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:
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:
Carol Roth is a leader you should know. Think of her as Suze Orman, one generation removed; she's a financial braintrust who leapfrogged from working class to privileged status through sheer determination and wicked smarts.
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.