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04/30 2011

Watch Your Leadership Image!

According to a recent article by the Center for Creative Leadership (CCL), the following “mistakes” can negatively impact an executive’s leadership image:

  1. Too Much Seriousness:  Leaders who are overly reserved appear to be rigid, inflexible, and uncaring — effective leaders need to convey graciousness, warmth, and passion
  2. Poor Speaking Skills:  Flat or monotone speaking styles, inappropriate volume,  and poor enunciation are the key offenders here
  3. Lack of Clarity:  If a message is unclear and/or non-specific, the audience will tune out
  4. Self-Absorption:  Leaders need to be bigger than themselves — and frequently using the words “I”, “Me”, or “My” will disengage the audience
  5. Lack of Interest:  Leaders need to show energy, enthusiasm, and interest in the topics that they are speaking about
  6. Obvious Discomfort:  Leaders who are uncomfortable in front of crowds — or who are awkward in conversations — are not seen as effective leaders
  7. Inconsistency — Inconsistencies in thoughts and behaviors will result in a leader being seen as flaky, insincere, or dishonest
  8. Defensiveness — An unwillingness to to consider other views, reacting in a knee-jerk fashion, and being unable to seek and understand feedback from others will undermine perceptions of leadership effectiveness

More information can be found in the recent CCL Guidebook “Building an Authentic Leadership Image” ( .

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