50 Posts 50 Rules: Tom Peters on Leadership #14

14. Leadership is an improvisational art. 

Another short one go back and read post number 12 again. Leadership is essentially an acting job. Got your attention? Disagree?

Let me clarify. As a leader we are always on stage. People are always watching. Our mood and behaviors set the tone for the workplace. Having a bad week see if it doesn’t subtly translate to the majority of the team. After all attitudes are contagious and yours is positively viral.

So we are called to not always behave in ways that are consistent with what we are feeling inside. We put on a brave face when frightened, a calm face when overwhelmed, an even face when pissed off. The long and short of it we act. Now never forget that it is our values and integrity that separate us from manipulators and untrustworthy knuckleheads. It is entirely possible to act with integrity and lead your team. So do so.

Challenge: Seek feedback from a trusted friend on how you are perceived. Ask them to watch your body language as you interact with others and share with you privately what they observe.

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