To mark World Leadership Day, Emmanuel Gobillot, author of Follow the Leader and The Connected Leader, explores the advantages of followership to both leaders and followers
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Executive presence is defined as projecting confidence, speaking with a sense of assuredness, being poised, (especially under pressure) and decisive. People with executive presence are also seen as having the ability to read the room and respond appropriately to situations as they arise. This is where being present plays a critical role.
Much has been written about the glam, gravitas, posture, and positioning of what we loosely refer to as leadership. “Leaders” of this genre enter a room and command it, their stewardship measured in awed silence and respectful tones. Trust and allegiance result naturally, says the mythology, as individual wills fall effortlessly to the leader’s charm and presence.
|Rescooped by Roger Francis from 21st Century skills of critical and creative thinking|
In the ‘horse world’ many of us have believed for years that a herd is, usually, led by a 'lead mare', and that in order to move the herd the 'lead mare' needs to move (there is a role for the alpha male to protect and herd the mares too, that’s a different story). Similar to the story of the alpha wolf, this idea of a dominant leader seemed to match quite well with many of our actual leadership practices in organisations.
Recent research, however, indicates that the ‘lead mare’ as such probably doesn’t exist and that in fact there is some form of distributed leadership in a herd. Often it will be the older, more senior horses who initiate a move and will be followed, and any horse over one year old can and will get the herd to move from time to time. Leadership seems to be more a process than a role in a horse herd too and our concept of the ‘lead mare’ is likely to have been more based on what we wanted to see than on what was there to see. Our theory of leadership in the end preceded the example and saw it to be as we believed it to be.
“Diversity trumps ability” as a sufficiently diverse, large group of non-experts often outperforms a small group of experts,”found Future Perfect authorSteven Johnson. In our increasingly complex, disruptive world, we will face more situations where we’ll benefit from calling on the so-called wisdom of the crowd.
Thus it behooves us to have colleagues with very different work and life experiences, and from diverse professions and industries.
Secondarily, as a connective leader, hone your capacity to recruit and involve them to support you, as you would support them, and to work together around sweet spots of mutual interest. With that diverse network of trusted colleagues you are more able to recruit people who can see a situation from varied perspectives. Plus, when you want to attract attention and support you can recruit unexpected allies to be more compe
It's not the carrot or the stick that causes people to follow a leader; it's whether they feel certain they will achieve what the leader says they'll achieve.
Therefore, to lead effectively, the correct question to ask yourself is: "How do I create a sense of certainty in other people?"
Once again, neuroscience has an answer. Humans have what are called "mirror neurons" in nearly every part of the brain: the premotor cortex, the supplementary motor area, the primary somatosensory cortex, and the inferior parietal cortex.
Mirror neurons cause people to imitate the behaviors they see in others. Therefore, to create certainty in others you must first create certainty in yourself.
This is why great leaders always seem so self-confident. Self-confidence is the outward manifestation of the sense of certainty that they've created within themselves, a certainty that infects everyone around them.
Great leaders must remain authentic.
That’s the most important thing to establishing a real presence as a leader, because people are very good at spotting fakeness. There are certain people that whenever they talk, no matter what they’re saying, everyone listens. We all know someone like this. People respect their opinions, because they have proven themselves. So how can leaders establish and increase their leadership presence?
You know if you are in the presence of someone with gravitas because they hold everyone’s attention instantly and hypnotically, even if you don’t always know why. There are now two rooms in the 21st century. How does a leader own the room when the room is virtual and the audience can be global?
Information technology is revolutionizing products. Once composed solely of mechanical and electrical parts, products have become complex systems that combine hardware, sensors, data storage, microprocessors, software, and connectivity in myriad ways. These “smart, connected products”—made possible by vast improvements in processing power and device miniaturization and by the network benefits of ubiquitous wireless connectivity—have unleashed a new era of competition.
The world’s most successful entrepreneurs are turning to a new business model, by releasing the shackles on their staff and trusting them with unlimited holiday. Rhian Morgan talks to Jenny Biggam, of major media agency the7stars, about how the policy works for them
Dark side characteristics are found in almost everybody’s make up. Anyone working with executives will be aware of how a tough focus can lead to unhelpful behavioural features that strains relationships.
There are, of course, steps that leaders can take to minimise the risks resulting from the dark side of leadership. Ashridge’s latest research, The Leadership Shadow, co-authored by Anthony Kasozi and myself, shows that the shadow side and the bright side of a leader’s personality are intimately connected, but can drift apart upon taking up a pressurised leadership role. These leadership shadows or ‘gremlins’ have the potential to send what’s best about an executive’s leadership over to the dark side.