Monday, April 28, 2008

A Leader's Image

From their book Building an Authentic Leadership Image, Corey Criswell and David Campbell give 8 image busters that every leader needs to be aware of:
  1. Too much seriousness - Leaders don't need to be serious to be taken seriously. Smile every once in a while. Show that you can take a joke and can handle pressure with grace.
  2. Weak speaking skills - People can spot a bad speaker a mile away. Poor speaking skills will not be tolerated for very long. Pay attention to not only what you are saying but how you are saying it.
  3. Lack of clarity - Listeners tune out when the speaker is just rambling. Speaking with focus conveys a message of effectiveness.
  4. Self-absorption - Be aware of the number times you use the pronouns "I", "me", and "my" when speaking; these isolate rather than gather. People want to be involved not just reported to.
  5. Lack of Interest - Adding passion and energy to what you are saying conveys that you are interested in what's you are saying.
  6. Obvious Discomfort - It is painful to watch a speaker who is genuinely uncomfortable in front of an audience. If you are tentative or uncomfortable in your role others will see it and question your leadership (especially in times of crisis).
  7. Inconsistency - In your role as a leader, your role and your reputation become intertwined. Showing your self reliable and consistent (in all areas of your life) will aid in your leadership.
  8. Defensiveness - An unwillingness to consider other views, a knee-jerk defense of your position or decision, or an inability to seek and hear feedback all undermine your image as a capable, effective leader.

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