One of the hardest lessons to learn about when leading with executive presence is that every day there are things that will make you as a leader upset, irritated or feeling off balance. Big or small, these triggers are not always controllable or within your circle of influence. They just are. And you as a leader have to deal with them whether you like it or not.
First, in situations of this nature, recognize that you are more visible with every level you move up in the organization. All of your actions are constantly sending a message. Therefore, be more present when you are with people and quit multi-tasking. Instead, spend more time shaping the values and standards.
Second, there is a difference between creating connections and relationships vs. connectivity. The later is about e-mail, Twitter, Facebook, etc. It helps, but it is not a relationship. The former takes time, energy and commitment.
Third, as a leader, you need to be doing more of the thinking, not always more of the doing. And when you are thinking, always bring the problem you are struggling with back to the mission and operating principles of your organization. Next, support those who role model the mission. And as a leader, always stay focused on the mission.
Fourth, when leading with executive presence, you will need to learn to deal with disjointed incrementalism, i.e. knowing where you want to go, but not always how to get there. In situations of this nature, convey strategic intent and make the objectives clear, but avoid micromanaging those who will execute on them
This week, remember that we all have difficult days in the world of leadership. You can choose how you deal with them, but always remember to stay focused on the mission.
Geery Howe, M.A. Consultant, Executive Coach, Trainer in Leadership, Strategic Planning and Organizational Change Morning Star Associates 319 - 643 - 2257