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Side By Side Leadership the Book, Skill 9: Connecting Visionary Goals (P157 – 158)


Why are some leaders so easy to follow?

What special quality draws people to them? In a word, charisma, an attribute that many people consider innate rather than learned. Although it is true that some people seem to be born with the ability to connect with others, anyone can learn to be more charismatic and to motivate contributors by connecting with the hopes and dreams of others.


Lead from the Top or the Bottom

In the best-performing organizations, charismatic leaders at all levels, not just at the top, create teams that achieve high levels of performance. They communicate goals and actions in a way that energizes both leaders and contributors. This excitement generates large volumes of high-quality work from motivated people, who willingly work longer hours. The leader’s charisma influences contributors’ satisfaction with their work and their commitment to the organization.


Charisma can be Contagious

When retail store managers communicate a positive attitude, their workers interact well with each other and with customers. This boosts the store’s sales performance, cuts "shrinkage" and reduces turnover. Success and goodwill follow naturally.


Thinking About Giving a Motivational Speech, Better Know Your Audience First

Motivating contributors often begins with a speech by the leader. Remember, the main thing you want to do is build a connection between your values and goals, and those of your listeners. Before you speak to a large audience, discover their goals and what’s important to them in relation to what you are presenting. If you can honestly connect your own values with the audience’s values, you will create energy.


Don't Think You Can Hide Your True Feelings ... Your Body Language Gives You Away

Every accomplished public speaker knows that body language is an important component of the message. Your facial expression should support your words. Don’t smile when you’re discussing serious matters. If you’re talking about the team’s most important goal, get some excitement into your voice. But if you fail to relate your goals with those of your audience, or if you are not sincerely interested in their values, your audience will pick up on it and you will fail to move them. You may speak strongly and create a dramatic impression, but people will see your body language as showmanship rather than sincere passion; you will not generate charisma.


Find the Positive

To motivate people, express optimism; use positive language. Don’t say, “You’re doing a lousy job this month.” Instead, say, “Let’s look at that phenomenal month we had last year and see what we were doing right.” The winner of the U.S. presidential election can often be predicted on the basis of who uses the most positive language and wages the most positive campaign. Ronald Reagan was a master at telling voters his vision of a great future and avoiding negative campaigning. We saw this effect again in the recent election of Barack Obama, with his focus on the positive aspects of hope and change.


When Negatives are Unavoidable

Sometimes, of course, the negatives are unavoidable. When problems must be discussed, talk of them as challenges that will be overcome, not as eternal troubles. In their book The Charismatic Factor, Robert Richardson and Katherine Thayer write, “Optimistic leaders never discuss difficulties in permanent terms but always in finite terms.” People who stay highly motivated in their daily lives think this way. U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell keeps this motto close at hand: “Perpetual optimism is a force multiplier.”


Action You can Take Today

If you recognize an opportunity to improve motivation within your organization, you may find the award winning book Side By Side Leadership helpful. It describes a thoroughly tested and effective model for improving interpersonal relationships, improving personal and group motivation, and greatly helps to explain differences in individual values that are at the heart of most conflicts. At a minimum, we hope that you will give us your thoughts and comments. We are always excited to hear what people think. Here at Side By Side, Inc, we are committed to delivering leadership training and materials that deliver real bottom line results