Tuesday, October 9, 2012

What is Your Presence?

     As a leader in any setting you bring presence.  What do I mean by a presence?  In this sense I am talking about how you make people feel.  Do you make them feel uncomfortable?  Do you give the impression that you care?  Do you give people the feeling that you invite and value their input?  What type of image do you project as a leader?  In all these questions, along with others that you could come up with, lead to your presence in your organization.
     Did you know that your presence can be establish even before you get a new job?  Several years ago I had a colleague tell me about a job situation that he had just gone through.  He had left a position that had a terrible working atmosphere.  People hated coming to work and they disliked the direction the organization was headed.  Through an opportunity he was able to move from that organization to a new one.  He was still working the same type of job but it was for a new organization.  He knew that this new job would be a piece of cake because the guy he was replacing was fired for stealing from the company.  He said to himself, "This will guy will be easy to follow because I am honest and don't have a problem with stealing".  It turned out to a terrible situation.  The environment and presence of that position he was taking over had no trust with anyone.  The guy before him was a crook so everyone from then on was always checking to see if everything was being accounted for.  It was a nightmare of no trust already established before his first day at work.
     How do you maintain a presence that convenes trust, openness, kindness, fairness, and any of the positive virtues that a quality leader needs to have?  You have those characteristics each and every day in each and every situation.  Are you going to be perfect?  No, and trust me people know that about you.  No one is perfect.  When leaders aren't batting one thousand in a situation, the great thing is we can go back and try and remedy the strike out.  We will have another plate appearance to make a hit with the people we work with.   People can appreciate that openness of making a mistake and trying to make it right later.  Leaders are human.  Leaders will have to admit to the "Elephant in the Room" when something isn't handle correctly on their part.  They might have to apologize to make things correct.  They might have to fix what they broke, which could be trust.  This could take time.  If you have been a leader that has done this I would invite you to try and build that bridge of trust and help your presence as a leader.  It's not the easiest thing to do but you will be a better person for it.

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