I work with many people who have been identified as having leadership potential within their teams and hence use coaching to encourage those skills.
I was therefore pleased to read a 7 point checklist by Toastmaster Carmine Gallo on what it takes to be a leader people can actually believe in.
I think it is a great list for leadership, but would love to hear what you think?
- Demonstrate enthusiasm consistently. No one can get behind a "glass half-empty" leader for very long and positivity is one of the most key attributes to display.
- Articulate a compelling course of action. Have a short vision (10 words or less) that can describe the world if your product or service succeeds. Microsoft’s vision is "a computer on every desk, in every home" which gives an idea of how big the vision is without being long or convoluted.
- Sell the benefit. After my coaching training, I was so enthralled by the power of coaching, I spent most of my time describing the process – and getting nowhere. When I began to concentrate on it’s benefits – increased confidence and sense of being on the right path – people were immediately able to grasp it.
- Tell more stories. In the finance and SET fields we tend to cram our presentations with data, thinking this is the most straightforward way to tell our point or sell our service. Yet, when we think of the presentations we have enjoyed the most and understood the best, it is those where a human story has been included. I personally challenge you to use more stories about people the next time you are presenting to a group of colleagues…and let me know what happens.
- Invite participation. When I am speaking, I always look for ways to engage with the audience as who wants to sit still listening in lecture mode for 45 minutes? It goes down well with the audience and will work well with your team. Ask for feedback, comments or examples of how a product has worked for them. One of my clients asks her team to rotate a presentation about something that has worked well for them as a means of sharing it with their colleagues. Sure, she could tell the team what went well, but this approach has led her team to flourish and take responsibility for their own learning.
- Reinforce an optimistic outlook. Again, attitude is key. Who wants to follow a "victim" who concentrates on the negatives of life?
- Encourage potential. Praise in public, point out problems in private. Invest in training or coaching for your team – it shows you believe in all they could be.