December 12, 2009

Leadership and Posture-What’s the big deal about it?

As a leader, one of the most important skill-sets that we must master is that of posture.ballroomdancers

Posture separates the leaders from the followers  and it separates those who are ultimately successful from those that end up failing.

You see the people in the picture dancing, you’ll notice the posture that they have. These are professional dancers and you can tell by the way that they hold themselves throughout the dances. You may have noticed something like this if you are a fan of “So You Think You Can Dance” (Emmitt Smith was one of my heroes growing up and won this show a few years ago so I know about it 😉 )

New dancers do not look the same as experienced dancers, not in the least bit. The difference between them is the time they practice, the techniques they’ve learned and the application of these techniques. If you have ever watched the show, you’ll notice the difference between the first show and the last in the way that people hold themselves throughout the dances.  The same is true for leadership in anything.

Being a leader isn’t easy, and neither is having the posture of a leader.

In Seth Godin’s book, Tribes, he shares this about the posture of leaders…

“If you hear my idea but don’t believe it, that’s not your fault; it’s mine.
If you see my new product but don’t buy it, that’s my failure, not yours.
If you attend my presentation and you’re bored, that’s my fault too.
If I fail to persuade you to implement a policy that supports my tribe, that’s due to my lack of passion or skill, not your shortsidedness.
If you are a student in my class and you don’t learn what I’m teaching, I’ve let you down.”

In this little section, there is a HUGE lesson on leadership. Posture is about selling YOURSELF.

You may notice that it is never the customers fault, but it is always something that the creator has done wrong. As a leader you will not be able to impact every single one of your followers which flat out sucks. However, you do need to make sure that your lesson reaches and influences the maximum number of your followers. If you notice that you are not having as much of an impact as you would like, you may need to change the way you share this information. M

One interesting thing that I have noticed is that to be a leader, you need to be dressed as a leader and sound like a leader. Let’s face it, people buy you with their eyes and no matter how hard we try to ignore this, we just can’t. So, if you are trying to sell yourself as a leader and in your video’s, you are wearing a torn up t-shirt and look like you just got beat up by Mike Tyson, you are NOT holding the image of a leader in your viewer’s eyes.

As leaders, we must constantly be learning…

This is a mistake that I feel is common with people as they get older and are starting to just accept where they are in their life. Talking with my father, he is now at the point in his life where he is happy with where he is at, but he has worked with IBM for his whole life and is about to retire. If you aren’t at that point in your life, you need to KEEP LEARNING!

I personally try to read about 4-10 books a month on business, marketing, leadership, creativity and personal development. I admit it, I’m a little obsessed. The other day my roommate told me that I have read more books in one semester than he has in his entire life. I am okay with this and you know why? I am constantly learning something new and implementing it into either my life or my business. By doing this, I am always improving.(I like improving myself 🙂 )

I base my business and personal life off of the Japanese word for continuous incremental improvements, or Kaizen. By doing this, I continue to improve myself and in turn improve the lives of those people who I connect with.

But Chris, I don’t have time to learn more…

I’m not going to be like your tee-ball baseball coach and tell you that you can do it, killer! I’m going to be honest with you and the honest fact is that you MUST make time for this. No if’s and’s or but’s. I’m a college Senior , am on Dean’s List, building up multiple businesses(info marketing via Juggling Secrets as well as teaching Internet Marketing to Local Businesses) and I make time to read. If I don’t have time to read, which sometimes I don’t, there are places like that allow for me to get books in audio format. This is great for anyone who has any type of commute to work as you can learn in the car! Or if you are like me and you listen to it on your iPod walking to and from classes or while working out 🙂

If you want to become the best, you are going to have to work harder than anyone else and this includes making the time to learn about your subject matter. You can do it, you just need to commit to it. Don’t let your mind tell you that you can’t do something, you can do anything that you want. This includes learning something new every single day.

By constantly learning, your posture improves.

If you are constantly learning and re-enforcing your knowledge on your subject, your posture increases dramatically.

Say for example that you read a concept once and you kind of understand it, yet are still a little fuzzy on details. The next time you read or learn about this concept, it helps you to further understand and better apply the concepts. This allows for you to become more confident in the knowledge that you are learning and you will naturally be able to teach or lead people better with this information. You will improve your ability to share this information with others and in turn will be looked upon as more of a leader for being so knowledgeable about your subject. This will lead to more people sharing your information and you becoming the go-to guy or gal in your industry.

I hope this empowers you to take action and start to improve your leadership, in turn improving your posture. If you have any questions or want me to recommend any books, leave some comments and I will gladly share what has helped me the most with you.

Chris Hughes

Chris loves learning, going on adventures, surfing and having fun. Chris on Google+

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