Carry Yourself Like a Leader

As the saying goes in business, you want to “look and act the part.” It’s hard to be a leader if you’re frumpy. Personal style matters.  If you want to make a great impression on your bosses, your clients, and the people you’re leading, you have to pay attention to “how you’re showing up.”  Here’s how:


For some people, this will mean clean up your mess!  If you’re desk is piled with stacks of paper from three years ago, you’re sending the wrong impression.  Namely that you’re a mess.  People will be much more likely to have confidence in the direction you’re providing them if you’re organized.


Your boss probably is, and you should be too.  Having goals is a way of being organized, because goals help prioritize “what’s important”.  Show other people that you’re goal oriented, by placing your type-written goals conspicuously in your cubical.


When you attend a meeting, such as with your boss or with clients, walk into the room confidently, shake people’s hands confidently (and firmly), and speak confidently.  Whatever you do, DON’T pretend to be invisible.


Avoid tentative language like “maybe we should…” or “This is probably a stupid idea, but…”  Instead, use words like “Our next move ought to be…”or “My opinion is that…”


Remember, it’s not who you know, it’s who knows you.  One way to tell if you’re having an impact at work is when your boss seeks your input before making decisions.  Be ubiquitous by getting involved with as much as you can handle while still being effective.  The more senior people who are seeking your counsel, the broader your influence is becoming.


Sorry, jeans and flip flops won’t cut it.  If you want to be a leader, you’ve got to dress like a leader.  That means paying attention to what you wear.  You don’t have to come to work dressed in a business suit, but you do have to make sure that you’re clothes are cleaned and ironed.

Businessman and philanthropist Ray Kroc once said, “The quality of a leader is reflected in the standards they set for themselves.”

Apply these tips into your everyday, by setting these standards for yourself. You will transform into a successful contributor and leader in your business.

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