Being a strong leader is a combination of a number of things. For some, it is a natural gift—a magnetism that makes them an effective leader. For others, leadership is a quality built up over time, constructed and refined and practiced until it becomes engrained in one’s personality.
The first thing someone notices about us is our appearance and behavior. They see how we dress, hear how we speak, and notice how we hold ourselves. All these things are then added up to make an initial assessment. Your image, therefore, is of particular importance.
However, in addition to your appearance, it is important to consider other elements that define your leadership. Here are some additional tips to think about from your friends at Dale Carnegie Training of Central Ohio:
Find a balance — The boss who runs a company with an iron fist is one that leads by fear. Smart leaders know how to strike a balance between being both strong and supportive. Unfortunately, this is easier said than done, as you have to straddle a fine line between being a leader who can take a joke and one that commands respect and authority. But whatever you do, never toggle between the two types in extremes, or you will lose your employees’ respect.
Avoid self-absorption — Whether your company consists of three employees or three hundred employees, the moment your business becomes more than just you, it becomes a team—a unified group moving toward a mutual goal. Remember, isolating yourself from your employees is never a smart business move. Strong leaders are inclusive, not exclusive.
Show interest and energy — When you were a student, you probably had at least one teacher that was not only boring, but also lethargic. Conversely, you probably remember a teacher who possessed a lot of energy, which made their classes fly by and the course seem more interesting. The same can be said of business leaders. Strong leaders possess a genuine passion for what they do that turns the daily grind into a welcome challenge.
Practice your speaking skills — The ability to speak articulately is a powerful tool that lends itself well to projecting credibility as a leader, and as such is something you should not take lightly.
Communicate with clarity — Part of strong communication is communicating with clarity—and not just verbally, but in written form as well. For an example of how speech influences people’s perceptions, consider former President George W. Bush, whose limited speaking skills led to the publication of numerous “Bushisms” books. This influenced the opinions of many Americans, who were quick to judge President Bush as a leader not on his accomplishments, but based solely on his speech faux pas.
For more information about developing your leadership image join us for our “Dale Carnegie Course: Effective Communications & Human Relations/Skills For Success” being held in Zanesville on June 5!
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