Ready to become a slightly different person than the one who walked in the door this morning? Lets go from head to toe, stem to stern, and give you a nine-point leadership tuneup to shape your image into something a little more impactful than the job title etched on your door.
Chances are youre not entirely aware of the vocal patterns that define you and stick in peoples minds when you speak. For one week, use your smartphone to record some rambling thoughts at the end of the day about how the day went. Listen to your compilation and you may be struck by tendencies you never realized you had.
No one knows quite how to feel about the boss who dresses completely unlike everyone else; some think such style is too quirky, too strange. A safer but still intriguing bet is to follow the herd while adding a single flourish to your look to make them remember you. A unique pin, a bold tie, a watch of unusual manufacture these stick in the memory.
Consider ditching the clever tagline you append to your email signature. Those you write to often are sick of looking at it; others may think youre trying too hard to brand yourself. And if you tend to change it a lot, people will start to wonder just how obsessed you are with trying to seem clever.
Dont be like everyone else and serve as a weak servant to your PowerPoint slides. Set yourself a rule: Dont bring in any visuals whatsoever until youre at least 20 percent into a speech. Make them see that youre the featured presentation, not words and graphs on a screen.
Be strong with your greetings to strangers. Memorize a simple opening line for yourself that demands detail so that the conversation flows immediately. For example, try Whered you come from to be here today? and when you get the answer, follow up with a very specific question about that place, like When I go there, what do I need to see?
Always have a failure story in your back pocket to inspire and amuse. A true tale of personal misadventure lends you humility, displays a sense of humor, tells people you learn from your mistakes, and exudes honesty.
Well whaddya know, everyones got their cellphones out just before the meeting starts, yakking away. Were entering an era when being without it will actually make you seem more present, more aware, more engaged than other people. Get a head start now and show the group youre here, attentive and determined, not falling behind on your emails.
If youre not in a hurry, try a genuine amble once in a while, strolling down the hallway like youre genuinely interested in the sights and sounds of the office. The slower you mosey, the more you seem in control, confident that things are working in your favor, like your fires have all been put out and youre on top of your game.
Think how many times people on the Web are seeing your main professional picture. Now stare at it for a while. Is this the real you? Is this the image you want people to take away? Do you look like just another grinning figurehead or someone whos authentic, modern and in the drivers seat?