When you look at your performance over the past year, can you see where you really progressed as a leader? Can you see where you would like to develop?
Looking at your own performance isn’t always easy – after all, how you perform as a leader depends a lot on how other people respond to you. What you are really trying to assess is how others see you and the impact you have on them.
I’ve been working with leaders and senior managers for more than 30 years now, and the keys I see to people being able to lift themselves as leaders is insight in both knowing themselves, and understanding the effect they have on other people.
Effective leaders make the effort to really discover how they impact others.
They learn to see themselves through the eyes of others and by doing so, develop a greater understanding and appreciation of the needs of those around them. They see and accept how they themselves are perceived. These leaders are authentic, they create real connections with individuals whether it be one-to-one or in groups. This means they go beyond feedback and really discover how they impact others.
What are the indicators of mutual relationships?
- People feel included by you
- People feel free to approach you
- People confide in you
- People feel OK in pushing back with you, letting you know what they think
- Peers, bosses, and staff come and ask you for your view on things
- People like working with you
- When you are in groups, you have a good sense of what people are thinking and feeling and what you ARE thinking and feeling
- People around you get things done
- You respond to challenging questions simply
- You know how to connect with people
Effective leaders move beyond offering expertise and advice in their specialist area. Peers, staff, and bosses seek them out for opinions and their sound judgment on the big issues around the organisation.
People like this have a high level of what I call “executive presence”. You know you are with someone with executive presence when you want to hear from them, and you want to find out more from them. These are the people that others look to for guidance and direction. In being with them, people are inspired to take action.
This is unlike leaders who may be technically brilliant but tend not to bring their “selves” to the role either in their connections with others or in their responses to developments and decisions in the workplace. One consequence is that they themselves can feel invisible, unheard or unappreciated.
Can you build executive presence or is it something leaders are born with?
I work with people both individually and in groups on developing executive presence and have seen some great results.
Some of the key results people I work with on executive presence want to see are:
- Being sought after to lead cross-government projects
- Peers, bosses, and stakeholders seek them out for their views
- They make positive first impressions without needing content
- They take risks when the stakes are high
- When a peer or senior leader pushes back on their view, they stay engaged
- They are approachable, influential and easy to work with
If you would like to work on any of these things, get in touch with me to discuss what programmes might be right for you.
© Diana Jones