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What Differentiates a Great Leader from others?

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Sudhakar Reddy - Founder- Executive Director, Nirvedha Executive Coaching Solutions, Mumbai

09-Jan-2019

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Changing your personality to develop an aura that leaves others in awe is a tough task, which is even tougher when tried achieving alone. So, while you are at it, take the help of your executive coach to make sure you are on the correct path.

What separates two organizations which use similar tools & techniques; technologies, work on the same theories and offer the same services? Their leaders! The people who take critical decisions and are at the helm of the organization make it stand apart from other similar yet different organizations.

In times of crisis people always look for inspirational leaders. What makes for inspiration is subjective, but there is one common element when speaking about leaders who inspire: they have a strong leadership presence.

How many times has it happened that a leader enters the room and you can feel a burst of positive energy floating around him, touching each and every one standing or sitting near him? Even before he says a single word, you know that he means business and knows how to get the job done. Even before your first interaction with him, you have become his admirer; you want to follow him, observe him and work with him. How is all that possible? It is all about the aura a person carries with him. As much as it used in regular conversations, it is hard to define aura. Some call it luminous radiation surrounding a person while others term it as positive energy carried by a person that influences individuals and things nearby.

Who has an aura?

Character associated with great leaders of all generations; be it the religious ones or the political ones. For instance, people believe that Lord Buddha's aura had a radius of 3,500 km from where he sat. Indira Gandhi's aura covered a range of over 1,000 km easily. Their aura boosted their personality and made them stand out in more ways than more. Today, the same aura is needed by any corporate leader to steer his organization during tough times and get the people to rally behind him when the going gets tough.

How to develop a positive aura

Changing your personality to develop an aura that leaves others in awe is a tough task, which is even tougher when tried achieving alone. So, while you are at it, take the help of your executive coach to make sure you are on the correct path.  One can develop a hard-to-define aura of leadership that sense ofconfidence and control that true leader’s project. The aura of leadership creates an emotional connection with your audience that helps you build trust, loyalty and a spirit of collective purpose toward a common goal.

There are three steps to create this aura:

1. Grow, don't squeeze, into the role. Leaders know that their audiences tend to read hidden meanings into their words and gestures, and this awareness can make them self-conscious, especially in sales presentations. They say or do things they otherwise wouldn't, sending outmixed signals and causing confusion.  Don't assume that to achieve the results you want, you must camouflage your true self. If you do, you’ll spend much time trying to look and act how you think a leader oughtto look and work. You'll try to squeeze yourself into a suit that doesn't fit, apersona you can't comfortably wear and, when you step to the podium, theseams start to show.

2. Say what you mean and be who you are. To communicate more effectively and connect more meaningfully with audiences, you must learn to project more of your true self. The greatest orators are entirely themselves.  They don't pretend to be someone else.  They don't parrot other people's words.  They are who they are, they say what they mean, and their power comes from the courage to be themselves.  Most professionals who find themselves in a speaking situation don't get there by accident. Their skills got them into the position. Poor public-speaking skills are rarely the problem. The problem is usually the idea that they don't deserve the opportunity, or that by opening their mouth the world will discover what a fraud they are. 

3. Avoid all-too-common mis happenings. Some minor skills polishing may help you focus on things you can change to improve your delivery, but the real benefit is that it can give you the crucial boost in confidence that allows you to speak and move naturally, be comfortable in your skin onstage, and project your unique, authentic self to audiences who are hungry for it.

Conclusion:

One should understand that people are not born with an aura of leadership; it needs to be drawn up over time. With that said, you cannot just jump out of bed and decide that today be the day when I would start building my aura. If you have not given a thought to it till now, you need an executive coach to help you with the process and bring out your leadership aura. While leaders are usually good with their skill sets, they also need improvement in certain areas which they may not realize intuitively. These shortcomings may be playing the hindrance role in the establishment of a positive leadership aura. These can be picked out by the executive coach and worked. Some of the most critical requirements for the development of a positive atmosphere are giving attention to minute details and being open to sharing experiences. While for ordinary people, details are a time-consuming aspect of work that ideally avoided, leaders dig deeper into it and reach the point that matters the most.