“The words, attitudes and actions we express become our presence in others when we are not around.” MGF
Consider a leader of your past that you hold with honor for their positive impact on your life. What do you feel about them? I suspect if you were to see them again today, these same feelings would spring to the forefront as you interact with them. In effect, even though years may have passed, their “presence” has remained with you through how they treated you in the past. That presence defines their life to you and how you would re-engage with them now.
Whether we are leaders or not, we all create this kind of “lingering presence” in every other human we interact with, whether intentionally or not. As such, the importance of paying attention to how we interact cannot be understated. Consistency of our attitudes/actions/words plays a key role in that which lingers as well as the frequency of our interaction. The more we interact, the more we reinforce the kind of presence we create.
As leaders, our lingering presence with those we serve becomes even more pronounced and impactful. Time together, expectations for results, conflict potential, and leadership styles all contribute to increased impact over time in a leadership environment. Realizing the outcomes of our leadership in the lives of others, in particular the kind of presence it creates, is in one way, our responsibility. I would hope we actually make it something greater — a willing priority out of respect for ourselves and for those we serve.
Determining this presence doesn’t have to be an unknown. We all have choices to help create and establish that which lingers in the perspectives of others. Here are a few choices we can make as part of our leadership journey to create the presence we want:
- Identify Key Values – What are those qualities that are most important to you for defining your life and connecting with others?
- Practice towards Consistency – Prioritize and drive your attitudes, actions and words with your key values.
- Esteem Feedback – Ask regularly about what others are believing about you as outcomes of your leadership interactions.
- Adjust Often – Be quick to own mistakes or failures and then make a change, as needed, to connect more accurately to your key values.
We all create lives that touch others. That which lingers as presence in those we lead depends on what we offer day in and day out. When a positive priority, leadership becomes a joyful encouragement in the lives of others. That’s a legacy worth the effort!