“He led with a smile.”
That was a description used for a chairman of a group to which I belong who was ending a term of service. It struck me as I heard it. What a great description!
In his case, the “smile” communicated much. Optimism. Openness. Inclusiveness. The “smile” symbolized a cultivated style. He intended to lead that way. His “smile” let everyone know his intentions.
But, here’s a question: how is your leadership style described?
Of course, it starts with you intending to project an identity.
I write this with an awareness that I haven’t completely worked it out for myself. I tend to operate on autopilot.
One way to think about it is that being on autopilot means I’m comfortable in my own skin. Being natural creates an authenticity.
But, frequently, I find that lacking intention ends up projecting unintended results. A walk through the plant while thinking about a problem may result in a frown and wrinkled brow that sends the message stern and unapproachable.
Here’s a good exercise: make a list of how you’d like to be perceived when you interact with others. Share that list item by item with a couple of people to see if you are communicating what you intend.
You may learn something.