One very successful CFO of a Fortune 500 company said “I don’t do anything anymore.”
He said that his day is spent in meetings and talking to people. “Every day passes and I cannot point to any one thing I have done. When I was 32 years old, I knew when I had completed a report, or the accounting books balanced I could go home. The fact is, being an effective leader is not about the tasks!”
Good leaders set the tone of the organization’s culture. Leaders set examples that others follow – good or bad. It’s the perception of the choices you make as a leader that drive others’ behaviors in the organization. Being conscious of every interaction and the message it sends is essential.
One of my clients was a leader who still took pride in getting things done. When he became a client he had a major shift and summed up what he learned as “I now see that I’m not here to get tasks done; I’m here to create culture”.
Here are 3 quick tips to show the power of executive presence in seemingly mundane, ordinary moments:
1) Be aware of your impact in the pressure of the moment. According to Gallup, 70% of why people do what you want them to do is based on how you handle the mundane moment.
2) Be the calm airline pilot during turmoil. The more out of control your world gets, the slower you need to move, speak and think; when you are back in control, that’s when you can speed up again. No one wants a nervous airline pilot – don’t you be the one making them nervous!
2) You are the company to those you lead. Those below you interpret the company’s health by your reactions, so be more aware of the nonverbal and content messages you’re communicating (both live and electronically). If you look afraid and discouraged … they will amplify your fear and become dysfunctional. If you are seen as optimistic and courageous … they will follow.
For a free list of 23 Mundane Moments go to 23 Mundane Moments List