Kris Taylor of K Taylor & Associates in Lafayette authored this holiday post as part of her Evergreen Leadership program. The “gifts” apply no matter the time of year.
I’ve worked with great leaders, mediocre leaders and one or two really poor leaders. I’ve done my work, to the best of my ability, with all of them. I’ve learned from all of them. Yet in reflecting back, the really great leaders gave me many great gifts.
These are the gifts that last over time. They are not very tangible but are always present. They’re gifts that altered the way I saw myself, or my situation, or the world around me – gifts that stuck, that keep on giving.
I am eternally blessed by and grateful for these gifts.
- Confidence in my abilities, my potential, my judgment and my integrity
- Wisdom by sharing freely their truths, experiences and knowledge
- Mentoring and coaching to guide me to a better place, always challenging, at times seeing more in me than I could see myself
- Opportunities to test my skills and learn new ones, ones that pushed me further than I was comfortable with at the time
- Support for when I failed myself or others
- Unconditional respect even at my worst times
- Perspective and vision, especially when I wallowed in my narrow view of the situation
- Courage to do the things that are right, but not necessarily easy
- Focus on results insisting that I follow through, do what I was charged to do and to find ways to overcome the inevitable obstacles
- Navigation through the organization, helping me learn how these people in this place get work done
My challenge is this: rather than giving “things” this year, which of these 10 gifts might you give at work? At home? In your community?
A recent Inc. magazine posting explored the difference between a person who is likable and one who has great charisma. It offers the following top 5 behaviors to expand on if you prefer to be in the latter category:
- Charismatic people exude joy. The first thing you notice about charismatic people is the spark of life. Whether they are saviors or troublemakers, they have a strong passion that triggers powerful emotions in those around them. Even in anger, they make people feel happy to join a cause. They show obvious pleasure in experiences, and they invite others to share in the experience they are having. Enhance your charisma by sharing your passions with those around you and helping their passions flourish.
- Charismatic people inspire confidence. It seems that charismatic people have the world in their control. Their personal self-worth and confidence appear strong, even when they’re not. They have faith in their abilities, their knowledge, and their worth. They also know the line between confidence and narcissism. They don’t disparage or dismiss the people around them. Enhance your charisma by dampening your insecurities in favor of celebrating your strengths. Share your confidence with others so they feel stronger in your presence.
- Charismatic people share conviction. The times that charismatic people stand out the most is when they are driving a movement. Charismatic people believe in something powerfully and share that belief with others. Their conviction and consistent actions influence others to follow. Dedicated followers add exponentially to the energy that oozes from a charismatic leader. Apathy will kill charisma and momentum. Enhance your charisma by being diligent and committed. Inspire others by helping them engage in a common cause.
- Charismatic people are great storytellers. People don’t follow someone simply because they are told to do so. Moving someone to action requires context and motivation. Stories are the most effective way to get to the emotional core to break inertia. Charismatic people have a talent for spinning a yarn that connects deeply and relates directly to the action that needs to occur. Their voice, inflection, and manner are easy to listen to and pleasant. They have the ability to express drama and intrigue so people want to hear more. Enhance your charisma by learning to craft and tell meaningful, emotional stories. Practice the arts of humor, metaphor, and symbolism so you can entertain while you inform.
- Charismatic people connect empathetically. It has been said that when Bill Clinton speaks to you, he makes you feel that you are the only person on the planet. This is a talent of charismatic people. They genuinely and instinctively focus their eyes, ears, and soul on your being, not theirs. They make you laugh, they make you feel heard, they make you feel special or fascinated or safe or interesting. It isn’t the same feeling in every case. But people connect and stay, because they are having strong, positive emotions in the presence of someone truly charismatic. Enhance your charisma by focusing all of your energy and attention on the person in front of you. Shut down your inner voice and connect so you can see, hear, and feel the energy and information he or she is sharing.