they hear, see, feel and experience. Great leaders demonstrate this consistently.
LEADERSHIP IS A POTENT COMBINATION OF STRATEGY AND CHARACTER, BUT IF YOU MUST BE WITHOUT ONE, BE WITHOUT THE STRATEGY – Norman Schwarzkopf
People do not remember leaders for how successful the leader was, they only recall how leaders helped them succeed!
People and Their Success: The leader the mentor, the leader the coach are those roles that people never forget. Help to people means various things, but mentoring & coaching means a very specific thing to all. When a leader coaches & mentors effectively, people feel special, and special because they believe that the leader was concerned about their potential and he helped them explore their capability to bring out the best in them! Observe, listen, empathise and coach. Bring out the best in others.
email@example.com – People Development & Change Specialist and Life Coach