Leadership — Take it Personally

Leadership — Take it Personally

Leadership — Take it Personally 150 150 Diane McNally

What’s your leadership style? How many times have you been asked that question? It’s hard to answer something so personal; maybe it is something you never have thought about.

So many factors add up to your style, or as I like to call it, your “presence”. But, what is “presence”? Some think of it as the “X factor” or “that thing” that defines your leadership personality or brand. Regardless of what you call it, cultivating your leadership identity is important. It helps frame your values, what’s important to you and how you interact in the world as a leader.

Let’s start with some basics.

Self-awareness: It is critical to “know thyself” and to be clear about how you are viewed by others at all levels in the organization, as well as by outside audiences.

Confidence: An authentic sense of confidence instills trust and transmits a sense of stability and calm, even when times get tough.

Self-efficacy: This refers to basic navigational behaviors that impact our effectiveness. How organized are you? Do you show up on time? How about your ability to conduct effective meetings, give impactful presentations or to keep your cool? A leadership truth: everyone is watching.

Engagement: You don’t have to have charisma or a lot of glitz and glamour to be engaging. Do you make a compelling case for your vision? Do you inspire others and get them involved? Do you share credit and help others see how their work matters? Engaging leaders do all of these.

Values-Driven: Sometimes the downfall of the most effective leaders is a breach of values. There are countless “fall from grace” stories that bear witness to this. As leaders, we must relentlessly align our behavior with our values and “walk the talk”, always. always, always.

How do you measure up on these personal leadership attributes? Perhaps it is time for a tune-up. Check out how you are doing by completing this brief assessment.

  No  Sometimes Yes
I know how others see me.
I am calm under pressure.
I appear organized and in control.
I conduct productive meetings.
I give impactful presentations.
I make eye contact when speaking with others.
I listen more than I talk.
I ask others about themselves.
I have a firm handshake.
I am gracious even in the face of rudeness.
My appearance is polished and professional.
My body language shows that I am engaged.
I pay full attention when others are talking.
I am engaged when meeting others.
I have a sense of urgency without appearing impatient.
My posture exudes confidence.
I speak clearly and in appropriate tones.
I use humor, appropriately.
I greet people by name (if known).

What personal attributes can you improve upon? What strengths can you leverage to be even more effective? Give it some thought. Take it personally.