Magnetic leaders have a line of people waiting to work for them. What sets these leaders apart? Authenticity, vision, and resilience are three good first steps.
Lots of people believe it takes years for someone to become a magnetic leader. Lucky for you, I’m not one of these people. Magnetic leaders are ones who have a line of people outside their door, waiting to come work for them. That line moves slowly, as positions rarely become available.
There are seven traits of irresistible leaders. Here are three and how you can earn magnetic status almost instantaneously.
Magnetic leaders don’t try to be someone else, nor do they change who they are based on office politics. They are true to themselves and are honest in their dealings with others. They are not afraid to share their mistakes or shortcomings. Warren Buffet is an authentic leader who speaks openly about his $200 billion mistake buying Berkshire Hathaway.
I want you to think about how authentic you really are today. Here’s what I mean by this. Do you tell staff members you have a doctor’s appointment, when you’re really leaving work early to see your daughter’s school play? Are you being completely truthful when giving performance reviews or are you holding back because you don’t want to hurt other people’s feelings? Are you speaking up in meetings and saying what’s really on your mind or are you going along with what the boss has suggested because you’d like to remain in his favor?
A yes to any of these questions is a clear indication that you can improve your authenticity. As you can see, making some shifts in this area won’t require much in the way of skill building. However, it will require some internal shifts. If you find you are having difficulties making these modifications on your own, then consider hiring a coach, who can point out opportunities to improve in this area and will provide guidance as well.
Magnetic leaders understand that there will be times when things won’t go according to plan. You simply must keep charging ahead, often course-correcting as you go. No one knows this better than GM chair and CEO Mary Barra, who had an incredibly stressful first year in office. She faced revelations about faulty ignition switches, a thirty million car recall, and pressure from investors to return more cash to shareholders. But two years into her tenure, GM’s financial health has rarely been stronger.
I can’t think of one magnetic leader who hasn’t had a setback. Can you? It’s what you do when things don’t go according to plan that really matters. I remember being in my dream job one day and out of a job the next. I’ll admit that I wanted to crawl into my bed and hide under a blanket. However, I chose to fall forward, picked myself back up and found myself in a better situation than the one I left. I learned a ton of lessons along the way, many that I write about.
So think about what didn’t go well last week. What can you do differently moving forward? What do you need to do to toughen up so you can quickly bounce after you experience failure?
Vision and magnetism go hand in hand. Visionary leaders, like the late Steve Jobs, are the dreamers who make us realize that anything is possible. They have a vivid imagination that inspires others to get on board and come along for the ride.
Someone saw potential in you or you wouldn’t be in a position of leadership. Most likely you demonstrated you had a vision for your department or the group you oversee. Perhaps as time went on, that vision faded.
It’s time to start dreaming again. If you’ve ever worked for a visionary leader, you know how intoxicating their enthusiasm can be. Nothing seems impossible. That’s the kind of excitement you want to create for your own people. The next time you are about to say something is impossible to do, take a moment and instead say, “Why not? Let’s give it a go.”
– Roberta Matuson, The Talent Maximizer® and President of Matuson Consulting, helps organizations achieve dramatic growth and market leadership through the maximization of talent. She’s the author of four books including the newly released, The Magnetic Leader (CLICK HERE to get your copy). Sign up to receive her free newsletter, The Talent Maximizer®. Follow her on Twitter.
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