In “The Impact Book”, Simon describes the leadership impact journey as passing through four escalating outcomes – your Attraction; creating Appetite; nurturing Advocacy; and inspiring Action. This is your Impact A-Game.
· Attraction – People are attracted to you and to your ideas. They gravitate towards you in a room and are eager to hear what you have to say.
· Appetite – Your connection with individuals amplifies their initial attraction; they are interested in your ideas, and they want more.
· Advocacy – People are deeply and passionately aware of what you stand for and motivated to advocate you, and them to others.
· Action – Your passion and leadership create a palpable and obvious response in others. Your impact is spreading more widely and is not restricted to the people you meet in person.
These four Leadership Impact outcomes describe how your energy, behaviour and ideas ripple outwards, creating an excitement and passion in others (or the reverse).
This article explores the first of those, Attraction: Finding and developing your leadership magnetism.
Authentic leadership is about you operating from your source, being the best version of you and behaving and acting in the manner that comes instinctively to you.
When you are ‘authentic’ you are more likely to experience ‘flow’ - that state of being in which something ‘just feels right’ (what you are doing, how you are doing it, who you are being). You will be attractive to current and potential followers (employees, colleagues, stakeholders, clients), and attract more opportunities to be yourself, as a leader, in many different contexts.
When you are ‘inauthentic’ you will spend more time looking over your shoulder, correcting errors, the moment-to-moment feeling may be empty (what you are doing, how you are doing it and who you are being ‘just feels offbeat’).
What, then, is the authentic version of you? One thing is fixed and certain: your origin, your source. This is not a place, your parents, nor the year of your birth. Your source is what is inside you, your instincts, your intuition (tuition that is ‘in’).
Throughout your career you will have acquired skills and techniques, you will have been influenced and inspired by many and thus will have a wealth of resources and reference points – most likely good and bad. Have you become a blend of this collection of insights, merged with the authentic you? Or have these influences deflected you away from your authenticity?
Tune into your inner voice as a regular practice to check. Find a time and place where you can be away from disturbances and ponder the following authenticity-sourcing questions:
· What do I want?
· What feels right?
· What feels awkward or off centre?
· What’s next?
It doesn’t need to make perfect sense, you are just tuning in. Like a radio finding a frequency, it will be crackly until you learn how to turn the dial in subtle ways.
Find the authenticity in who you are as a leader and then people will begin to understand clearly who you are and how you operate. Then they can follow you, advocate your work and support your leadership vision and you can begin stage two – articulating your value.
The value you think you add may not actually be the value people gain from you. When you hit the heights of success or troughs of self-doubt you may not notice the role you still play for those around you.
Finding powerful, positive, inspiring words and statements about yourself and your purpose can help articulate your value, but the search for the right words and phrases can be challenging and frustrating.
Here is a simple process to heightening the impact of the words you use to describe your value.
1. Make a list of the brands, companies, products or people that inspire you, that you respect or admire. For example, when working this through with a client, their list included Apple, Bodyshop, Harrods and Richard Branson.
2. Next to each brand or person, write down what it is, specifically, that you like, admire or respect about them. My client listed against her four: Fresh and constant flow of ideas; independent thinking; communicating and delivering quality experiences; confronting conventional thinking.
3. The third step is to ascribe these comments to you, your brand, and your way of working. Take the statements on, as your own. What you see in others sits potently in you, even where the comments may feel like stretch
In following this process, my client moved from half-articulated descriptions of who she was to attributing a new set of aspirational authentic attributes of her value.
Working on ‘Attraction’, is the foundation of your Impact, everything builds from there, or remains unstable until you do.
Now take these into your A – game.
Simon's new book "The "Impact" Book" is out now, by LID publishing and available at all good book stores! Buy it now to read more about how it can develop your leadership skills and get ready for "The "Attitude" Book" coming later this year.