In hindsight, the bedazzled briefcases signaled the debacle ahead. Let's set aside the Best Picture envelope nestled inside that caused the ruckus. The topsy-turvy spectacle was triggered by these black attachès—adorned with the golden logos of the Oscars and PriceWaterhouseCooper. These swag-clad beauties were designed to draw attention to the power couple as the accounting partners sashayed down the red carpet. And therein lies the root cause of the problem. When your accountant walks the runway, leaders should run the other direction.
His greatness — and crossover appeal — lived at the intersection of humanity, athleticism, and activism. Even in death, his presence is felt everywhere. Muhammad Ali was by far the most influential presence in sports. How did he shake up the world and rise from reviled to revered? And what can you do to build your own influential presence? Here are five lessons from Ali’s epic presence that you can use to maximize your own greatness:
You only needed to scroll through the photos of iconic buildings bathed in purple on the days following Price's death to see evidence of his presence. From the Eiffel Tower to the Superdome, the world glowed his signature color. As we ponder his death and the outpouring of grief and tributes, I offer this thought: your presence is what remains in your absence. Not only when you leave the planet, but just as importantly to your leadership, every time you leave the room. Nearly every leader underestimates the impact that their presence has upon their ability to lead. They don't understand what presence is. They don't realize that it follows them everywhere and directly influences how whether their leadership will be successful or fail miserably. They think it's an undefined "X" factor and leave it to the rumor mill to decide how others define them. Crucial mistake. I'd like to offer five qualities of an influential presence that I've culled from Prince's legacy:
This quick read pinpoints why Mary Barra's presence is influential and what you can learn from her growth. Senior executive advisor Connie Dieken demystifies how Barra sharpened her presence and gained gravitas to deliver messages that reverberate around the globe.
Think about the paradoxes in your life. You want to exude executive presence—yet still be genuine. You want to hone your speaking and influence skills—but not appear manipulative. You want to inspire top performance from others—yet not drive away top talent with your demands. You want to be—and to be seen as—the real deal. How do you balance the polarities of perfection and authenticity to lead at your peak level?
Membership on a senior leadership team gives you immense cachet. You’re in a circle of highly visible, powerful leaders. Your role is complex. You simultaneously manage your own business unit, function, or division while serving on a senior team that creates the organization’s future. To boot, you may be vying with those peers for a higher spot in the succession plan. As an executive coach, I’ve noticed that many of you are grappling with some loaded questions: Do I have influence with my peers? How do I add value? And how do I handle the conflicts that arise when strong-willed leaders butt heads? Here are a few ideas to ponder:
As an executive, you're called upon to deliver important messages to your organization and the marketplace. People look to you to set the tone in public speaking. You want to come across as a strong leader, but natural. To complicate matters, your busy schedule doesn't allow a minute to spare. That's why you need to master the Teleprompter. Man and the machine are converging in today's media-centric world. If you're a leader, you're now a broadcaster. Or at least a narrowcaster with consequences. Soon, you'll be called upon to record crisp messages for both your organization's intranet and the broader Internet.
Do you feel boring? Or fascinating? I promise that no matter how run-of-the-mill you may feel most days, you possess a leadership quality that others find fascinating. I see this unfold every day in my executive coaching practice. Every leader has a unique asset, an inner strength that defines their executive presence.
Tim Sanders is a confidence guru. A New York Times bestselling author, riveting keynote speaker and former Yahoo executive, Tim has written a compelling new book called Today We Are Rich: Harnessing the Power of Total Confidence that's loaded with insights on how to develop unshakable confidence in a shaky world.
Game over. Cleveland Browns owner Randy Lerner moved swiftly to fire his front office following the final, crushing loss of the season. He cut general manager Phil Savage loose by phone after Sunday's defeat, and then sacked coach Romeo Crennel the next morning.
How do you undercut your message without opening your mouth? Leadership means managing your energy level as well as your words in order to influence peoples' decisions, behaviors and actions. Want to trigger a positive response? Radiate positive energy when your mouth is shut. Want a negative reaction? You'll soon learn how to spread bad vibes.