10 Habits of “Likable” Leaders

LikeableLeadership

If you want to be a leader whom people follow with absolute conviction, you have to be a likable leader. Tyrants and curmudgeons with brilliant vision can command a reluctant following for a time, but it never lasts. They burn people out before they ever get to see what anyone is truly capable of. Becoming a more likable leader is completely under your control.

Listed are 10 key behaviors that intelligent leaders engage in that make them so likable.

1. They form personal connections.

Even in a crowded room, likable leaders make people feel like they’re having a one-on-one conversation, as if they’re the only person in the room that matters. And, for that moment, they are. Likable leaders communicate on a very personal, emotional level. They never forget that there’s a flesh-and-blood human being standing in front of them.

2. They’re approachable.

You know those people who only have time for you if you can do something for them? Likable leaders truly believe that everyone, regardless of rank or ability, is worth their time and attention. They make everyone feel valuable because they believe that everyone is valuable.

3. They’re humble.

Few things kill likability as quickly as arrogance. Likable leaders don’t act as though they’re better than you because they don’t think that they’re better than you. Rather than being a source of prestige, they see their leadership position as bringing them additional accountability for serving those who follow them.

4. They’re positive.

Likable leaders always maintain a positive outlook, and this shows in how they describe things. They don’t have to give a presentation to the board of directors; they get to share their vision and ideas with the board. They don’t have to go on a plant tour; they get to meet and visit with the people who make their company’s products. They don’t even have to diet; they get to experience the benefits of eating healthfully. Even in undeniably negative situations, likable leaders emanate an enthusiastic hope for the future, a confidence that they can help make tomorrow better than today.

5. They’re even-keeled.

When it comes to their own accomplishments and failures, likable leaders take things in stride. They don’t toot their own horns, nor do they get rattled when they blow it. They savor success without letting it go to their heads, and they readily acknowledge failure without getting mired in it. They learn from both and move on.

6. They’re generous.

We’ve all worked for someone who constantly holds something back, whether it’s knowledge or resources. They act as if they’re afraid you’ll outshine them if they give you access to everything you need to do your job. Likable leaders are unfailingly generous with whom they know, what they know, and the resources they have access to. They want you to do well more than anything else because they understand that this is their job as a leader and because they’re confident enough to never worry that your success might make them look bad. In fact, they believe that your success is their success.

7. They demonstrate integrity.

Likable leaders inspire trust and admiration through their actions, not just their words. Many leaders say that integrity is important to them, but likable leaders walk their talk by demonstrating integrity every day. Even a leader who oozes charm won’t be likable if that charm isn’t backed by a solid foundation of integrity.

8. They read people like a book.

Likable leaders know how to read people as unspoken communication is often more important than the words people say. They note facial expressions, body language, and tone of voice in order to get what’s really going on with their people. In other words, they have high social awareness, a critical EQ skill.

9. They appreciate potential.

Robert Brault said, “Charisma is not so much getting people to like you as getting people to like themselves when you’re around.” Likable leaders not only see the best in their people, but they also make sure that everyone else sees it too. They draw out people’s talents so that everyone is bettering themselves and the work at hand.

10. They have substance.

Daniel Quinn said, “Charisma only wins people’s attention. Once you have their attention, you have to have something to tell them.” Likable leaders understand that their knowledge and expertise are critical to the success of everyone who follows them. Therefore, they regularly connect with people to share their substance (as opposed to superficial small talk). Likable leaders don’t puff themselves up or pretend to be something they’re not, because they don’t have to. They have substance, and they share it with their people.

Bringing it all together

Likeability isn’t a birthright; it results from acquirable skills that are crucial to your professional success. And just like any other professional skills, you can study the people who have them, copy what works, and adapt them to your own style. Try these ten strategies and watch your likability soar.

(Dr. Travis Bradberry, Coauthor Emotional Intelligence 2.0 & President at TalentSmart)

Formula for Success

The word “success” is a buzzword in the business world. Why shouldn’t it be? Everyone wants to be successful. When you dig a little into Scripture you will find a word synonymous with success – fruitfulness.

In his book Be All You Can Be, John Maxwell shares the formula for fruitfulness taught by Jesus.

Jesus gives us a three-word formula for fruitfulness in John 15. These three words are the ones I want you to remember, because they are the key to fruitful living.

