“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.
PalletOne CEO Howe Wallace
Since 2005, he has been sharing his thoughts on the organization, leadership, and communication in an online daily note to teammates called Daily with HQ.