As an introvert who has been in very public-facing roles for most of my career, I’ve spent much of my adult life “putting my extrovert on” in order to show up as a leader in business. Showing up as a leader is really about demonstrating executive presence, and executive presence is fundamentally about confidence…not the confidence you have in yourself, but the confidence you inspire in others so they’re willing to follow where you’re leading.
As a communications consultant and executive coach, I am often called upon to work with teams and individuals on executive presentation skills. And I am constantly amazed that one of the first questions I am asked—and therefore clearly one of the biggest concerns that people have before a presentation—is "What should I do with my hands?" Fortunately, as this seems to be one of the great challenges of leadership communication, there are three simple rules that address this monumental issue.
If you’re about to take on the role of CEO, president, or to lead a business, you’re probably wondering, how should I spend my time in the first 100 days? You’ll be tempted to jump in and start getting things done. As a coach I’ve observed that leaders who take a step back, listen, and learn, get off to a far better start. With the right game plan, you will discover more about the organization than you ever imagined, and capture the ideas that will inform a sophisticated, nuanced strategy that will energize your teams.
When you’re leading a large organization, how you can be sure that your important messages are being heard by everyone? Typically, leaders do a great job of communicating with their senior teams, but what about everyone else?
A few weeks ago, I read a great story about how communication expertise can turn lemons into lemonade when it comes to responding to bad news from stakeholders. In this case, though, a different metaphor would more apt: the makers of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream managed to turn stale pistachios into gold.
In 1987 PowerPoint was created by a company called Forethought Inc. It was then acquired by Microsoft and released to the public in 1990. No doubt, PowerPoint has revolutionized the business world. Yes, it changed the way we give presentations - but it's a technology that has been around since Ronald Reagan was in office and humorously since the year that I was born (Yes, I’m a Millennial). A presentation that may have looked revolutionary to an audience of workers over two decades ago likely doesn’t have the same clout in today’s boardrooms or conferences.
Innovation is a big buzzword for companies today. What do leaders need to do to foster innovation within their companies? Check out the video below for Bates Communications take on how to prepare leaders for the future:
You may recall the now famous story about how Steve Jobs turned failing Apple around when he reclaimed the CEO title in 1996, after having been ousted 11 years earlier by the Board.
Over the last couple of years Ukraine’s parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, has delighted news media when heated sessions have literally become all-out brawls. As president of a fast-growing firm, a human resource leader, and former middle linebacker, I've struggled to find the healthy part of conflict on the professional work teams I’ve been on. Upon reflection, I think I suffered from battlefield instinct – where challenges and debate can lead to an “amygdala hijacking” and a scene like the one Ukraine’s parliament devolved into recently.
"There are known knowns. These are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say, there are things that we know we don't know. But there are also unknown unknowns. There are things we don't know we don't know."
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