1. REMAIN – The first word is remain. Throughout John 15 Jesus tells us to remain. In fact, the word abide in the original language can be translated “remain.” “Remain in Me,” Jesus says. He’s talking about our willingness to take time with Him in prayer and in study of the Word. We need to let Him begin to be part of our lives and work on our lives.

2. RECEIVE – The second word in the formula is receive. Jesus says in John 15 that if we remain in Him, we will begin to receive certain things. What we’ll receive is good, fruitful living.

3. REPRODUCE – The third word is reproduce. If we remain in Him, we’re going to receive what He has for us, then and only then will we begin to reproduce in our lives.

Spend some time reading John chapter 15 from God’s Word, and then I encourage you to apply these principles to you life.  Decide today you are going to be fruitful!

What makes a leader?

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What makes a leader? Rank? Status? Celebrity? Clout? Style? Is leadership automatically bestowed by a box on the organizational chart? Where do position and power figure into the formula for leadership?

Jesus answered all those questions in a few words. His views on leadership are out of step with the conventional wisdom of our age: “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those who are great exercise authority over them. Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant. And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave— just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many” (Matthew 20:25–28).

According to Christ, then, the truest kind of leadership demands service, sacrifice, and selflessness. A proud and self-promoting person is not a good leader by Christ’s standard, regardless of how much clout he or she might have. Leaders who look to Christ as their Leader and their supreme model of leadership will have servants’ hearts. They will exemplify sacrifice.

I realize those are not characteristics most people associate with leadership, but they are essential qualities of a biblical approach to leadership, which is the only kind I’m interested in.

MISTAKES, OUR GREATEST TEACHER

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[Jesus] touched his ear and healed him. —Luke 22:51

Early in his career, jazz player Herbie Hancock was invited to play in the quintet of Miles Davis, already a musical legend. In an interview, Hancock admitted being nervous but described it as a wonderful experience because Davis was so nurturing. During one performance, when Davis was near the high point of his solo, Hancock played the wrong chord. He was mortified, but Davis continued as if nothing had happened. “He played some notes that made my chord right,” Hancock said.

What an example of loving leadership! Davis didn’t scold Hancock or make him look foolish. He didn’t blame him for ruining the performance. He simply adjusted his plan and turned a potentially disastrous mistake into something beautiful.

What Davis did for Hancock, Jesus did for Peter. When Peter cut off the ear of one of the crowd who had come to arrest Jesus, Jesus reattached the ear (Luke 22:51), indicating that His kingdom was about healing, not hurting. Time after time Jesus used the disciples’ mistakes to show a better way.

What Jesus did for His disciples, He also does for us. And what He does for us, we can do for others. Instead of magnifying every mistake, we can turn them into beautiful acts of forgiveness, healing, and redemption.

The Lord understands how prone we are to make selfish and foolish mistakes. However, He’s there to forgive us and restore us.

Takeaway: Jesus longs to turn our mistakes into amazing examples of His grace.

Career Advice

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Teresa White, President of Aflac’s U.S. Operations gives career advice for her younger self. This is sound advice regardless of career choice.

– Find strong mentors
– Commit to excellence
– Welcome criticism
– Love what you do
– Never stop working on your career

She unpacks each of these points in the full article. Click here to read full article.

Keep the Project Alive with Action Steps

action_steps_logoI just read a great article on “Action Steps.” As pastors, we need to bring this management tool into the culture and structure of our churches. Action Steps are the most important components of any project.  It’s the oxygen for keeping projects alive.

No Action Steps = No Action = No Results!

The actual outcome of any idea is dependent on the Actions Steps that are captured and then completed by you or delegated to someone else. Action Steps are to be revered and treated as sacred in any project.

The more clear and concrete an Action Step is, the less friction you will encounter trying to do it. If an Action Step is vague or complicated, you will probably skip over it to others on your list that are more straightforward.

To avoid this, start each Action Step with a verb. For example:

  • Call programmer to discuss . . .
  • Install new software for . . .
  • Research the possibility of . . .
  • Mock up a sample of the . . .
  • Update XYZ document for . . .

Verbs help pull us into our Action Steps at first glance, efficiently indicating what type of action is required. For similar reasons, Action Steps should be kept short.

The more clear and concrete an Action Step is, the less friction you will encounter trying to do it!

Click here to read the entire article.