Recently, I had the outstanding opportunity to deliver an Executive Development Program for a new client in Mumbai. While there, it was also India Pride Month. I was excited to learn my client celebrated with #LGBTQ educational workshops and art installations. This was a pivotal point for me. Fully immersed within an ancient culture evolving so dramatically before my eyes, while also watching leaders from varied backgrounds emerge to pledge support for the wider LGBTQ community. Leaders that would walk side by side on a new journey to help celebrate, educate and provide safe spaces for the wider LGBTQ community to thrive in India. This was an outstanding experience - not only as an observer, but as a gay man. For more info search #queeristan.
Taking part in all this amazing activity while in Mumbai helped me reflect upon my views on what makes great leaders great. From my perspective – we’re ALL Leaders! That’s right – whoever you are, what ever you do, wherever you work/attend school/volunteer/live or however you define your family construct – YOU ARE A LEADER. People look to you for Guidance, Support, Inspiration, Understanding, Empathy, Help and Direction.
I call this theory - Leadership without Title. I also feel we can embody and build Executive Presence even without the "official" title. How? Here are a few ideas.
EQ is Fundamental
EQ is your Emotional Intelligence. EQ is defined and measured in how you effectively build rapport with others and how you connect through emphatic communication. In other words – are you able to flex your own communication style through deep awareness of self to gain the shared outcomes of your team, family or community?
Be a Change Chaser
Life is change, evolution is necessary to thrive. Sometimes, a revolution is necessary too. Either way, to stay in ones status quo because its comfortable means we don’t grow. Therefore, becoming an agent of change, looking for new, better, faster, happier ways to live is the mark of a great leader. Refer to my early blog for ideas on how to best build change.
Innovate to Create
Looking at life through a different lens helps us see how we can do better. Human innovation and evolution encourages us to seek “Life/Work/Business Hacks” for diverse ways of living and going about life. Innovation to create the new and encouraging others to do the same is a mark of a strong leader who seeks more, greater, best.
Be Disarmingly Positive
A very good friend and mentor of mine once told me to be “Relentlessly Cheerful.” Her take on effective leadership was, “Everything is fixable, solvable and changeable: as long as you stay positive, collaborate and seek to find solutions." She also went on to advise, “Who has the answer doesn’t matter, it’s the answer that matters." This is the mark of a great leader, finding the way through adversity: with a smile!
Inspire and Perspire
People achieve outstanding outcomes when their hearts and minds are fully engaged. How do we achieve this, inspire others to achieve and then actively join them on the journey. In other words, “Talking the Talk then Walking the Walk.” People are fully engaged when they see great leaders getting involved, doing the hard yards and getting their hands dirty. A sideline instructor does not a leader make.
We can all embody Executive Presence and live strong Leadership values without the title every day. May it be in our workplace, with our families and in our community. Be the Leader you always wish you had.
Contact me today and learn how I can run my breakthrough Executive Presence Program for your company.