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 How To Project Leadership

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reggie
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reggie


Male Number of posts : 639
Age : 57
Registration date : 2007-07-26

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PostSubject: How To Project Leadership   How To Project Leadership Icon_minitimeFri Jul 27, 2007 11:59 am

How To Project Leadership


Business man in boardroom - Credit: iStockPhoto.com
Learning to project leadership
There you are, sitting at the head of the conference table staring into the faces of your new subordinates. They know youíve never led this group before. They know youíre new to this leadership position. Heck, they may even be aware that youíve never held a leadership position since you were the captain of your foosball team.

As a result, you might be asking yourself, ďHow do I project the leadership skills of Napoleon Bonaparte when my team is looking at me like Napoleon Dynamite?Ē

The short answer is: You fake it. But faking leadership is an art form in and of itself, and one that has been practiced by newly minted leaders that range from ancient royal princes to President George W. Bush.

There are a few ways to legitimately project leadership, and they all come down to knowing how to manage your power position without revealing how little you actually know. Most new leaders are capable of leading, but they must first face the challenge and understand the role and process of being a leader.
Lead the charge
The hallmark of a good leader is his ability to set the tone of the organization. That means showing up first and leaving last. It means that if you want your salespeople to make 50 phone calls per day, show them youíre willing to make 100.

No one can discredit a leader who is willing to work harder than everyone else. Thatís why certain generals are famous; they led the charge into battle, demonstrating a willingness to lead and to assume more risk than anyone else.
Say as little as possible
Very often the most commanding role you can take in a meeting is to say nothing at all. Young people harbor the misconception that the smartest guy in the room does all the talking and is, therefore, in the leadership role. Later on they learn that the smartest guy in the room needs to say the least.

If youíre in a leadership position, and you want to project an image of being more confident and more mature, keep your mouth shut in a meeting and stay intently focused on the conversation. When you do speak, your words will carry more weight.
Listen first, speak second
Instead of rushing into quick decisions, try to absorb as much information as possible. Itís amazing how many suggestions you wonít make if you spend more time listening than speaking.

In our everyday conversations, weíre eager to share our points of view on a variety of topics, maybe about a movie or our favorite sports team. In those circumstances, itís unnecessary to choose our words very carefully and the consequences of being incredibly wrong are minor. In the context of a leadership role, though, those rules change significantly.

Often the solution to a problem requires you to spend a great deal of time listening to other peopleís points of view before forming your own. If possible, because itís an effective way to project leadership, have the last word in the meeting once youíve collected as much information as possible.
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reggie
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reggie


Male Number of posts : 639
Age : 57
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How To Project Leadership Empty
PostSubject: Re: How To Project Leadership   How To Project Leadership Icon_minitimeFri Jul 27, 2007 12:00 pm

Ask lots of questions
A common misconception that many people have is that those who ask lots of questions must have the fewest number of answers. Not so. The smartest leaders learn to ask lots of questions in order to get to the bottom of challenges. Learn to dig. Most leadership decisions become very obvious when a manager digs deep enough into the problem.

What youíll also find is that many ďobviousĒ questions go unanswered because the answers seem equally obvious. If a project is behind and no one seems to know why, donít just stop at ďwhoís responsible?Ē Find out the entire order of events and begin to see if there is a larger problem behind why the work isnít getting done. Many larger problems go overlooked by unseasoned managers because they are afraid to ask the hard questions.
Make firm decisions
A bold leader makes confident decisions. Waffling on an issue is a horrible way to project the importance of your decision.

Imagine an army general giving his squad the command to take a hill and then, halfway into the order, pausing to say, ďWell, maybe we shouldnít.Ē Even if itís a bad decision, your troops want to know that itís the only decision youíre willing to support.

This doesnít mean that you canít change your mind, but if you do, be sure to make those changes few and far between and only in the most dire of circumstances. Every time you change your mind there is a ripple effect -- it not only makes people question your current decision, it causes them to potentially question other decisions down the road.
everyone fakes it
Donít worry if you have to pretend that you know what youíre doing during your first time at bat as a leader -- everyone does. Most companies donít offer leadership orientation courses; itís more of a trial by fire.

Besides, leadership isnít about what you read in a book or learn in a class; itís an inherent skill that comes down to knowing how to communicate well and project the confidence of your own abilities. That takes practice, which pretty much means that while youíre practicing, youíre going to fake it.
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