The “It” Factor.
Some leaders are born that way.
Most are made.
Somewhere along the way, these leaders learned how to conduct themselves in a way that commands attention.
They learned how to dress the part.
They learned how to manage their body language – their eye contact, posture, handshake, and facial expressions – to make a significantly positive connection and impression.
They learned how to manage their energy to meet the demands of the environment, to bring a more, or less, animated persona to the party, if you will.
They made themselves highly relevant by preparing questions and offers, showing the confidence of curiosity and the generosity of contribution.
They learned these skills somewhere; and they practiced them everywhere.
Why are these basic skills so key to great leadership?
When I meet you and I can instantly see that you’ve paid attention to how you “show up”—literally, figuratively, emotionally, and mentally—I am a little in awe and a lot at ease, because it’s clear that you possess a level of self-, other-, and situational awareness of the “little things” that add up to making a big impression. That level of awareness screams confidence, preparation, readiness, and agility.
If you’ll pay that much attention to the seemingly little things, I have at least a beginning trust that you will also take that awareness into your bigger role as a leader.
Unless of course, you’re doing all this for purely your own gain. If that’s the case, at some point, that becomes obvious to your audience too. Selfish intention shows up as bravado, not confidence, obsessive ego rather than conscious preparation, with an obvious taking-vs-giving energy.
So you must match great intention with a high level of attention to personal detail, in order to begin to engender true confidence in those you might lead.